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Post-COVID staff value autonomy, reveals survey

written by Staff reporter | July 20, 2022

Qantas and Jetstar aircraft lined up together at Sydney Airport (Seth Jaworski)

Employees in post-COVID-19 workplaces expect more autonomy in how they meet their targets and objectives, according to a landmark survey.

The Evolution of Leadership Report 2022 questioned more than 1,000 Australian professionals and found staff increasingly shun micro-management and ‘task-focused’ delegation.

The report, which you can download here, was created by new leadership brand HR Leader and business management software provider The Access Group.

It delves into how people work most effectively, what makes a good leader, how the role is changing, and the HR and management interventions in a leader’s toolkit to keep people engaged while performing and developing.

John Maley, HR Director at The Access Group commented in the report, “COVID-19 has accelerated some of the usually evolving workplace changes, including an expectation that employees can work remotely and be effective. Whilst that may have been the sort of change that developed over a decade or more, it has been forced upon us.

“Additionally, how we are emerging from COVID-19, with a stifling of the labour market supply, is also causing a seismic change in the way we approach managing our colleagues and teams. The war for talent has seldom have been fiercer.”

“Unless an employee is very junior or new to a role, micro-managing and task-focused delegation is out, and divesting of outcome and output responsibility is in,” said HR Leader’s editor, Shandel McAuliffe.

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“The Evolution of Leadership Report 2022 gets to the heart of what it means to be a leader, what’s expected of HR in terms of supporting business leaders, and how the roles are changing. It’s a very interesting time to be in HR and leadership.”

The full report contains insights from The Access Group and newly minted HR and leadership brand HR Leader, as well as leadership and workplace relations specialists. Backed by a comprehensive survey, the report is a must-read for HR, people leaders, and line managers alike.

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