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Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
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Why Leadership is Tougher Now in Today’s Workplace

The crises, challenges, and changes continue to stress leaders, managers, and employees at all levels. Many people are finding it difficult to respond and react the right way due to the confluence of factors that they did not have to think about just a few years ago.

If your team is experiencing any of these workplace issues, additional leadership resources may be necessary:

1. Remote work. Many companies have transitioned to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes it more difficult for leaders to effectively communicate with and manage their teams.

2. Economic uncertainty.  The ongoing economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic has led to financial pressures and job insecurity for many workers, making it harder for leaders to maintain employee morale and motivation.

3. Political and social issues. The US workplace is currently facing a number of political and social issues that can create tension and division among employees.

4. Remote work burnout. Remote work can lead to burnout for some employees, making it harder for leaders to identify and address specific issues. Burnout is a huge problem, especially in healthcare. For my 2023 white paper, BURNOUT: THE CRISIS IN HEALTHCARE please visit

5. Virtual communication miscommunication. Virtual communication can be less effective than face-to-face communication, making it harder for leaders to build trust and connections with team members. It is more difficult to read body language and nuances through an electronic device.

6. Lack of face-to-face interactions. Even organizations that are not 100% remote are seeing less face-to-face interactions, which can make it harder for leaders and managers to build relationships, trust, and loyalty with their team members.

7. Increased workload and stress. Many employees are facing increased workloads and stress due to the ongoing crises, challenges, and changes, making it harder for leaders to maintain employee well-being and productivity. It is taking longer to replace employees who may have left looking for better opportunities. Their departure creates additional work and stress on the people who are having to pick up the extra work.

8. Remote management. Leading a remote team requires a distinct set of skills, which some leaders may not possess. It requires more deliberate effort, since just stopping by to talk is not an option. It requires more frequent touch points, and more scheduling conversations to stay connected.

9. Cybersecurity. Hacking and cyber concerns are increasingly common in today’s workplace, making it harder for leaders to protect sensitive company and employee information. Last year witnessed an unprecedented number of cyber hacking attempts. Businesses of all sizes should be concerned about cyber hacking and take steps to protect themselves. Cyber-attacks can have profound consequences including financial losses, damage to reputation, and disruption to operations. Hackers often target small businesses because they may have fewer resources and less sophisticated security measures in place, making them easier targets. Additionally, small businesses may be more reliant on their online presence and may store sensitive customer data, making them potentially more valuable targets for hackers.

10. Changes make it difficult to maintain a positive organizational culture. Changes are exciting for some people and wildly disruptive to others. Workplace changes over the past few years can cause some people to become more withdrawn and worried. Others may be less interested in the company’s goals as they feel uncertain about being able to adapt. This can make it more difficult to build a positive corporate culture.

Leaders need to remind their teams of their mission, vision, and goals.

Managers can remind their people that the organization only functions because of its people.

Workers can be alert to stressors that may impact those around them and can offer support and conversation to talk through viable solutions.



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