Year in Review: Top 10 Posts of 2021

With the new year right around the corner, it’s time to look back at the top posts of 2021. From the Enneagram of Personality to building a successful onboarding program to managing a hybrid workplace, this past year offered a wide range of topics and content. So, before we close the books on 2021, check out your top 10 most-read articles of last year!

Leading by the Numbers: What Your Enneagram Says About You as a Leader

“Understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a leader is imperative to not only leading others, but also leading yourself effectively. But the make-up of great leaders doesn’t just lay in the balance of the pros and cons scale, it is the amalgamation of intricate character traits and personal tendencies that make each of us uniquely equipped to be the leaders we are called to be.

“One of the best tools available to understanding our unique make up is the Enneagram of Personality. Enneagram, derived from the Greek word ennéa or nine, predicates that human personalities can fall in to one of nine separate personality types. Discovering your Enneagram type is a great way to recognize your personality tendencies and how they affect interaction with others.”

Managing a Hybrid Workplace

“The modern workplace is constantly changing. Year after year, we have seen companies introduce flexible work options, the four-day work week, telecommuting opportunities, and more. This past year, some businesses were forced to implement work-from-home options due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With all these changes, the modern office looks nothing like past generations. To handle the evolution, the hybrid workplace was born. Now, companies are employing professionals who have several different types of workplaces, and with it comes new obstacles leaders now face.

“According to a PwC study, by April 2021, only 51% of employers expect 50% or more of their employees to be in the office, revealing a vast number of businesses utilizing a hybrid workplace. And with 83% of employers saying using a remote workforce has been a success, it seems likely that a mixed workforce is here to stay. Managing the 21st century workplace can be difficult, but there are specific ways to successfully lead a team in and out of the office.”

Conflict Management: Building a Culture of Communication

“According to a workplace conflict study, 85% of people experience conflict at work, with the average employee spending 2.8 hours a week dealing with workplace conflict. Over the course of a month, the average employee wastes a full day of productivity spent in conflict, amounting to 2.5 weeks of lost productivity annually. The study also found that 25% of employees have seen conflict result in absence or paid leave and 9% have had a project fail due to conflict in the workplace. While conflict may not be avoidable, talking through the issues and working toward a resolution not only raises employee morale and productivity, but it is also the first step in building a culture of open communication.”

16 Myers-Briggs Leadership Types

“As we learned in the Leadership by the Numbers series about the Enneagram types, each person’s unique personality traits help determine the type of leader they are prone to be. Another strong tool to use to uncover leadership tendencies and understanding strengths and weaknesses associated with personality traits is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

“First published in 1962, the indicator examines different personality preferences within four specific relational realms:

  • People and things (Extraversion) or ideas and information (Introversion)
  • Facts and reality (Sensing) or possibilities and potential (Intuition)
  • Logic and truth (Thinking) or values and relationships (Feeling)
  • A lifestyle that is well-structured (Judgment) or one that goes with the flow (Perception)”

Naughty or Nice: Being More Assertive in the Workplace

“One of the easiest traps to fall into for both new leaders and seasoned professionals is being too nice. While embracing kindness in relationships with employees and peers is a virtue, being overly nice leads to taking on more work than you can handle and disregarding your own needs for work-life balance. Simply put, unassertiveness can cultivate burnout, resentment, and disengagement.

“According to a study, 82% of workers feel burnt out at work; whereas 43% of leaders say office morale is low due to overwork. Moreover, 49% of employees say they left their jobs citing being overwhelmed by their workload as the number one reason. To avoid burnout, low morale, and turnover, it’s important to create a culture of open communication and healthy assertiveness in the office with yourself, as well as your employees.”

How to Create the Right Goals for the New Year

“As the calendar turns to a new year, millions of business professionals create new personal and organizational goals to strive for during the next 12 months. However, though many pursue new goals, few actually achieve them. According to a study, 60% of people create resolutions for the new year, yet only 8% are successful in achieving the annual goals. With such a high failure rate, it begs the question: how do you create the right goals for an organization that are attainable yet still push the envelope? From evaluation methods to goal setting techniques to a change in perspective, there are specific procedures to use that will help you create not only the right goals for you and your team, but also establish the best plan of action to ensure by this time next year, you’ll be celebrating 12 months of success.”

Recruiting and Retaining: Building a Successful Onboarding Program

“In today’s business climate, organizations are experiencing recruiting and retention challenges not seen in decades. And while unemployment remains relatively high in North America compared to pre-COVID levels, leaders are faced with new obstacles to not only get new recruits in the door, but also keep them. According to an Allied Workforce Mobility survey, organizations lose 25% of all new employees within a year of hiring, and another study found that up to 20% of turnover occurs within the first 45 days.

“The beginning of a new employee’s tenure with a company is critical not just for training, but also retaining good workers. This is why having a strong onboarding program is essential for success. In fact, companies that have a strong onboarding program increase retention among new hires by 82%; however, according to a Gallup study, only 12% of employees believe their company does a great job onboarding. Building a successful onboarding program is key to attracting top talent and closing the turnover back door.”

How to Effectively Manage Expectations

“Under sell, over perform. Under promise, over deliver. We’ve heard these idioms for generations. They’ve helped people lower expectations, while elevating realizations of goals. However, this can actually cause issues with creating clear expectations for employees while hindering overall growth and employee engagement.

“According to a Gallup study, 72% of millennials say that when their managers help establish clear performance goals, they are more engaged in their work. While the modern workforce craves clear expectations, meeting employee’s needs can be difficult in this arena. To help their teams better focus on the end goal, there are specific ways leaders can effectively manage expectations in their organization.”

Motivation in Motion: How to Fight Complacency in Your Organization

“One of the biggest issues organizations face is complacency in the workplace. Whether due to bad leadership habits, the absence of competitive spirit, or a lack of goal-oriented productivity, complacency can cause turnover and cost your company money. The biggest cause of complacency is employee disengagement.

“According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, worldwide employee engagement is only 15%, meaning 85% of workers are either not engaged or are actively disengaged. In the U.S. and Canada, 31% are engaged. Although higher than the world average, engagement is still declining in North America. While the reasons for disengagement may differ, one thing is true for all leaders: you must motivate your workforce to fight complacency. Through specific techniques and processes, leaders can increase motivation in their workforce, and in-turn, overcome the negative impacts of disengagement.”

Managing the 4 Different Types of Workers

“Is underperformance and lack of production a sign of an ill-fit team or a symptom of mismanagement? According to a study published in Harvard Business Review in conjunction with Deloitte’s Business Chemistry system, leaders who aren’t getting their desired outcomes may have all the pieces in place needed to push the needle further—they just need to dig deeper to address the problem. Companies must acknowledge, understand, and manage the different types of employees on their teams to fully actualize each worker’s potential.

“According to the author of the study, Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg, PHD, there are four types of workers, and while we may have some traits of all of the types, we usually fall into one of the four character types: Pioneers, Drivers, Integrators, and Guardians.”

What was your favorite post of 2021?  What type of articles would you like to see next year? Let us know in the comments section below!

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