What makes a better director post pandemic?

Andrew Wilkinson is chair of the IoD’s newly formed Greater Birmingham branch. He considers what being a ‘better director’ might mean as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Good company directors will acknowledge the critical role their employees have played by adapting fast and moving with agility in this past 12 months. Flexible working is here to stay, digital technology has revolutionised the way we connect with each other and staff have proved they can work very productively outside a traditional office – this could herald the end of the micro-manager.

Progressive directors will understand that this is not the time to be thinking about returning to business as usual. Our companies have undergone a seismic change in a short period of time and, while unwelcome, this upheaval has presented an opportunity for directors to reconsider their approach and reconnect with stakeholders in a new way.

Post pandemic, employees are less likely to accept working for outmoded, outdated organisations. A genuinely sustainable approach – which isn’t a box-ticking exercise but is knitted right into the fabric of the organisation – will be important, as will an inclusive and diverse company culture. The importance of supporting the wellbeing of our employees and their mental health has also been highlighted by the impact of Covid-19.

This more enlightened approach should be reflected in the language and tone of voice an organisation applies to its internal and external organisations. Millennials and Gen Zs now dominate both the workforce and customer bases and a better director will be aware that they – more than ever – want to connect with businesses which are authentic, compassionate and mindful of their impact on the planet.”

The IoD offers a range of training and development opportunities for new and experienced directors. Find out more here.

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