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Discover the future of talent in 2024 with our latest episode of Talking Talent, featuring our esteemed TalentPredix directors. James Brook and Paula Baetu delve into the latest trends shaping the workforce landscape, offering valuable insights and predictions for 2024. Tune in now to gain a competitive edge and unlock the secrets to navigating the talent landscape of tomorrow.

Most of us have experienced times when we lose our mojo at work. We drag ourselves into work and battle through the day, waiting for the workday to end. Fortunately for most of us this doesn’t happen every day but some people stay in this motivational void for too long.  

Here are some steps to help you get out of this unhelpful place: 

  1. Clarify the source of your demotivation  

What’s causing you to be demotivated? It is something at work like your boss or growing boredom with the job? Does it stem from problems at home? Or are the underlying reasons something else like a poor diet and lack of exercise?  

  1. Identify whether you have the power to change things  

Can you change the source of your demotivation and if so, what action will help you change things? Most of the time, we have a lot more influence and control over events than we realise, especially if we call on the help of others when we are struggling. Think broadly and creatively how you can take back control of the situation.  

  1. Refocus your attention on the positives  

When we lose our mojo, we tend to generalise our dissatisfaction and forget all the positive stuff that’s happening. We get into a negative spiral of despair and unhappiness. Take time to remember what’s going well. What were your recent achievements and successes? What did you do well to achieve these results? 

  1. Find solutions and act 

Find solutions to take back control of your situation and regain your mojo. Be courageous and decisive, don’t live with the demotivation. Call on the help of people at work and your friends and family to recover your mojo. Remember that the longer that you stick with a broken mojo, the harder it is to fix as you’ll start becoming consumed by a sense of helplessness. So act now and always remember that it’s your choice to change things for the better. 

TalentPredix provides bespoke solutions to help you build a thriving place to work where your people show up motivated to succeed. Contact us for more: info@talentpredix.com 

Major changes like Covid, digital transformation and the growing environmental emergency are disrupting traditional business models and creating huge impetus for transformation and innovation. To succeed, today’s organizations need to be highly adaptive and constantly innovate to keep pace with disruptive forces and changing customer preferences. 

Yet too many companies still stifle the ideas and creativity of their employees. They straitjacket people with directive leadership and rigid policies, processes, and procedures, smothering the voice and imagination of their people. The results are predictable. Motivation, teamwork, and innovation nosedive, followed by declines in customer loyalty and financial results. 

To succeed and compete in this new era of disruption and innovation, organizations need to learn how to harness employees’ incredible creative potential, as innovation is a distinctly human endeavour. The world’s most innovative companies systematically devise ways to promote a culture of collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Here’s how you can do the same by putting these principles at the heart of your organization’s people strategy: 

Develop creative thinking capabilities  

Creative and imaginative thinking involves intentionally expanding our thinking to find new and useful ideas and solutions to overcome problems, accelerate innovation and enable the organization to achieve its goals. Studies show that it is one of the most important competencies for leaders and teams to possess to be effective. In future, it is likely to become even more important because of growing rates of change and disruptive innovation. Just like emotional intelligence, it is also extremely difficult for AI and intelligent machines to perform creative problem-solving as effectively as humans.   

But creative thinking is not natural for most employees, as it is not taught at school or even by most universities. Organizations seeking higher rates of innovation should therefore invest in training their staff in creative and collaborative thinking methods, ensuring people have the skills, tools, and techniques to unlock the power of cognitive diversity and people’s collective ideas. Through developing creative thinking skills like learner mindset, powerful questioning, reframing, divergent thinking and cognitive diversity, organizations will promote a culture that encourages curiosity, experimentation, and innovation.   

Build teams comprised of diverse strengths and styles 

At innovative companies like Google, LVMH, Apple, Unilever and Salesforce, employees are encouraged to express their individuality and apply their unique strengths, imagination, and know-how to achieve their own goals and those of the wider business. Employees in these companies are not expected to be well-rounded. They are empowered to optimize their strengths and work with diverse team members that complement them.  By building highly inclusive and cognitively diverse teams, these companies unlock ideas, creative problem-solving and improved rates of innovation. They also become ‘talent magnets’ for the most talented people who seek organizations that provide opportunities for them to shape decisions and the future of the business.   

Build a connected, team-based organization where ideas and knowledge flow freely   

Innovative organizations create opportunities for people from different parts of the business to connect and work together in mixed teams that span diverse functions and business areas. A growing number of innovative and dynamic businesses are organized into natural teams that assemble to deliver specific projects or products then disband once the project outcome or product is delivered. This way of organizing work is a natural evolution of the popular matrix structures found in many innovative organizations.

However, the big difference is that functional lines of reporting are looser or even non-existent. Work is organised by team leaders and highly empowered teams and people are assigned to teams based on their experience, performance track record, and strengths. Innovative organizations also promote informal and frequent connections among employees by enabling people to socialise and have fun together, both in physical and online environments. Enabling employees to spend such time together builds trust, improves collaboration, and accelerates knowledge flows. This provides more opportunities for employees to discuss and refine ideas, as well as a chance to share insights, and better practices.      

Promote psychologically safe workplaces  

Many organizations are now promoting psychological safety as a fundamental pillar or their people strategy. This is crucial as people need to feel they are in a safe and supportive environment that appreciates them and values their input and contribution.  

However, there is another compelling business reason to pursue a culture where psychological safety becomes the norm. To succeed in today’s ever-changing environment, organizations are going to need to accelerate creative thinking and innovation. The only way to do this is to ensure everyone feels they can openly and honestly voice their ideas and opinions, no matter how controversial or challenging these are.  

Encourage ideas and experimentation 

Employers often unintentionally cultivate risk averse and conservative cultures through centralising decision-making and stifling the creativity of people at lower levels in the organization. They create a fear culture by discouraging risk-taking, initiative, and direct challenge of top management. In innovative organizations like Gore, Meta and 3M, employees are actively encouraged to engage in creative problem-solving, hackathons and experiments to improve products, processes, and practices. Leaders in these companies recognise that tolerating mistakes is required to accelerate progress and achieve breakthrough innovation. They encourage and reward employees for coming up with great ideas to improve the business and its products, creating greater value for customers and other stakeholders. They also empower people to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone and embrace curiosity, agility, and continuous learning.      

Today’s organizations need to be able to adapt quickly and innovate in the face of fast-changing conditions. Leaders and teams who can anticipate, innovate, and adapt faster will enable the business to gain a clear competitive advantage over rivals. They will also be able to attract and retain the best talent, as the most talented people look for employers that value and leverage their ideas and full potential. By implementing these five principles organizations can accelerate creative thinking and unlock the extraordinary creative potential of their people.  

We offer design thinking and creative problem-solving workshops for leaders and teams. Contact us at info@talentpredix.com for more information.

A manager has many responsibilities, one of which is keeping their team engaged and motivated at work. Unfortunately, the economic slowdown and threat of a recession make this harder on managers, while also negatively impacting employee morale, leading to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates. This has been amplified by The Great Resignation, where employees are willingly leaving their jobs to pursue other opportunities because in the past few years, the demand for talent has grown and now exceeds supply in many occupational areas like software development, B2B sales and leadership. Current data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) predicts that one in five of UK workers will seek other employment options this year. More recent research from Unum UK, an employee benefits provider, found that 19% of workers plan to look for a new position in 2023.  

However, the outlook for employers is not all bleak as recent trends show the rise of Boomerang Employees. The World Economic Forum defines this phenomenon as “staff who leave their jobs but choose to return at a later point when the stress passes or priorities shift”. Data shows that 1 in 5 people who have quit their jobs during the pandemic have gone back to the job that they have left. This suggests that employees are realizing that the grass is not always greener on the other side, and the demotivating factor/s that caused them to leave in the first place are being tackled more swiftly by employers who are keen to war for the best talent. For example, many companies that previously had no flexible work policies are implementing these to remain competitive in an increasingly ‘hot’ talent market.  

There are a number of steps managers can take to keep employee engagement and morale up during times of uncertainty, and create a culture that employees will not want to leave, but also are more inclined to return to if they do resign: 

  1. Be transparent and communicate frequently – During times of uncertainty, employees want regular updates and transparency from their managers. Make sure you communicate openly and honestly with your team about the state of the company, any upcoming changes, and how they may be affected. This can help alleviate anxiety and prevent rumors from spreading. 
  1. Show empathy and support – Layoffs and the threat of recession can take a toll on employees’ mental health and wellbeing. As a manager, it’s essential to show empathy and support to your team during this time. Listen to their concerns, offer resources, and support, and encourage them to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. 
  1. Provide opportunities for development and growth – Even in challenging times, employees want to feel like they are progressing in their careers. Provide opportunities for learning and development, such as training sessions, coaching or mentorship programs. This can help employees feel more engaged and invested in their work, especiallyduring tough times. 
  1. Recognize and reward accomplishments – During a time of layoffs and recession, it’s easy for employees to feel like their work doesn’t matter and isn’t appreciated. As a manager, try to recognize and reward accomplishments and effort, no matter how small This can help boost morale and reinforce the value of your employees’ contributions. 
  1. Foster a positive culture and team spirit – Finally, it’s essential to foster a positive culture and team spirit during tough times. Encourage teamwork, celebrate wins together, and prioritize team-building activities. Promote strengths-based work practices so people can spend more time at work doing activities that really energize them and align with their career goals. This can help create a sense of unity and support within your team, even when times are tough. 

Implementing simple, actionable ways to keep employees engaged during the economic slowdown will not only improve performance, motivation and retention, but former employees may even boomerang back onto your team.  

As a leader in strengths-based assessment, development and coaching, TalentPredix can help you boost employee engagement, performance and retention. Contact us to learn more.

Disengaged employees can be detrimental to productivity, employee engagement and overall output. Our previous blog covered signs managers should look out for in employees to help nip this problem in the bud.  

Spot and prevent low motivation and engagement   

Of course, the best way to ward off quiet quitting is for managers to check in on the motivation of their people on a regular basis. There are different ways of doing this, including careful observation of behaviour, emotions and energy shifts, engagement surveys and asking questions that uncover people’s motivation during regular check-ins and quarterly performance review meetings. Some of the questions managers can consider asking are as follows: 

Once managers identify a disengaged employees they can explore the root cause of their low engagement in a one-on-one conversation. 

Amplify strengths, successes and progress 

Managers, like most of us, are conditioned to focus more on the negatives we see rather than the positives. This is what psychologists call the “negativity bias”. It is therefore important for managers to consciously learn to spot and magnify strengths, successes and progress, even small wins and shifts in effort. 

By giving positive feedback and praise, managers will promote progress, excellence, and employee engagement. When people feel they are valued and their progress and achievements are recognized regularly by their manager, they are more likely to feel motivated and exert higher levels of discretionary effort (i.e., effort over and above the required level).  

Conduct retention/stay interviews 

Retention interviews are a powerful tool to improve employee experience, build trust, and nip problems in the bud. RotaCloud recommends that retention interviews should be kept relatively informal, held in private, and be consistent as much as possible across different team members. Keeping consistency might be difficult, as everyone has their own sentiments and feelings, but managers can keep a set of key questions or discussion points handy and let the conversation flow from there. This can be done in both in-person and remote or hybrid workplaces. Responses should be collated and kept on record somewhere in order to refer to eventually.   

Demonstrate empathy 

It is important that managers self-reflect and be empathetic above all else. Try to picture themselves in the position of their employees and see their realities to understand where they are coming from. Reflect on how they would react if they were put in their employees’ position? Additionally, consider the employees themselves and the value they have brought to the team, and their strengths and their talents and how these can be further supported to allow them to thrive.  

Act on employee feedback 

Taking this into consideration, it is now time for the manager to act on the feedback given from their employees. It may be revealed that employees are frustrated with a lack of progression and/or development opportunities available to them, then the manager should explore options in upskilling and/or career development for their people. In virtual teams, managers may find that some employees feel disconnected from the broader workforce. This last one might be common among the younger workforce, who are likely dealing with proportionately more “Zoom fatigue” from the pandemic. If this is the case, the leader should find more creative ways to foster connectivity or, if possible, try to organize in-person events to enable the employees to connect with each other more. 

Lastly, it should be ensured that this feedback loop is not a one-off occurrence. A communication line has been opened, and it should be kept this way. The manager should devise a plan to regularly collect feedback, comments, and suggestions from their team, and be flexible enough and willing to find ways to act on suggestions being made. Data can be collected either through formal measures like sending out employee engagement surveys or more informal measures such as sitting down and having a conversation or booking regular one-on-one meetings. Gallup finds that the best practice is for managers to have meaningful 15–30-minute conversations once a week with each employee.  

By actively listening to the needs and wants of their people, managers foster a work environment that is inclusive and supportive, which can help their team members feel valued, motivate them to perform at their best and thus address the issue of employee disengagement.  

TalentPredix has the strengths-based tools, resources, and skills to engage employees to help you build a thriving place to work so your people can reach their full potential. Contact us today to learn more.

The term ‘quiet quitting’ has made the rounds online, from starting conversations and debate on all corners of the internet, to even being named one of Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year. Collins has defined it as “the practice of doing no more work than one is contractually obligated to do.”  

RotaCloud, a staff management software company, has now identified a new workplace trend to succeed quiet quitting called “resenteeism.” They define it as staying in a job, despite being fundamentally unhappy and actively resenting it. Concerns over job security, cost of living, or a lack of alternative employment options are cited as reasons that employees stay. The main difference that resenteeism has from its predecessor is that the employee is more vocal about their dissatisfaction and may potentially influence the opinions and attitudes of others.  

However, a common denominator between the two is that it all boils down to employee engagement, or a lack thereof. Indeed’s Work Happiness Score revealed that more than one third of U.K. employees are unhappy in their current job roles. Employee engagement is nothing new in the HR industry, but recent events like the pandemic and cost of living crisis have brought it front and center. But the question remains – what can managers do to engage their employees and prevent dissatisfaction?  

Primarily, managers need to be engaged and present at work, so they can identify which employees are putting in less effort than before and seem disengaged from the wider workforce. In a hybrid or remote settings, being present could mean reaching out more to employees to be more visible and keep communication lines open. Being engaged as a remote manager could also mean giving your employees the autonomy and flexibility to do the work on their own time but ensuring that performance standards and deadlines are clearly communicated.  

Some signs managers should look out for in employees: 

In our next article, we will explore how managers can reengage a disengaged employee to achieve better outputs and productivity.  

TalentPredix has the tools, resources, and skills to engage employees to help you build a thriving place to work so your people can reach their full potential. Contact us today to learn more

Getting high-quality, empowering feedback on your behaviour, performance and potential from your manager, colleagues and other key stakeholders is essential to improve your performance and successfully advance your career. It has significant benefits, including:

To get a comprehensive and balanced picture of how you are performing and ideas for improvement, it is important to invite feedback from key stakeholders beyond your manager, including colleagues within and outside your team, your customers, other superiors, suppliers, and other people you interact with regularly.

Below are three tips that will help you get better feedback that can accelerate your results, learning and career progression. 

Ask specific questions

Avoid asking general questions such as “Can you give me some feedback?” or “How do you think I’m doing?”

Ask specific questions, ideally directly after the performance event. Effective questions include:

You probably already receive feedback from your manager. However, it if it is absent, too general, or not helpful, ask your manager for feedback and tell them the type of feedback that would be most helpful for you. Send them some of the questions above in advance of your next check-in and invite them to respond to these when you meet. Do the same with other stakeholders to ensure you receive higher-quality feedback.

Keep an open mind

Don’t take critical feedback too personally or get defensive. Instead, listen with an open mind. Ask questions to clarify anything you don’t understand. Remember that you are free to choose how you respond to the feedback. Your choices include acting on the feedback, taking time to reflect on it, or seeking additional feedback. See all feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Express gratitude

Remember that giving feedback (especially constructive feedback) is not easy, even for experienced managers. It is therefore important to thank people for their feedback, even when it’s hard to hear or isn’t communicated well. Tell people what you value most about their feedback. If you improve because of their feedback, share your progress with them. This will build trust and open opportunities for more feedback.

Employees I speak to are often disappointed by the amount and quality of feedback they receive. However, this is typically because they rely too much on one person – their manager – to provide regular and constructive feedback. If you want frequent and empowering feedback, you need to be more proactive. Take matters into your own hands and build into your flow of work a self-mastery habit of inviting feedback from multiple stakeholders, as well as your manager.

In this episode, James Brook, Founder and CEO of TalentPredix™, interviews Lisa Farrell, Head of HR at Landmark, about Great Places to Work.

To be effective, feedback conversations should be empowering. They should provide useful, timely and constructive guidance to help the individual to change their mindset and behaviour. Yet, many managers struggle with feedback conversations, especially those that involve providing constructive or corrective guidance. They fear stirring up conflict and worry about undermining their relationship with the individual. They often end up falling into one of the following traps:

Avoidance – they avoid the conversation in the hope that the problem will resolve itself or won’t cause too many problems. However, avoidance often leads to problems becoming amplified and resentment arising from inaction growing among other team members.

Using the popular “sandwich approach” – they dilute constructive feedback by layering it between two ‘slices’ of positive feedback, at the outset and end of the conversation. This typically results in an ineffective performer selectively hearing only the positive messages and leaving the meeting believing they’ve got little or nothing to improve.

Over-criticism – they use an autocratic, critical tone. They generalize their critical feedback to the person’s performance, and even personality, rather than focusing it on the behaviour that needs to be modified. This is very risky, as it can leave people feeling angry, insulted, and demotivated. At worst, it can lead to a messy termination process involving claims of bullying and unfair dismissal.

A 6-step process for effective feedback conversations

Based on decades of experience helping managers and leaders deal with challenging feedback conversations, I recommend applying the following 6 steps:

1. Use a framework to guide your feedback – Follow a straightforward process like our AIM Feedback Framework™ (see below) to ensure your feedback is candid, concise and maximizes the likelihood of achieving lasting change.

2. Focus on the behaviour, not on the person – Ensure you don’t criticize or judge the person. Be specific and clear about the behaviour that you would like to see modified.

3. Keep it brief – Feedback receivers prefer crisp and clear messages so don’t overtalk, or provide lengthy, rambling justifications.

4. Give the person an opportunity to clarify – Ensure you check that the person understands the feedback. Invite them to summarize what they’ve heard and give them an opportunity to clarify anything they don’t understand.

5. Acknowledge the person’s concerns – Calmly allow the person to express their point of view and any feelings triggered by the feedback. Don’t react if they express anger or defensiveness; listen empathetically and acknowledge their concerns. If their anger persists, invite them to take a break to reflect on the feedback for 24 hours before reconvening.

6. Invite and provide suggestions – Invite the person to come up with options that will improve their performance. Explore these in an open, constructive way, without passing judgment or allowing your preferences to dictate the course of action agreed. Provide specific suggestions to help the person improve. To encourage ownership and commitment, ask the person how helpful these ideas are and whether they can think of any other options that might be better or build on the suggestions provided.

Use feedback to magnify strengths and positive behaviours

Most of us are conditioned to focus more on the negatives we see rather than the positives. This is what psychologists call the “negativity bias”. It is therefore important for managers to consciously learn to spot and magnify strengths and effective behaviours.

By giving positive feedback and praise, managers will promote progress, excellence, and employee engagement. When people feel they are valued and their progress and achievements are recognized regularly by their manager, they are more likely to feel motivated and exert higher levels of discretionary effort (i.e., effort over and above the required level).

AIM Feedback Framework™

Action

What action did they take and in what situation did it happen?

For example:
“In the project meeting yesterday, I noticed you interrupted Joe several times.”

Impact

What was the impact of the person’s actions (on their RESULTS, RELATIONSHIPS, and REPUTATION)

People don’t intend to act in a way that undermines their results, relationships and/or reputation. Remember that their intentions are typically positive, even when their behaviour causes unintended negative consequences. Unless the evidence points strongly in favour of malicious or negative intentions, give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that they intended to act positively in the first place.

For example:
“I was frustrated that Joe couldn’t make his points fully and we missed out on his valuable input.”

Modify/Magnify

What does the person need to modify/magnify to strengthen their effectiveness and results?

Thinking about what the person can magnify is especially important when giving positive feedback on how the person can build on their strengths and effective behavioural patterns.

Offer specific suggestions and guidance to help the person modify/magnify their behaviour.

For example:
“When we meet with the team in future, it would be great to see you give Joe an opportunity to make his points without interrupting. You could also encourage him to contribute his opinion from time to time as we both know he is an introvert.”

We are currently experiencing a crisis of trust in leadership. This is patently obvious in the political arena; however, it is just as apparent in the business world. The decisions leaders take and how they choose to implement them impact the trust relationship with their workforce, not just in the short term, but for months and even years to come.

There are numerous reasons for declining trust in leaders in recent decades including corporate cronyism, offshore tax havens and tax dodging, prioritizing short-term profitability over sustainable growth and environmental responsibility and a growing income disparity between top executive pay and other pay grades.

Shifting demographics and generational differences are also impacting on workplace trust. Millennials and other younger employees aren’t willing to blindly follow and trust leaders anymore. In fact, studies suggest they are developing an ever-growing mistrust of authority figures and trust their peers more than the leaders in their company. This is, at least in part, because of the breakdown of the traditional ‘psychological contract’, or set of beliefs, perceptions, and informal obligations governing the relationship between an employer and an employee. Most employers can no longer offer secure work and career progression, so this ‘contract’ is breaking down. This is likely to be exacerbated in the coming years as the pace and extent of automation and digitization of the workplace accelerates, leaving many people unemployed or having to fight for temporary work as part of the fast-growing “gig economy”. Many millennials have already seen their parents made redundant which has made them wary of giving their unfettered loyalty and trust to organizations and their leaders.

Below are 5 steps leaders can take to strengthen trust with their people:

Pursue a higher purpose beyond profit

Recent history is full of examples where leaders have placed greed and short-term shareholder returns over creating sustainable value for customers, employees, and society. Many companies are still turning a blind eye to the impact of their short-term and exploitative practices, including paying employees (and others in the supply chain) below the minimum wage, using questionable employment practices, and awarding top executives disproportionately high pay increases and bonuses. Awareness of these practices among employees, customers and the public is growing because of increased transparency and growing global connectedness resulting from rapid advances in online media and social networks that bypass traditional borders and boundaries.

To build greater trust, business leaders should invite their people to shape a greater purpose for their organization that contributes to a better and more sustainable future for all. This involves establishing a compelling purpose, ideally one that benefits all stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, and society. By taking a multi-stakeholder perspective rather than a narrow shareholder one, positive leaders leverage additional perspectives, ideas and commitment for positive change and innovation that benefits everyone, not just the owners and C-suite. There are a growing number of organizations that are seeing the financial and non-financial benefits of building strong purpose-based companies. Most integrate sustainability goals into their purpose, not as a token act of “greenwashing”, but to ensure their business is prepared for the era of green energy and sustainability we are entering. Studies clearly show the value of creating business that are a force for good in the world. Great examples include Unilever, Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals and Patagonia.

Ensure transparent and human-centred people practices

Social media has immense power to expose people and companies which are engaging in exploitative, potentially unlawful, or irresponsible behaviour. By ensuring all their actions and decisions are ethical, fit for public scrutiny and transparent, leaders can build a culture of openness, integrity and trust.

When taking a decision that is potentially risky or damaging to one or more groups of stakeholders, leader can ask questions such as: “Would I be happy for my friends and family to see this decision, and the consequences, reported on a major social media platform like Twitter?” As well as measuring themselves against this type of standard, the best leaders ensure their employees are held accountable to similar standards, reducing the risks of unethical behaviour or a poor decision that can undermine trust, reputation, and customer loyalty.

Bridge the gap between words and actions

It is imperative that leaders’ words are matched by consistent and reliable follow-through so people can trust they will do what they say. If leaders don’t follow through on their commitments, people will quickly lose trust and respect in them. Even little discrepancies between promises and actions can undermine trust as it is a fragile bond, especially when a leader is new in role and they are still building up connections and trust with their people.

Tackle misinformation and fake news

One of the downsides of pervasive social media is that it amplifies fake news and misinformation. It is important for leaders to understand and tackle untruths and misinformation decisively by highlighting inaccuracies, especially if they pose a risk to staff or the business. They should ensure people have good access to reliable, fact-checked sources of information they can count on.

Be honest about bad news

Attempting to shield employees from bad news undermines trust and disempowers employees as they can’t help to tackle the problem. It is therefore imperative that leaders speak as much as possible from their heart, adopting an ‘open and honest’ policy when it comes to dealing with negative news such as layoffs, failure to secure additional funding, poor sales performance, etc. In this new digital age, the truth will quickly be outed if leaders try to hide tough messages from staff, as the rumour mill is now super-charged by online communities and social media channels. It is clearly always important to judge the timing of the communication and deliver bad news in a considered and compassionate manner. However, it is vital to be open and honest insofar as possible.

Trust is at the heart of positive leadership. However, in a dynamic, digital world characterized by information overload, misinformation, fake news and growing employee and stakeholder scrutiny, leaders are struggling to build high levels of trust and respect among employees and other stakeholders. By being open, transparent, decisive and collaborative, leaders will build stronger bonds of trust with employees to unlock their engagement, effort, and excellence.