3 Emerging Trends for HR & Organizational Leaders


Recent news has indicated massive increases in workplace turnover as people are leaving their jobs at an unprecedented rate.

Given this reality, there are three trends that employers and organizational leaders might want to consider as we emerge into the “new normal.”

  • The increasing pace of change is having a cumulative impact on us all, and is changing the way people look at their careers. For example, in a recent post, Conway Management Company suggested that people’s expectations have evolved along with both the rapid pace of change as well as the magnitude of today’s changes. What has changed, they say, is today’s expectations of what could or should be. So, simply stated, employees are expecting more from employers, though not necessarily in the form of more compensation, but rather in terms of flexibility, empathy, development, and quality of work-life.

    Similarly, in their white paper “2021 Trends: People, Skills, and Technologies Transforming Today’s Workforce,” the Association of Talent Development (ATD) said, “The pace of change has presented more challenges in employee engagement, skills development, and integration of new technologies. This has led to a greater number of organizations searching for more efficiency and better productivity, and employees wanting more transparency, more flexibility, and career development.”
  • A related trend toward putting more focus on employee well-being was also noted in the ATD white paper. The need to regard employees holistically was defined as showing interest in their physical, mental, social, and financial well-being.

    It was also suggested that empathy might mean different things to different people and that this requirement is likely to linger well past the pandemic: “For leaders, it means being vulnerable and listening; for managers, it means checking in and communicating with your direct reports—maybe more often than you normally would. For leaders and managers, it means ensuring your people know that you care about them. This is not something that is going to change as we recover from the pandemic, whether we return to the office or not.”
  • Finally, and in addition to sharing similar observations about the trend toward more workplace empathy, an article recently published by Forbes identified a trend toward enhanced emotional intelligence and agility. Recognizing that a combination of things — i.e., the pandemic, volatility in global markets, and various social issues — have had a significant impact on people at all levels, effective organizational leaders are able to not only manage their own emotions (emotional intelligence), but also to navigate through them and help others to do the same.

    “As leaders become more emotionally agile, they will quickly understand not just the intent of their actions, but the impact they want to have,” the article said. “When intent and impact are aligned, communication is clear and emotions are not triggered.”