Business Development

10 Management Trends to Watch This Year



Management, like many professions, is heavily influenced by societal, political and technological trends.

In order to continue to manage effectively, you should stay ahead of the game by understanding the shifts that may impact the way that you lead your teams.

In this blog, we’ll be discussing the top trends that you should be watching out for.




Increasing Remote and Flexible Working

More and more candidates want to work flexibly, and companies that don’t offer this option miss out on top talent. For this reason, organisations want managers that understand how to get the most from employees – even when they’re not in the office.

This can be challenging for managers that are accustomed to face-to-face interaction with employees each working day. However, you can refine your management skills to ensure that you can be effective no matter where your employees are based.

An understanding of how to use remote working software and support these workers will serve managers well. This can also require a shift of attitude, as we move away from judging employees on visibility and towards measuring their output instead.


Building Diverse Teams

Diversity benefits the organisation greatly, though we’re only just beginning to see concrete research into this.

Recent research has shown that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue, and inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their sectors. With a real business case for building diversity, managers that can create an inclusive environment are in high demand.

Ambitious managers can recruit for diversity, and also create an environment where diverse viewpoints are valued. Both parts of this process are critical to reaping the rewards of a team with different backgrounds, experiences, and skills.


Tailoring Work to Different Generations

With Gen Z entering the workforce in recent years, we have several distinct generations in the workplace. Managers should ideally tailor their strategies to deal with each segment, to increase engagement at every level.

The way that each of these generations interacts with work and views their role within it is distinct. They also favour different communication methods and require unique change management techniques to cater to them.

Being able to change your management style without pandering, is an invaluable skill that will spark improved productivity. By relating positively to each generation, you can increase engagement and boost your leadership skills.




Faster Response Times Internally and Externally

We’re more impatient than ever before as consumers, and we expect speedy response times from organisations that we interact with. With the rise of instant messaging and improved communications, we want information without a long turnaround time.

This heavily impacts those in customer-facing roles, but it also impacts how managers interact with their colleagues. In customer-facing roles, managers must support and coach their colleagues to work towards those speedy response times.

Managers also represent the organisation to the employees on their team, so there’s an element of service to adhere to also. Striking a balance between being readily available for your staff and switching off at the end of the day is key.


The Changing Face of Feedback

Feedback was once confined to the annual review, but there are more effective ways to coach your staff. In innovative organisations, managers can deliver feedback in less formal ways to create instant change.

This also gives employees a chance to raise issues and give their own feedback, which can benefit your management style. With a series of check-ins and regular communications, you can better understand what motivates your staff and what you need to do to retain them.

Feedback should flow both ways in the organisation, with many successful businesses conducting regular anonymised surveys to keep their fingers on the pulse.


Robust Talent Management Strategies

Retaining top talent is far more cost-effective than bringing in new members of staff, but there are always new experiences and roles beckoning for these employees.

With the right talent management strategies, you can give these employees opportunities to grow within the organisation.

Through active initiatives and incentives, it’s possible to retain employees that would otherwise look for employment elsewhere. This can be aided by regular discussions with the employee, to understand their ambitions and motivations within the role.

Organisations are aware that lost talent is effectively money flowing out of the door, so there’s a keen focus on talent management from this perspective.




An Emphasis on Training

Upskilling talented members of staff is a no-brainer for organisations, as the return on investment in productivity makes this well worth any outlays. Studies have shown that companies that upskill their staff experience an uplift in profitability as much as 218%.

Not to mention that a formalised training programme offers increased staff retention and productivity, creating real gains for the organisation. This was once seen as only feasible for large organisations, but there are fewer barriers to staff training than ever before.

As organisations continue to become more aware of the benefits of training, they want managers that can champion this to their staff. Encouragement from managers lead to buy in from staff, which can be the push needed to take them through their course.


Collaboration is King

Although more of us want to work remotely and flexibly, there’s an increasing emphasis being placed on collaboration. Teamwork creates better, more effective solutions to problems, especially where the team is comprised of diverse members.

Tools to share workspaces and ideas are picking up in popularity. Being able to add members and collaborate are main selling points of tools like Trello and Asana. Creating sub-teams and roles help employees to take accountability for tasks, making them more likely to be completed.

Creating cross-functional teams with less traditional roles can reinvigorate productivity and remove blockers for success.


Data-Driven Practices

When suggesting new initiatives and techniques, it’s essential to back these up with concrete data on how they will improve the business. These data-driven practices ensure that these suggestions are taken seriously, as you back them up with practical information.

Measuring employee engagement, productivity, absences, staff turnover, and other relevant statistics allows you to assess the outcomes of new management initiatives. By being aware of data, you can push for pilot schemes and celebrate successful initiatives that benefit the workplace.

We live in an age in which we want to measure everything and we have the frameworks to do so; managers that up their game in this way can make a real difference to the organisation.




Personalisation of the Employee Experience

Personalisation can increase employee engagement, as this makes the employee feel valued and noticed. With the tools at our disposal this is more achievable than ever, as managers can quickly and easily forge this connection.

Flexible and remote working allows for this personalisation, as you change the work to suit the employee rather than the other way around. Understanding motivations, offering training and changing roles can also personalise this further.

Managers should actively seek opportunities to tailor the experience around the employee, as this greatly improves retention and productivity.

In the past, workplaces expected employees to leave personal issues and feelings at home, but prevailing research shows that employees are able to do more when they feel comfortable fully expressing themselves. Create an environment in which employees are comfortable expressing themselves by personalising your interactions with them.


The world of work is progressing, and the most effective managers will be those that can evolve alongside these changes.

Managers have the potential to shape the workplace to make it better for their teams, truly fulfilling their role. Use these trends to trial new experiences and give new opportunity to your colleagues, putting your organisation well and truly on the map.


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