6 Leadership Development Trends To Watch Out In 2021 - FocusU

6 Leadership Development Trends To Watch Out In 2021

We are living in extraordinary times, and it comes with equally extraordinary share of challenges. The organizations and the L&D ecosystems are witnessing an unprecedented shift in how we used to operate. The organizations that are still thriving are the ones who could quickly navigate their way through these times. They were ale to re-organise their business processes, customer interactions, and adopted technology in a huge way. When going through such massive changes, the obvious pressure and onus of navigating these changes falls in the lap of the leaders and the L&D team of the organisation. And these changes bring a host of new trends and leadership practices for leaders to adapt to, and cope up with.

So, what are some of the trends we see picking up this year that help smoothen the process and paves the way forward? Let’s discuss the top six –

1. Physical Wellbeing

The pandemic has been difficult, and exposed the vulnerability poor health can render us with. Employees currently are wary of their own health and that of their loved ones. While wellbeing is largely a personal initiative, L&D teams are ensuring that they also act as drivers for better health initiatives. Many employers are arranging for vaccinations for their employees and their immediate family. There are also several employers and L&D leaders who are driving wellness as one of their core initiatives for 2021. From fitness challenges to building lasting micro-habits, L&D leaders are trying out several things. 

2. Resilience

While the number of active Covid cases continue to rise and fall across geographies, it has left a lasting fear in everyone’s heart. This continues to deliver a massive blow to the mental health. Employers are cognisant of this and have started acknowledging the need for paid-time-offs for mental health. They are also encouraging counselling sessions for those who might need it. Along with this, companies are extensively training their employees on building a growth mindset, handing failure, and building resilience

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3. Work-life balance

Working from home comes with its own share of pros and cons, with the most obvious cons being meeting the demands of work deadlines and navigating the blurring lines between work and personal time. L&D has pivoted its role in ensuring employees are well-equipped to manage the time pressures and meet their work commitments. Trainings around time management, managing stress, change management has proved to be helpful. 

4. Learning & Development

With a significant shift in operations came an inevitable need in scaling up the training and developmental needs of the employees. Keeping into account that one can no longer spend a full-day on a training on Zoom sessions now, organizations quickly shifted focus to microlearning, e-learning, game-based learning, gamified learning and online simulations. 

5. Diversity and Inclusion

While D&I has always been a focus area for organisations, the remote work also increased diversified hiring from various geographies. This naturally meant re-looking at cross-cultural awareness and re-evaluating the company culture

6. Team-building and Engagement

With almost no face-to-face interaction with team members, L&D had to devise interesting ways to foster deeper, and more meaning conversations between the team. From lighter banter to virtual happy hours, it is vital to get the team spirit going. Virtual coffee connects, celebrating recognitions, and trying out virtual team engagement activities – L&D teams are giving everything a try. 


Regardless of what the future holds for us, some of the current trends are here to stay. The extent of rapid digitisation that has seen the light of the day can not be undone. There are bound to be newer additions and enhancements, but flexibility, focus on learning initiatives, and technology will only further strengthen the L&D ecosystem. 

I would love to hear from you about the trends that you a re most excited about, and the ones you may find inconvenient.

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