Heading into 2023: Here are the biggest leadership challenges

For many executives, the coronavirus pandemic was a crisis unlike any other in recent times.

Even as 2023 kick-offs are getting underway, the baggage of the last two and a half years continues to weigh down many organizations. The global pandemic has fuelled a seemingly endless stream of disruptions and challenges. Some challenges are more familiar than others, but leaders who successfully navigate these obstacles will create a strong competitive advantage for their organizations.

2020-21 taught us that to be competitive, we must be agile and able to respond quickly to changing market conditions. In 2022-23, you will want to look to drive digital business model innovation that focuses on speed, flexibility, and agility.

But where to start?

Recognizing that a company faces a crisis is the first thing leaders must do. It is a difficult step, but as we step into 2023, business leaders to switch from a survival mode strategy and utilize the experience to prepare for the future.

Here are some challenges that deserve your attention in 2022 and beyond.

1. Recruiting new (remote) talent in times of Great Resignation

We can all agree that in recent years there have been huge changes in the employment market. It’s a great challenge to find the right person suitable for a job position.

Working remotely for many months, millions of workers have realized that they can have a better quality of life without the commute and are no longer willing to go back to the office full time. Millions of people have quit their jobs, creating a recruiting nightmare for companies.

The situation is now termed the Great Resignation, which is becoming the root cause of various challenges companies face during the talent recruitment process.

But let’s be real – these people will be looking for jobs again, but they will make demands that companies will have to take seriously if they want to attract top talent.  These may include flexible work hours or alternative remote work days, mental health benefits, technical skills training, mentorship and proof of commitment to diversity.

HR leaders must design more effective talent evaluation tools to reduce the effects of the shortage and win the raging talent war.

2. Mental health is the new wealth

The past three years have tested employees to the limit. Mental health issues have soared and addressing the issue has become a top HR priority.

Stress and burnout have been identified as a significant threat to the mental wellbeing of workers across functions and levels of seniority. Companies are now forced to prioritize the overall wellbeing of their employees and come up with strategies to support their mental wellbeing.

Leaders should share mental health challenges and embrace initiatives. Nowadays one thing is certain – Leaders who are actively involved in prioritizing mental health among employees and creating space for open conversations are positively shaping their work culture. Leave no one behind.

3.Technology challenge

The pandemic spiked the pace of transformation. Just because we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t mean that the pace of innovation is slowing down anytime soon.

According to a survey by Gartner, Inc., nearly 60% of L & D professionals say that building critical skills and competencies will be their number one priority in 2022. The vast majority of workplaces have critical IT skills gaps that are holding them back. L & D professionals facilitating the training of the workforce in new technologies will accelerate digital transformation.

Organizations need a consistent, reliable communication and collaboration system that seamlessly connects workers from dispersed locations and empowers workers in the office with enhanced conferencing tools.

4. Building diversity

Diversity and inclusion are important topics for businesses today. In order to increase the chances of success, I believe it is paramount to create teams that represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Diversity and inclusion can help businesses become more productive, innovative and profitable.

Diverse teams offer a wide range of perspectives and ideas, which can lead to a better understanding of customer requirements and help widen the market view.

5. Develop an Agile culture

With so many unknowns, planning for the future is challenging – but it’s also essential. As businesses’ needs change, the leadership positions and skills needed to succeed change as well. Agile succession planning involves ongoing efforts to develop well-rounded candidates who can step into leadership roles with the necessary skill sets to meet business goals. With the pandemic adding another layer of uncertainty to the future, agile planning needs to be a priority for businesses looking to plan the succession of key roles.

6. Trust is crucial

Trust means ‘uncompromised by doubt.’ In the workplace, people can’t do their best work if they doubt others’ intentions or capabilities, the direction or viability of the organization, or, most importantly, if they doubt their own ability to keep up with the demands placed on them. This is especially true in today’s environment of complex change and ambiguity, when employees are being asked to do more with less.

Effective leadership requires knowing how to build and keep trust, whether it’s with individuals, on teams, or across the organization.

The Key Points

Leaders must think and act strategically, yet the tasks of running an organization often overrun their pursuit of long-term goals. To build a great organization, leaders need a practical and powerful framework to organize their efforts to effectively and systematically lead their organization.

People, purpose, prices and productivity emerged in a recent Gartner survey as key issues for the C-suite in 2022, and looking to 2023, reflecting a radical shift in priorities not seen in 15 years but likely to represent enduring change in the mindset of CEOs.

The Gartner survey polled more than 400 senior business leaders about their 2022-23 priorities and technology-related thinking.