Forward thinking organisations know that top talent chooses them as much as they choose top talent.
Nothing has changed the way of working like the global pandemic and in such a short space of time. With many leaders having been forced to develop a flexible and adaptable approach to allow their teams to work remotely, those leaders who are unwilling to evolve and hold onto this new way of working will find themselves struggling to retain and attract the best talent.
Today there are those who direct team members, and there are those who truly lead them. Modern leadership has become about building trust and serving and supporting the team more than anything else.
What exactly does today’s top talent see as the traits of a great leader? In recent times we’ve found that the best candidates see these six as the most desirable:
Inspiration can be a subjective and difficult to define trait. The best leaders make it tangible. They have a vision for their team or company and can articulate it in a motivating way. They lead from the front, not from an ivory castle. They commit to personal growth, encouraging others to follow their lead. They show adaptability in tough situations like the COVID pandemic. In short, they know how to get the best out of people, even when those people are working remotely.
Transparency is more difficult if your team is not in the office, but the best leaders will find ways to keep their team on the same page through regular updates and open communication. Great leaders are comfortable feeling vulnerable. They admit their faults and commit to improving them. They are upfront and honest about both themselves and the business. They know that the key to gaining buy-in from their team – and getting their help to solve problems – is to give them as much information as possible and as close to real time as you can.
The days of the leader barking orders and the worker following blindly are long gone. If you want to attract and retain top talent, you’ll treat them as the humans they are. This isn’t about pumping sunshine & hot air - it’s about being fair. There’s still room to be firm when and where needed. Being a kind leader is about cultivating mutual respect, by being honest, listening to your team, and making decisions that balance the best interests of all involved. In a remote working setting it’s about gaining an understanding of the personal situations of your team members, and to provide support where possible.
A trait that stems from confidence, top talent sees decisive leaders as good leaders. They choose a direction based on established goals and objectives, they come up with a clear strategy, and they get everyone charging in the same direction. They bring a level of clarity and purpose that motivates and inspires and they realise success because of it. At the same time, they remain flexible and adaptable, as you never know what might be around the corner.
Remote working has seen company cultures take a hit - we perhaps didn’t understand the value of chats in the kitchen until they were gone. Great leaders recognise the value of a healthy culture, and work to create one, by organising group activities like Friday night Zoom drinks or remote cooking classes. They get their hands dirty, working within the team instead of benevolently lording over it. What’s more, they are as open to feedback as any other team member should be, because they’re eager to become the best leader possible.
Great leaders don’t leave you guessing. No matter the situation, they demonstrate a level-headed consistency. They treat all team members as they themselves would like to be treated and offer fair and measured judgement when mistakes are made and hurdles are faced. They religiously recognise and reward good work and are consistently firm when they need to be.
Modern businesses understand the importance of attracting and retaining the best, particularly in an environment where they’re increasingly being offered the opportunity to work on their own terms.
By demonstrating the above traits, a leader will create an environment - whether remote or in an office - where top talent feels more valued, motivated and engaged. And this will in turn serve to attract even more talent.
If you’re interested in creating the best team possible call FutureYou today.