Firms must break bad habits if they want to improve relationship with employees

To select, engage and retain the best talent, companies are going to have to break their entrenched bad habits, according to a new report from The Myers-Briggs Company. It claims that its Global Trends Report (registration) sets out how businesses can select the best employees, provide effective leadership and help their people to work together efficiently and harmoniously, despite a rapidly changing and increasingly complex business landscape. 

 

With fewer women at the top, values-based decisions take a double hit

Women are more likely than men to take a values-driven, people-focused approach to decision-making. However, while the proportion of men with this approach varies minimally between occupational levels, for women, the higher the occupational level, the less likely they are to be focused on people and values. This suggests that it may be more difficult for some women to be promoted, and that for organisations that do have women at higher levels, a values-driven approach to decision-making may be underrepresented. This perspective is usually lacking in leadership.

 

“Always on” culture comes at a price

While most people agree with the statement “people shouldn’t have to check their emails outside of normal working hours”, they also say their organisations or clients expect nothing less. Always-on cultures create significant stress in the workplace and are linked to negative outcomes including decreased performance, lower satisfaction with family life, poorer health, reduced life satisfaction and decreased sleep quality.

With typical productivity growth in advanced economies on average negative since 2007, companies need to support employee efforts to ‘disconnect’. Setting reasonable guidelines and expectations with executives leading by personal example is one way to begin the cultural shift.

 

Artificial intelligence won’t replace humans, but it’ll change everything about work

While current indications are that AI will actually replace very few jobs in the near future, AI will change just about every job. While estimates suggest that only 5 percent of jobs could be entirely automated, almost all jobs (from CEO down) will see some tasks automated.

Companies will need to help people cope with change, and develop new skills and trust in the technology that’s introduced. Those adopting AI but neglecting the human element will have set themselves up for failure.

Additionally, both employers and employees should plan for alternate career paths in areas where tasks that are a traditional part of the professional development course (such as codifying legal documents in a law firm) as these tasks will likely be taken over by AI.

 

Narcissistic leaders are no longer fit for purpose

Leadership is no longer about the style and characteristics of the individual leader, it’s about how leaders create a culture and systems that inspire the people around them. Individuals who are more narcissistic are more likely to become leaders but perform less effectively in this role than others. The outdated ‘great man’ view of leadership won’t deliver the leadership culture demanded in most organisations today. To develop effective leaders, companies need to recognise that

  • the adoption of AI is propelling younger people into leadership roles without them having developed key interpersonal skills. Organisations need to fill this gap.
  • the rapid pace of change may leave existing leaders stuck in old approaches – just because something was considered a ‘rite of passage’ or got them to their position in the first place doesn’t mean it’s effective moving forward.
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