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Digital predictions for 2021
Experis CIO Advisory Council: Leading Through Crisis
CIOs are no stranger to pressure. However, organisations’ typically strong appetites for technology and innovation have turned insatiable this year, to meet the urgent workforce and consumer needs brought on by the pandemic.The CIO Advisory Council, comprised of CIOs across the globe brought together by Experis, met recently for a frank discussion about how to be an effective leader in times of crisis. Council participants shared the struggles they’re facing as technology and people leaders, what’s working to keep their teams on track and how they can persevere as leaders as the pandemic continues.Leadership in the ‘Next Normal’ has arrivedNow that we’re ten months into the pandemic, leaders and employees have moved from operating in a state of shock to acceptance of the ‘next normal’ and defining what that looks like in each organisation. When it comes to meetings, leaders need to resist the urge to bring everyone to everything. When the nature of remote work turns every interaction into a meeting, leaders need to be intentional about setting meetings and selective about who needs to attend. Leaders can also try the Ringi System of agreeing upon and delivering solutions in a bottom-up approach to keep meetings smaller and more efficient. Shortening 30-minute meetings to 20-minute sessions can help fight meeting fatigue by providing people with an opportunity to get up and walk around between meetings to decompress.To maintain a sense of community, Council members suggested:Drive-by video chats to mimic dropping by someone’s deskRecreating the “water cooler” with five minutes of chatter built into the front-end of team meetingsBeing deliberate about one-on-one conversationsEngaging in frequent town halls.Keeping high performers motivatedThe dust has settled, but the demand for IT resources has not. The group lamented the double-edge sword of leading high performers and, as a leader, sometimes feeling like you’re overloading your most valued team members. This predicament can feel compounded when leading a team in the public sector or an organisation facing lean times, where monetary rewards may not be allowed. When leading a team through times such as this, how do you recognise and reward these people in a way that is meaningful? The Council agreed the key is to know our people and their individual motivators.Soft skills for hard timesLeadership is about more than driving output. Below are three universal soft skills CIOs should practice (and encourage their teams to practice!) for leading in crisis.The pandemic has brought a level of intimacy between teams that didn’t exist before; we’re now in each other’s homes every day. As leaders, it’s ok to let your guard down a bit and connect with your team on a personal level. This will drive engagement and understanding.Resilience and endurance. Practice endurance and challenge yourself to lean into the discomfort a little bit longer. If you feel like you want to mentally check out of a meeting after 45 minutes, overcome and stay present. If you don’t survive the discomfort, you can’t grow.Optimism. Find people who can remain optimistic in the face of challenges, prop them up as leaders and set that example for your team. We cannot control the circumstances we face, but we can control how we react to them.
ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey – Q1 2021
The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter 2021 was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 1,306 employers in the UK.All survey participants were asked, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of March 2021 as compared to the current quarter?”Interviewing was carried out during the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey findings for the first quarter of 2021 are likely to reflect the impact of the global health emergency, and may be notably different to previous quarters.The survey results for this quarter report that:UK employment Outlook least positive in EuropeOptimism returns in vital finance and business services sectorExodus of EU workers creates opportunity for UK workforce but skills shortagesloom in key sectors like ConstructionThe UK jobs Outlook has rebounded six points in the last six months to -6%, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, but the picture is disappointing compared to the rest of Europe and the labour market is increasingly divided. Sharp improvements in finance and business services and construction are offset by new falls in retail and hospitality, while the outlook in London has hit an all-time low.Mark Cahill, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup UK says: “The headline numbers are steadily moving in the right direction, and we are seeing a continued resurgence in key sectors like finance and business giving us reasons to be cheerful as we head into 2021. However, despite this positive trajectory, the UK remains the least optimistic in Europe, with continued uncertainty over Brexit and the effects of a second COVID-19 wave still looming large. Looking further ahead, our data also shows that only 49% of employers expect their hiring to return to pre-pandemic levels within the next 12 months.”Retail and hospitality is down two points to -13%, the weakest on record. Cahill continues: “The further decline of Britain’s high streets is deeply concerning. Shops, restaurants, and bars have remained mostly shut across the country, and the young people who make up a large proportion of workers in this sector have often borne the brunt. Stalwarts like Pret a Manger and TM Lewin are closing their doors as demand for quick lunches, smart shirts and suits has dried up, while Caffe Nero is on the brink of insolvency.”ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey ReportManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Infographic
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