A new year is a great time for association leaders to take a look as their leadership style and reflect on how they could adopt new approaches to improve in 2023. From inclusivity and mental health awareness, to managing competition between and giving feedback to employees, we take a look at the key trends to have on your radar.
The importance of inclusivity and creating an engaging workplace has become more well understood in recent years, and in 2023 all leaders should be thinking about how they can entice the best candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. An inclusive workplace culture welcomes people from all walks of life, adding a spectrum of perspectives and an element of out-of-the-box thinking that you can’t achieve a more homogenous workforce. In an inclusive working environment, people are often more engaged because they know that they can bring their full and authentic selves to work. Additionally, these workplaces encourage distinctive ideas and celebrate difference, leading to work which feels more meaningful and satisfying.
Leaders can work to create more inclusive, engaging workplaces by thinking about their hiring processes and actively seeking new recruits from different industries or backgrounds. They can encourage engagement by showing employees that they are valued and their ideas are respected, by giving staff access to professional development opportunities, and by supporting collaboration by removing siloing and barriers.
It is vital that leaders are cognisant of mental health issues and the psychological impact that a negative workplace can have on employees. Fostering an environment that promotes wellness and good mental health is more than just good for productivity and business outcomes; it has positive affects outside the workplace as well. Some of the ways that leaders can think about and create better psychological wellness include:
Leaders are responsible for maintaining a sense of unity and harmony within a team of employees, but this can be difficult when those staff members are in competition for promotions and raises.
Organisations can find themselves with problems if it is discovered that employees doing the same role are on vastly different packages; especially when the differences are divided along gender lines. Although some employees will always bring more experience and skills to a role and need to be compensated for these, keeping salaries – and salary increases – as consistent as possible is the best way to avoid resentment within the team. Always be transparent about your budget when it comes to offering salary increases. This helps employees know that you are doing the best you can, and doesn’t leave them feeling that there is extra money being kept from them.
Similarly, the process of giving a staff member a promotion should be as fair and transparent as possible. Conduct an interview process to give all employees a chance to apply for the new role. When making a decision, share your reasoning as much as is appropriate.
Everyone can benefit from professional development opportunities, including and especially the executive leadership team. Generally, these higher up roles come with greater complexity and responsibility, and leaders need to continue learning throughout their career if they want to achieve the best results for their organisation and encourage the best performance from their staff.
A coaching approach can be helpful when it comes to developing the skills of leaders. Coaching take the form of ongoing training and reflection with an experienced mentor who can help a leader to identify their strengths, areas for improvement, and strategies for reaching new goals. Because it is a long-term commitment to growth, it can provide more long lasting benefits to the leaders’ work life and their organisation as a whole.
Delivering feedback to employees is a key skill for managers at all levels, and talented leaders will be able to tailor this feedback based on the personality on the staff member. All individuals will have their own preferred way of receiving feedback, but there are some general trends between generations. As Generation Z (those born after 2000) enters the workforce in increasing numbers, it is important that leaders understand the preferences and working style of this new type of employee. Some of the key points to remember when managing Gen Z employees include:
With over 30 years of management expertise, Executive Director and Founder of AES, Nick Koerbin is one of the most experienced NFP leaders in Australia. He has held positions as the CEO of Materials Australia, the National Parts Code, as well as senior positions in the Institute of Insurance, Australian Quality Council, the Financial Planning Association, the Australian Human Resources Institute, and the Furniture Industry Association of Australia. Nick created AES with a vision of creating a set of management practices that could be consistently followed to ensure success. Over his 30 years in the industry, he noticed that inconsistent management practices often impeded delivery of services to members, which in turn created issues with membership renewal. By establishing AES and creating the NFP Association Best Practice Self-Assessment, Nick has been able to assist leaders in becoming more confident and informed decision makers so that they can create more effective strategies and implementation plans.
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