What Are The 8 Hot Leadership Questions I Have Been Asked In 2023, And How Will They Shake Your Leadership?

According to my consulting, speaking and coaching clients, the coming year will challenge leaders and employees to find balance and a new purpose at work.

Companies everywhere have been struggling to find top talent.  Yet when they do hire quality employees, they often don’t prioritize career growth or flexibility to nurture and retain their talent for the long run.

A lot has changed over the past few years in the face of challenging world events, including the hot leadership topics and workforce trends that companies must stay ahead of to retain top talent.

1.  How do I create positive work cultures?

Work culture has taken its biggest hit in decades.  With more employees dispersed than ever, workplaces traditionally in person see their talent drawn to greener pastures.  There’s a risk of toxic “bubbles” building within companies that don’t appear to offer all their people the same flexibility consistently and fairly.

According to the Leaders I work with, workplaces will continue to become more diverse, flexible, dispersed, and challenging.  As a result, leaders will play a more vital role in creating positive and magnetic work cultures for their teams.  More inclusive and empathetic leaders can prevent toxic cultures from emerging and better foster and sustain the positive work connections that help retain key talent.

2.  How do I move to real commitment?

All the changes in the world outside of work have fueled a strong desire from employees to see companies commit to new ways of doing things.  Employees and consumers are voicing a stronger desire to see companies embrace changes to address significant challenges in business and society.

How can companies find the best path to success while growing a talented workforce that wants to stay with them through challenges?

Will more companies come to adopt a 4-day work week?  There are strong signals that a reduced work schedule may better meet the needs of the modern workforce.  However, when companies decide to move forward, they must understand that people want to see real change, not return to the old way of doing things.

3.  Management—the burden fewer want to bear

A growing sense of crisis and change fatigue has been sinking in for leaders, many of whom have been overwhelmed by talent losses amidst rising inflation and hiring costs.  As a result, companies are seeing an increased risk to their most critical talent pool that can’t be satisfied only by increased pay.

Considering how crucial frontline leadership will be to retaining all their other talent, companies must quickly prioritize leadership development and support before they take on critical losses at higher levels.  This may mean extending leave time and other benefits to reduce the growing risk of burnout for leaders, who historically have been rewarded by bonuses alone.

4.  Hybrid and remote teams seek stronger connections.

It’s lonely out there for many workers, especially those who are hybrid and don’t find connections as meaningful as companies might expect.  According to a recent study on work loneliness, building lasting relationships isn’t about how much in-person time people are exposed to but about the closeness, security, and support they get in their interpersonal relationships.  This means that even an in-person or hybrid work environment could fulfill the interpersonal needs of only some and not others.

How employees connect matters more than where they connect, so developing leaders with more effective interpersonal skills will help foster stronger team connections, no matter where they work.

5.  How do I shift from “Great Resignation” to “Great Retention.”

As companies face the reality of operating in leaner, more expensive times, they have a greater need for retaining top talent.  No matter what the buzzword du jour (and there have been a lot of them this year), it’s clear there are immense pressures to find and keep their best people.  For many, this leads to a sharper focus on identifying high-potential talent and finding ways to mobilize and share their skills internally.

6.  Soft skills rise to the forefront of leadership.

Influencers’ mentions of the leadership skills most needed in the workplace this year focused on critical interpersonal skills (e.g., empathy, emotional intelligence, communication, influence, etc.).  Although they have always been important, these skills have gained attention as the workforce has had to confront increasing change and crisis after crisis.

Leaders have had to navigate more human and personal discussions with their teams, which can be challenging if power skills aren’t equipped.  Leaders will need to continue to develop these skills to manage teams well.  Leaders with stronger interpersonal skills will continue to be vital in helping teams manage the changes ahead, especially when building stronger relationships in hybrid and remote teams.

7.  The new employee learning imperative

Accessibility is quickly becoming an imperative in employee learning and development.  Employees want to learn to grow their careers, which is critical to retaining talent.  So, companies must be able to deliver quality learning experiences to employees anywhere—whether they are in person, hybrid, or remote.

Since employee learning starts the moment they onboard a new company, their impressions about what learning quality they will receive can quickly take shape, not to mention their beliefs of what kind of place it will be like to work at.  As companies grow more flexible and dispersed, so must their learning experiences.  To better meet employees’ needs for flexibility, companies must provide great employee experiences that are equally accessible.

These seven questions prove we are not returning to “normal.”

So, we are all faced with the question: “Where do I place my bets?” 

I want you to place your bet On Your People.

There is no better bet at this time.

If you’d like to have a quick conversation with me about how betting on yourself can yield massive returns, here is the link to my schedule.  I look forward to it.