Leadership and employee priorities need to change, as organisations head into the unknown

Organisations need to adapt their leadership practices and recruit and develop employees with five specific traits and a mindset for success if they are to remain relevant in the turbulent economy, according to Hemsley Fraser, the learning & development specialist.

The company claims that the days of hiring people for a steady job, with a predictable workload, are over. Instead, organisations need to recruit and develop employees who are talented, resilient, adaptable, imaginative and trustworthy. These five traits form the mnemonic TRAIT.

“Today’s organisations are heading into the unknown and this is creating wholly new challenges,” said Todd Turner, Chief Executive Officer of Hemsley Fraser. “I can’t say what our organisation is going to look like in a year’s time and I don’t know many companies that can. To survive in this uncertainty, every organisation needs employees who have these five specific traits. Adaptability will be key and individuals will need to become, to some extent, a Jack or Jill of all trades. The most important thing is having the right mindset because that will impact on whatever job they’re asked to do.”

Turner adds that moving into the unknown puts even greater pressure on leaders.

“Technology, global connectivity and the sheer scale and complexity of the organisations that we can now create pose unprecedented leadership challenges,” he said. “Leaders should be asking themselves: am I equipped to lead into the unknown? Meeting this need will be a key area for development in the future.”

Those organisations that are anxiously waiting for ‘change’ to be over so they can stabilise again need to realise that it’s not going to happen, claims Turner.

“You have to adapt your leadership practices and recruit and develop employees with the right traits and the right mindset for success,” he said. “The only other alternative is to continue to take extra long lead times to adapt to every single change that comes your way.”

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  1. Employers will have to drop the “nice to have” operations and adopt the process of “what is required for sucess” if the work force is to be able to sustain greater adaptability without reward.
    The down side of this type of thinking is that without reward the companies that take this route will only see a short term gain before they fail due to the fact that the people at the top of these organisations do not think that they should be included in the same process.

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