Communication is the single most effective trait for good leadership in the eyes of employees, according to a new survey. And with remote work the new norm, the tech to facilitate communication has never been more important.
Data released in the inaugural Evolution of Leadership Report 2022 — from The Access Group and REB’s sister brand HR Leader — has revealed that 62 per cent of professionals prioritise communication as a leadership trait above higher-ups’ ability to inspire employees, express a vision, or convey empathy.
That same report has also highlighted employees’ willingness to engage with tech to have their communication needs met, particularly now that working from home has become the regular course of many businesses.
Administering payroll is suddenly the bare minimum for organisations in harnessing tech to manage aspects of their human resource operations. Information sharing, knowledge growth and the cultivation of effective team collaboration are now what many employees want to see their employers focusing on in their tech adoption.
While 33 per cent of the survey respondents reported that their organisations had taken up specialist HR tech to facilitate communication between employees and leaders, such as by delivering pulse surveys, company-wide engagement programs and workforce planning, 18 per cent reported that this was lacking in their workplace, yet desired.
A further 15 per cent said that their firm was lacking tech to assist with recruitment, onboarding, performance and annual leave and that support in those areas was top of their wish lists. These were the two top categories that respondents reported wanting in terms of new tech integrations.
“Once again, this highlights the need for organisations to continually monitor and understand how engaged their teams are — particularly in this highly competitive talent market,” the report noted.
John Maley, HR director at The Access Group, explained how COVID-19 had opened up a space for communication solutions, given that employees are expecting less pressure to attend their workplace in person, yet more conversation about their role and performance.
“COVID-19 has accelerated some of the usually evolving workplace change including an expectation that employees can work remotely and be effective.
“The research shows that employees value autonomy in their decision-making and, with less face-to-face contact than before, a focus on outcomes is critical. They also expect, and arguably need, clearer communication than ever before to ensure that the purpose of the organisation and their role is crystal clear,” Mr Maley noted.
“Of course, this has also led to a different expectation in technology to support their work lives as well as their private lives.”
The days of tech being regarded as at best an interference and at worst a deterrence to human interaction are clearly over. As the country’s professionals are making clear, they want to feel actively engaged with the leaders at their workplaces, and they don’t feel that face-to-face contact is the only way of achieving that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.