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How managers need to adapt to the new world of work

How managers need to adapt to the new world of work

Digitalisation, automation, flatter hierarchies, globalisation – these are some of the major ways the modern work place is evolving. For managers to lead thriving teams, they need to possess the skills needed to operate in an environment that requires resilience and adaptability; a workforce that is agile is ultimately one which will drive better results.

The essential leadership skills have therefore changed to meet shifting standards of best practice. So what are these crucial traits? See below.


Arguably the most important skill for any modern professional to have, agility is particularly vital to team leaders who need to understand people, performance and growth. Primarily rooted in soft skills, a leader’s agility will determine how well they bounce back from setbacks, how well they adapt to change and how they can assess their own performance.

Agility is considered across 3 key aspects

Morgan Philips agility framework infographics
  • People Agility: Understanding self and others, and acting with empathy and interpersonal insight to achieve results ("empathy and emotional intelligence")
  • Performance agility: Dealing with pressure, being resilient, flexing and adapting plans to meet objectives
  • Growth Agility: Openness to learn from experience and drive for improvements ("fixed/growth mindset")

For more insights into workplace agility, download our Executive Briefing, designed to help leaders develop agility in individuals and teams.

Communication and interpersonal skills

Being able to develop relationships, monitor performance and assign duties are the keystone responsibilities for team leaders. Nowadays, technology has enabled remote working, requiring managers to balance communication between in-house and off-site teams. Understanding how to bring together a team that does not work in the same space is a challenging, but essential skill for leaders in the new world of work.

Struggling to develop a relationship with your remote team members? Click here to read more details about managing a remote team.

When discussing the importance of soft skills, emotional intelligence ranks highly on sought-after qualities. In a time when mental wellbeing is a concern for many professionals, emotional intelligence is valued for its ability to identify and manage personal concerns in colleagues. Although great managers won’t actively seek close friendships with their team, it is nevertheless important for them to recognise the nuances of an individual’s health and life outside of work.


Yet another soft skill needed in a manager’s repertoire, creativity is an asset that strategically rivals automation. With AI being used to manage administrative tasks, the door is open for managers to add a human touch where possible. Innovation and bespoke services can propel a business ahead of its competition. In a competitive, candidate-driven market, creativity, and the resourcefulness it brings, can help the best managers stand out.

A great manager should always be willing to learn. With the help of courses and networking events, team leaders can be inspired to think outside the box, and subsequently adapt their new findings into their leadership.


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