1 in 3 managers find leadership more challenging in a hybrid world

The post-pandemic world continues to be defined by remote work, with 40% of UK workers working away from the office at least once per week –  the highest proportion recorded since the end of the third lockdown.  However, new research from Coursera – one of the world’s largest online learning platforms –  illuminates the ways in which the rise of hybrid work – combined with digital transformation – is creating challenges for remote and hybrid managers worldwide, with 34% stating that hybrid work has changed leadership for the worse. 

The biggest resulting challenges created for managers in a hybrid world, according to the research, are:

Ignoring their own work-life boundaries (cited as a top challenge by 38% of respondents)Team morale and company culture is neglected (37%)Communicating with credibility (30%)Prioritizing incorrectly (29%)Micromanagement (27%)

The report also identifies the increasing importance of middle-management roles in driving company culture and supporting organizational performance. Top leadership priorities for those in middle management positions include:

Motivating teams and leading by example (cited as a top priority by 57% of respondents)Setting clear goals (54%)Encouraging teamwork (51%)Empowerment (48%)Feedback and nurturing growth (48%)

Coursera, an online learning platform supporting more than 118 million registered learners across the world, surveyed 1000 people managers in 8 countries: the United Kingdom (N=200), the United States, India, Australia, Mexico, France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. The survey report, conducted in collaboration with leadership champion GitLab and survey partner OnePoll, explores the nature of contemporary leadership, the key leadership areas upon which organizations should focus, and the specific skills today’s leaders require to connect, inspire, and thrive.

Zac Rule, Vice-President for Enterprise at Coursera, said: “There is a growing sense of urgency within businesses recognising the immediate need to provide high-quality leadership training. This report is designed to provide organizations with the insight necessary to adopt a skills-first approach to that training. We look forward to continued collaboration with businesses in the UK to help employees at all levels develop the new, job-relevant skills needed to become successful leaders in the modern workplace.”

Pressure building around employee skills development, coupled with the challenges in reporting soft skills impact and the difficulty of finding targeted and easy-to-execute leadership programs, means L & D leaders have to figure out how to scale leadership training quickly, at a reasonable cost. 

To this end, Coursera currently supports the skills development of 19 million learners in the United Kingdom, who are able to access 3,400+ Guided Projects, 5,400+ courses, 625+ Specializations, more than 125 Certificates (of which 30 are Entry-Level Professional Certificates), and 35+ degrees. 

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