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It’s five weeks till we roll into 2017. As you stop to process that for a moment, I’m going to forge ahead with a question: As a leader, are you prepared for 2017?
Looking at the most successful leaders I have worked with, they are agile, adaptable and informed, as well as being emotionally intelligent and accessible to their employees and colleagues.
These traits can be challenging to build and nurture, as our work environments are continuously changing, and we need to work faster, smarter and better to remain up to date and accountable.
To lift your leadership game in 2017, here are three key approaches to incorporate into your leadership toolkit:
1.    Improve team engagement by mastering a hyper connectivity
2.    Increase productivity by adapting your leadership style to flexible workforce
3.    Improve performance by creating a continuous feedback loop

1.    Hyper connectivity

A good leader needs to be able to communicate and engage effectively across various tech platforms. Check out ways to optimise how you communicate with your team by exploring the latest internal communication tools that will improve the productivity for both you and your team. For example, is #Slack or Yammer a better way to start a conversation and drive more engagement within your workplace, rather than a group email or team meeting?  Or have you thought about using Google Docs to drive digital collaboration in real time?
In our globalised and hyper-connected world, people expect quick responses but as a leader it’s also important to set some personal boundaries to prevent burnout.

2.    Flexible workforce

An increasing number of organisations offer flexibility with working hours and locations. In many cases, we see a combination of employees, contractors, freelancers and consultants all working to different schedules on site or remotely.
A recent study by IBM showed that companies implementing a flexible workplace are reporting a “20% improvement in productivity and costs savings.”[1]
In this environment, leadership centers on trust and collaboration with a focus on performance outcomes, rather than day-to-day micro-management and clocking hours. Being a leader means adapting your workplace to suit your workforce. For example, providing the right tools so people can work remotely, which helps you acquire and retain talent and aids in overall productivity.

3.    Continuous feedback loops

Most professionals today desire instant feedback on their performance. Progressive organisations, such as Deloitte and Accenture, have removed annual performance reviews all together. Employees expect more from their leaders and they want a process whereby there is a two-way flow of timely feedback. It’s time to get comfortable both with giving and receiving regular feedback and remember to keep feedback balanced.
A great approach I have used in the past is Start, Keep, Stop. What are the things you want your employee to Start doing, Keep on doing and Stop doing? Also, ask your team or colleagues to provide you with the same feedback, so that you can improve your leadership style.
For more information contact Rajiv at Bare Inc today.
[1] IBM Centre for Applied Insights “Achieving Success with a Flexible Workplace”, IBM Corporation, 2012.

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