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Leadership and Interpersonal Skills

Leadership and Interpersonal Skills

Develop your workforce with leadership and interpersonal skills, such as communication, to reap the business benefits. Study online with programs designed for working professionals.

Grow employees by equipping them with leadership and people skills through online courses

High-impact leadership and interpersonal skills drive business advantage in a volatile, uncertain world, where industry is simultaneously accelerating and becoming more complex.1 Effective leadership skills – defined by technical competence, emotional and organizational intelligence, and empathetic qualities – can fuel lasting business success.

Despite the understanding that investment in leadership development drives better business outcomes, 84 percent of organizations anticipate a shortfall of leaders.2 Other reports show that 83 percent believe it critical to train leaders across the board,3 and that building leadership skills is important to prepare for an unknown future.4

In the past, leading was about ensuring compliance and goal-setting, but there’s been a shift – leadership is now centred around coaching, collaborating, and fostering employees’ ability to learn and adapt.5 Rigid ‘command and control’ type corporate hierarchies have given way to flatter structures,6 and employees expect more from leadership than ever before. Teams want transformation not only to be about boosting business capabilities but also about mirroring and respecting employee values.7

Leadership in the changing business landscape

While emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and machine learning have much to offer in terms of automation, it is human skill and imagination that ultimately propel success.8 However, these disruptive technologies have led to a significant shift in the kind of human talent required by businesses.

We now work in the ‘Age of Insight’ where data and data analytics drive customer and organizational innovation.9 Transformation is driven by big data – converted into insight – but it is leaders, managers and teams who make data-driven decisions. The challenge of leadership in this era is to use this deep insight to power employee potential, through initiatives such as mentorship, professional development courses, and online corporate training programs.

The business case for leaders who focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) is strong, revealing a likelihood for their organizations to outperform competitors.10 Those with 30 percent more women executives were shown to surpass competing businesses.11 In addition, organizations that display more ethnic and cultural diversity are likely to out-earn their industry peers.12

Global demographics have also changed in such a way that leaders need to manage a workplace where five generations are now working side by side. Each generation has different needs and skill sets: older generations need to upgrade their technical skills, and younger generations (who are taking up management roles) require interpersonal and leadership development.13

As organizations balance this multi-generational workforce, the automation of rote tasks increases, and remote working becomes the norm, effective leadership becomes vitally important. This is because workers need to feel engaged, secure and comfortable in order to be innovative and creative. High-impact leaders contribute to creating these environments where employees can be productive and thrive.14

Leadership plays a significant role in shaping a positive employee experience and in building a better workplace culture. Research shows that employee attitudes fuel organizational and individual performance, and that leaders can enhance or erode that performance through their influence on teams.15

The benefits of corporate leadership training

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that organizations, and the leaders that drive them, are capable of massive change and personal growth when stress-tested by crises. To capitalize on this forward-moving potential, organizations will need to continue being adaptable, decisive, and bold. Investing in leadership and ‘soft’ or interpersonal skills development will help ensure continued growth.16 Interpersonal skills include creativity, driving motivation, problem-solving, communication, negotiating and mentoring employees to do their best work.

Simply put, organizations can thrive if they become human at the core.17 Management now needs to focus on acquiring leadership qualities such as empathy and integrity to drive new business objectives: sustainability, worker well-being, and diversity, equity and inclusion.18

Although the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) can automate many business processes, technology isn’t capable of empathy, which is why interpersonal skills are key to leadership success. Surveys show that when managers don’t communicate with employees effectively to help them achieve their career goals, it leads to high staff turnover.19

Future-proof your organization through upskilling and reskilling

When executives were asked what they ranked most highly to navigate future disruptions, 72 percent responded that the ability of their employees to adapt, reskill, and move into new roles was critical. Of the respondents, 41 percent suggested that the most important action they had taken was enabling the mobility of workers through upskilling and reskilling.20

Leadership and interpersonal skills training are an integral part of people development within organizations because it renders the company future fit. Upskilling and reskilling has been identified as the top priority for learning and development (L&D) professionals, with leadership and management skills development following closely (59 percent and 53 percent respectively).21

To close the gap on management and leadership training, L&D are shifting away from once-off training or coaching, and rather encourage teams to embrace an ‘always-learning’ mindset. As a natural part of the work-from-home lifestyle, 79 percent of L&D departments expect to spend more on online learning.22

By dynamically reskilling and upskilling employees on management, leadership and interpersonal skills, organizations are investing in their own success.


1Finn, P., Mysore, M., Usher, O. (Nov, 2020). ‘When nothing is normal: managing in extreme uncertainty’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
2Velasquez, R. (Jul, 2020). ‘13 shocking leadership development statistics’. Retrieved from InfoPro Learning.
3Vardhman, R. (Nov, 2020). ‘22 inspiring leadership statistics for a successful 2021’. Retrieved from GoRemotely.
4Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
5Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
6De Smet, A., et al. (Jun, 2020). ‘Ready, set, go: reinventing the organization for speed in the post-COVID-19 era’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
7Schrage, M., et al. (Jan, 2021). ‘Leadership’s digital transformation: leading purposefully in an era of context collapse’. Retrieved from MIT Sloan Management Review.
8Bennet, D., Westerman, G. (Nov, 2020). ‘The new elements of digital transformation’. Retrieved from MIT Sloan Management Review.
9Neri, A. (Jul, 2020). ‘How COVID-19 ended the information era and ushered in the Age of Insight’. Retrieved from World Economic Forum.
10Dixon-Fyle, S., et al. (May, 2020). ‘Diversity wins: why inclusion matters’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
11Dixon-Fyle, S., et al. (May, 2020). ‘Diversity wins: why inclusion matters’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
12Dolan, K., et al. (May, 2020). ‘Diversity matters’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
13(Sep, 2020). ‘The future of work is here’. Retrieved from GetSmarter.
14Alexander, A., et al. (Jul, 2020). ‘Reimagining the post-pandemic workforce’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
15Mosley, E. (Mar, 2021). ‘This year, performance management must become agile’. Retrieved from Forbes.
16(Sep, 2020). ‘What now? Decisive actions to emerge stronger in the next normal’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
17Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
18Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
19Akhtar, A., Hroncich, C. (Sep,2020). ‘20 soft skills every leader needs to be successful’. Retrieved from Business Insider.
20Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
21(Nd). ‘Workplace learning report: 2021 skill building in the new world of work’. Retrieved from LinkedIn. Accessed on 20 May, 2020.
22(Nd). ‘Workplace learning report: 2021 skill building in the new world of work’. Retrieved from LinkedIn. Accessed on 20 May, 2020.


Grow employees by equipping them with leadership and people skills through online courses

High-impact leadership and interpersonal skills drive business advantage in a volatile, uncertain world, where industry is simultaneously accelerating and becoming more complex.1 Effective leadership skills – defined by technical competence, emotional and organizational intelligence, and empathetic qualities – can fuel lasting business success.

Despite the understanding that investment in leadership development drives better business outcomes, 84 percent of organizations anticipate a shortfall of leaders.2 Other reports show that 83 percent believe it critical to train leaders across the board,3 and that building leadership skills is important to prepare for an unknown future.4

In the past, leading was about ensuring compliance and goal-setting, but there’s been a shift – leadership is now centred around coaching, collaborating, and fostering employees’ ability to learn and adapt.5 Rigid ‘command and control’ type corporate hierarchies have given way to flatter structures,6 and employees expect more from leadership than ever before. Teams want transformation not only to be about boosting business capabilities but also about mirroring and respecting employee values.7

Leadership in the changing business landscape

While emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and machine learning have much to offer in terms of automation, it is human skill and imagination that ultimately propel success.8 However, these disruptive technologies have led to a significant shift in the kind of human talent required by businesses.

We now work in the ‘Age of Insight’ where data and data analytics drive customer and organizational innovation.9 Transformation is driven by big data – converted into insight – but it is leaders, managers and teams who make data-driven decisions. The challenge of leadership in this era is to use this deep insight to power employee potential, through initiatives such as mentorship, professional development courses, and online corporate training programs.

The business case for leaders who focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) is strong, revealing a likelihood for their organizations to outperform competitors.10 Those with 30 percent more women executives were shown to surpass competing businesses.11 In addition, organizations that display more ethnic and cultural diversity are likely to out-earn their industry peers.12

Global demographics have also changed in such a way that leaders need to manage a workplace where five generations are now working side by side. Each generation has different needs and skill sets: older generations need to upgrade their technical skills, and younger generations (who are taking up management roles) require interpersonal and leadership development.13

As organizations balance this multi-generational workforce, the automation of rote tasks increases, and remote working becomes the norm, effective leadership becomes vitally important. This is because workers need to feel engaged, secure and comfortable in order to be innovative and creative. High-impact leaders contribute to creating these environments where employees can be productive and thrive.14

Leadership plays a significant role in shaping a positive employee experience and in building a better workplace culture. Research shows that employee attitudes fuel organizational and individual performance, and that leaders can enhance or erode that performance through their influence on teams.15

The benefits of corporate leadership training

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that organizations, and the leaders that drive them, are capable of massive change and personal growth when stress-tested by crises. To capitalize on this forward-moving potential, organizations will need to continue being adaptable, decisive, and bold. Investing in leadership and ‘soft’ or interpersonal skills development will help ensure continued growth.16 Interpersonal skills include creativity, driving motivation, problem-solving, communication, negotiating and mentoring employees to do their best work.

Simply put, organizations can thrive if they become human at the core.17 Management now needs to focus on acquiring leadership qualities such as empathy and integrity to drive new business objectives: sustainability, worker well-being, and diversity, equity and inclusion.18

Although the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) can automate many business processes, technology isn’t capable of empathy, which is why interpersonal skills are key to leadership success. Surveys show that when managers don’t communicate with employees effectively to help them achieve their career goals, it leads to high staff turnover.19

Future-proof your organization through upskilling and reskilling

When executives were asked what they ranked most highly to navigate future disruptions, 72 percent responded that the ability of their employees to adapt, reskill, and move into new roles was critical. Of the respondents, 41 percent suggested that the most important action they had taken was enabling the mobility of workers through upskilling and reskilling.20

Leadership and interpersonal skills training are an integral part of people development within organizations because it renders the company future fit. Upskilling and reskilling has been identified as the top priority for learning and development (L&D) professionals, with leadership and management skills development following closely (59 percent and 53 percent respectively).21

To close the gap on management and leadership training, L&D are shifting away from once-off training or coaching, and rather encourage teams to embrace an ‘always-learning’ mindset. As a natural part of the work-from-home lifestyle, 79 percent of L&D departments expect to spend more on online learning.22

By dynamically reskilling and upskilling employees on management, leadership and interpersonal skills, organizations are investing in their own success.

Sources

1Finn, P., Mysore, M., Usher, O. (Nov, 2020). ‘When nothing is normal: managing in extreme uncertainty’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
2Velasquez, R. (Jul, 2020). ‘13 shocking leadership development statistics’. Retrieved from InfoPro Learning.
3Vardhman, R. (Nov, 2020). ‘22 inspiring leadership statistics for a successful 2021’. Retrieved from GoRemotely.
4Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
5Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
6De Smet, A., et al. (Jun, 2020). ‘Ready, set, go: reinventing the organization for speed in the post-COVID-19 era’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
7Schrage, M., et al. (Jan, 2021). ‘Leadership’s digital transformation: leading purposefully in an era of context collapse’. Retrieved from MIT Sloan Management Review.
8Bennet, D., Westerman, G. (Nov, 2020). ‘The new elements of digital transformation’. Retrieved from MIT Sloan Management Review.
9Neri, A. (Jul, 2020). ‘How COVID-19 ended the information era and ushered in the Age of Insight’. Retrieved from World Economic Forum.
10Dixon-Fyle, S., et al. (May, 2020). ‘Diversity wins: why inclusion matters’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
11Dixon-Fyle, S., et al. (May, 2020). ‘Diversity wins: why inclusion matters’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
12Dolan, K., et al. (May, 2020). ‘Diversity matters’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
13(Sep, 2020). ‘The future of work is here’. Retrieved from GetSmarter.
14Alexander, A., et al. (Jul, 2020). ‘Reimagining the post-pandemic workforce’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
15Mosley, E. (Mar, 2021). ‘This year, performance management must become agile’. Retrieved from Forbes.
16(Sep, 2020). ‘What now? Decisive actions to emerge stronger in the next normal’. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company.
17Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
18Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
19Akhtar, A., Hroncich, C. (Sep,2020). ‘20 soft skills every leader needs to be successful’. Retrieved from Business Insider.
20Kaji, J., et al. (2020). ‘The social enterprise in a world disrupted. 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends’. Retrieved from Deloitte Insights.
21(Nd). ‘Workplace learning report: 2021 skill building in the new world of work’. Retrieved from LinkedIn. Accessed on 20 May, 2020.
22(Nd). ‘Workplace learning report: 2021 skill building in the new world of work’. Retrieved from LinkedIn. Accessed on 20 May, 2020.

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