Recent workplace trends point to a continuing evolution in how individuals can thrive in their jobs, and to what organizations can do to cultivate excellence while retaining valuable employees.

Although the goals may seem clear, the path will only be effortless if organizations focus on fostering the leadership of their employees.

Leadership is about individuals understanding their talents, strengths and skills; knowing what they want to contribute; and being able to successfully offer their best to help achieve organizational goals. This becomes particularly important with a blended workforce, i.e., full-time employees working alongside freelancers on projects. As the gig economy grows, leadership efficacy is paramount because success depends on collaboration that must be cultivated through leadership rather than authority.

The gig economy is also driving related changes in the workforce, by sending the formal performance review to the wayside. As the lines defining employees’ status blur, performance reviews give way to on-going conversations.  Employees are asking for continuous feedback; these conversations come naturally to those living leadership because consistent, open, honest engagement is a hallmark of leadership. These leaders naturally give feedback that guides employees to fully embracing their leadership potential. True leaders don’t fear employee development; they eagerly support it.

With 76 percent of current employees actively looking or open to new job opportunities, the modern workforce is revealing its eagerness to showcase its leadership. No longer are individuals satisfied to be cogs in a process. Workers are yearning for meaningful contribution, particularly in high-functioning teams.

Cultivating leadership is the way to attract, excite and retain a successful workforce.

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