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Focus on outcomes 'vital in wake of COVID'  

By philip-king-momentummedia-com-au
July 19 2022
1 minute read

Remote working has changed the game for management, says Evolution of Leadership Report.

An “outcome focused” approach to work achieves the best results because staff increasingly value autonomy in decision making, according to a survey of business leaders.  

The shift to remote working in the wake of COVID had changed the game for businesses, the survey found, with a reduced need for close supervision.


The Evolution of Leadership Report 2022, which quizzed more than 1,000 professionals across a range of industries and company sizes, said businesses had to be more flexible than ever to keep people safe while meeting evolving commercial demands.

Launched by the Access Group and HR Leader, the report said since COVID, an increased focus on diversity, equity and inclusion alongside global political unrest meant what made a good leader was changing.

John Maley, HR director at the Access Group said: “COVID-19 has accelerated some of the usually evolving workplace changes, including an expectation that employees can work remotely and be effective. Whilst that may have been the sort of change that developed over a decade or more, it has been forced upon us.”

“Additionally, how we are emerging from COVID-19, with a stifling of the labour market supply, is also causing a seismic change in the way we approach managing our colleagues and teams. The war for talent can seldom have been fiercer.”

The survey found many professions are moving away from traditional 9 to 5 clock-in/clock-out ways of working to greater flexibility, with outcome-focused work becoming more popular.

This research found that almost 9 in 10 (88 per cent) of professionals surveyed believe that operating, at least in part, in an outcome- focused environment delivers the best business outcomes.

“However, while this shift has enabled many benefits for employees, it has forced organisations to rapidly adopt new technologies and ensure their business leaders are capable of leading teams with clear visions while fostering a new level of trust between team leaders and employees,” the report said.

The editor of HR Leader, Shandel McAuliffe, said the report got to the heart of what it took to be a leader.

“Unless an employee is very junior or new to a role, micro-managing and task-focused delegation is out, and divesting of outcome and output responsibility is in,” she said.

“The Evolution of Leadership Report 2022 gets to the heart of what it means to be a leader, what’s expected of HR in terms of supporting business leaders, and how the roles are changing. It’s a very interesting time to be in HR and leadership.”

The full report contains insights from the Access Group and new HR and leadership publication HR Leader, as well as from leadership and workplace relations specialists.


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Philip King

Philip King

Philip King is editor of Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.
Philip joined the titles in March 2022 and brings extensive experience from a variety of roles at The Australian national broadsheet daily, most recently as motoring editor. His background also takes in spells on diverse consumer and trade magazines.
You can email Philip on: [email protected].au