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What are your staff’s post-pandemic expectations? Discover Connected Leadership and how social media can help

The pandemic has changed the way the world operates, the way families connect and the way people work and expect to work in the future. Expectations of employers are different too and as we dare to see some light at the end of the COVID tunnel, we ask employers if they understand what's expected of them in a post-pandemic world?

The consultancy business, The Brunswick Group, is on the case to help businesses prepare. It recently published its Connected Leadership report for 2021 which shows the extent of the shift in expectations of leaders to be more accessible, transparent and connected. This shift has been rapidly accelerated over the last 12 months since the COVID-19 pandemic, as geographically dispersed and remote teams become the norm for all businesses and not just large, global organisations.

The findings of the Brunswick Group from over 11,000 participants in 13 countries, show that despite this rapid change, the UK still lags behind the rest of the world with only 38% of participants stating they believe they work for a connected leader vs a global average of 51%.

What is Connected Leadership and what does it mean in 2021?

“Connected Leadership is engaging, authentic, and sustained. Connected Leaders embrace digital sources to get closer to employees. They directly engage stakeholders through new forms of communication and on issues beyond the balance sheet. Their connectivity is their resiliency through today’s crises and tomorrow’s.”

Brunswick Group, Connected Leadership report, 2021

The Brunswick Group’s report lists five behaviours and advantages of connected leadership that need to be acknowledged and acted upon. Explore these in full by downloading your copy of the report or read on for our summary of learnings.

Reach people where they are

43% of participants said the use of social and digital media better connects teams. Tools like Slack, Yammer and Zoom are now commonplace. Employees expect communication to be a two-way conversation and want to be engaged with video, images and accessible, real language.

On social media it’s not just LinkedIn that employees expect to be engaged on. In fact, the results of the survey showed that 79% of employees accessed LinkedIn more than once in a week, whereas over 90% had accessed YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram several times in a week.

Connected Leadership report

Work will not be the same after the pandemic

20% of participants believe that they will continue to work remotely after the pandemic, be that full time or part time. Since the pandemic impacted the location from which we are able to work, 89% of participants who have had to work remotely say that they are most likely to get their information from social media.

A competitive business advantage

Social media plays a huge part in connecting business leaders to their teams. Leaders who embrace social media, using the right platforms for the markets in which they operate, stand a better chance of engaging employees and retaining talent.

46% of participants stated that they believe a CEO who embraces social media is more accessible and approachable. A huge 60% of the global participants told the Brunswick Group they researched the CEOs on social media when considering joining a company. Staggeringly 80% of participants said a CEO’s reputation was a crucial component in employee retention.

Connected leaderhip ceo

Build and sustain trust

Leaders who connect via social media are more likely to inspire the trust of their employees. 74% of participants trust CEOs who use social media, more than those that don’t. 95% of participants cited benefits and compensation as the most important factors to keep them in their current roles. 92% said it was leaders who communicate transparently and directly.

connected leadership trust

Lead through crisis

Social media plays a critical role in managing the reputation of leaders, and also the company. 28% of participants stated they felt using social media made leaders more effective in times of crisis.

And it's not just COVID-19 issues that employees expect to see connected leadership through. Employees expect to see CEOs owning and responding to crises relating to social and political issues, as well as diversity and inclusion.

The Brunswick Group concludes that

“Realising the full potential of Connected Leadership is a journey that executives in any industry can take to advance their business objectives, connect with stakeholders, and lead with the unmatched scale and agility of digital and social media platforms”.

During a time of crisis and uncertainty and business collapses, there have been horror stories where employees have learned of the likely loss of their jobs through the media. CEOs and business leaders have a duty of care to ensure that employees receive information in the manner in which they expect and that reflects authentic, transparent, empathetic, and above-all, connected leadership.

Social media is not just a marketing channel that sits within a marketing function of a business. It is a fundamental tool for business operations that can connect leaders to their teams and their customers. The benefits of connecting via social media facilitate increased collaboration, empowerment, trust, retention and reputation. 

Are these benefits ones you and your business can afford to lose?

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