Top Workplace Trend Number 9

Top Ten Work Trends Quarterly Updates

A diverse group of SIOP members are serving as Trend Champions for the people-related work trends that SIOP members collaboratively predicted to be the most impactful in 2023. Each Trend Champion has expertise in and professional passion for their trend subject. SIOP appreciates their service to the profession in providing quarterly updates on their chosen topics.

Find the full list of topics and links to the other Top 10 Work Trends here

Trend #9: Leadership Development and Coaching

2023 4th Quarter Update

To what extent does “managerialism exist? How can it be measured? What exactly are its  mechanisms, antecedents, and consequents? In what situations might a leader’s primary role be  simply to preserve power differentials as opposed to more practically useful functions, and what  might be important outcomes of this? Leadership is the most consequential force driving human  affairs. The success of any institution – militaries, governments, school systems, organizations – depends on who is making the decisions. Bad leadership is much more common. The base rate of  executive failure is around 65%, and most of the workforce, around 75% or so, say the worst  aspect of their job is a tyrannical boss. In leader development, a reverse trend in confidence in  the leaders of major institutions and annual spending on leadership development has been  observed over a decade. We spend more and more to develop leaders, but we are less and less  satisfied with the leaders and corporations are still concerned about insufficient bench strength  for future talent needs. The evaluation problem has been identified as one of the persistent,  overarching problems that frequently undermines the impact of leadership development efforts. Leadership development involves a wide range of practices acknowledged as essential for  maximizing the potential of an organization’s human capital and growth opportunities. This is  reflected in the estimated 40 billion spent on leadership development annually in the US. To  maximize the ROI, leadership development programs and initiatives must be designed with  attention to current research and best practices. When implementing a leadership development  program, it is essential to begin by forming a leadership competency model or a framework of  relevant knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics particular to the organization. Not  surprisingly, leadership scholars emphasize the multifaceted nature of skills, which can involve  cognitive, interpersonal, business, and strategic skills, each of which may be necessary at  different levels of the organizational hierarchy. This type of planning behavior acts as a catalyst  for creating effective leadership development initiatives, while also identifying the specific  elements of a leader’s identity that align with the organization’s needs. Leadership development  initiatives include formal programs and policies instituted by an organization to improve the  quality of leader performance. They can be structured training programs targeted at cultivating  leadership skills, or experiential learning that presents leaders with novel challenges to  overcome. It is essential to Develop programs and processes that enable participants to build and  improve upon current skills. This includes the use and interpretation of personality and skill based assessments, assessment centers, instruction, role plays, and action learning. Also important is to employ seasoned and credentialed professionals who work with individuals and  teams to help them learn, grow and change. Coaching engagements may focus on imparting  specific skills, addressing performance issues on the job, preparing for and facilitating transitions  to higher levels of leadership, or supporting broader changes in individual and group behavior. Using a results-oriented approach, you can an assess the effectiveness of learning and  development programs and track individual learners’ achievements as a result of program  participation. It is imperative to actively measure, impact, effectiveness, and value of L&D  programs with defined outcomes and needs. Partnering to perform a needs assessment that  identified skill gaps and development needs by designing and delivering training and  development programs tailored to address those needs. The perceived and realized value of  learning and development programs is demonstrated by using reliable and valid metrics with meaning to stakeholders. Development programs aligned with appropriate career paths are most  effective. Executive coaching engagements under a clear set of criteria, timelines, and  measurable outcomes; financial investment, participant development, and coaching effectiveness  should be tracked all across the organization to gauge differences pre-post.

2023 3rd Quarter Update

According to numerous studies, Emotional intelligence (EI) is a crucial element of effective leadership, styles, performance, and emergence. It can have a favorable impact on a variety of working variables such as job satisfaction, performance, turnover, and stress. Those with high emotional intelligence can recognize their own feelings and those of others, using emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, including discerning between different feelings by labeling them appropriately and adjusting emotions to adapt to environments.

While “leaders” are either internally promoted or hired externally, assessment primarily focuses on the technical skills-which can be developed on the job. However, very little is done to gauge the interpersonal ‘soft skills’ that play a major role in productive mentoring, relationships, and psychological safety. A leadership coaching study examined the relation between enhanced emotional intelligence and leadership, with results indicating a positive association. 

While some believe that intelligence is a ‘fixed’ trait, there is ample evidence to demonstrate that emotional intelligence can be improved! Organizations aiming to improve leadership performance by enhancing emotional intelligence may find value in coaching because of a positive effect from interventions, with resulting developmental changes. However, research on the interrelation between the two is sparse, and we should invest in learning more about the type of leader we are and can become in order to make intentional choices about behavior, especially during moments of stress, when so much depends on innate and learned abilities. Emotional intelligence is not the whole answer, but a great starting point.

2023 2nd Quarter Update

As leaders navigate through the post pandemic world of work, many questions arise about the future directions of managerial development. Given the staffing challenges of The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting, employers are scrambling to locate talent in creative ways. Selecting the right managerial staff for success often predicts based on previous performance. However, according to Caitlin Cavanugh and Alexandra Zelin in the SIOP White Paper series, a different approach to gauging success can be based on learning agility, which refers to a desire and ability to learn from experience, then apply learning to other situations. Those who exhibit traits like resiliency, ability to learn from experiences, willingness to change from routine habits, and possessing strong need for growth have high levels of learning agility. Two research paths-why executives fail and addressing how experiences improve leadership effectiveness-brought about current practice-based understanding of learning agility. Organizations can easily help their personnel develop this trait by offering reflection and feedback reception opportunities (360 feedback, coach/mentor, broad training) such that they take charge of their own development. Experiential learning in its various forms allows greater opportunity to develop such a trait. Regardless of the method used, research shows that effective leadership development requires deliberate practice on the part of the individual. By prioritizing training, learning agility should improve performance in the individual as well as the organization. This will continue to be an important concept for researchers and practitioners to focus on, as the workforce continues to evolve in an ever changing global society. 


To learn more about learning agility applications, please visit the Society For Human Resources Management website:


The SIOP White Paper series can be accessed here:


2023 1st Quarter Update

Globalization and advances in technology have led to an increase in boundary-spanning activities and the prevalence of multicultural teams in the workplace. Even companies that focus primarily on domestic markets are likely to be linked with suppliers and customers in other geographies. Steers and Osland (2019) identified three notable trends in global business: shifts from “intermittent to continual change, from isolation to increasing interconnectedness, and from biculturalism to multiculturalism” (p.5). These changes herald an increasing demand for culturally competent and flexible leaders to manage diverse teams successfully. Global CEOs cited the development of the next generation of leaders as a top challenge (Development Dimensions International Ltd., 2021).


Recent contributions in the IO field are about replacing individual manager ratings with group calibration ratings and rating employees based on future recommendations instead of past performance. Although it is believed that a manager's success is best predicted by previous performance, recent research illustrates that learning agility may be a better predictor of manager success. The debate over predicting and measuring coaching effectiveness is somewhat more complicated.


Developing cultural competence can aid in assessment/selection, training, culture creation, and awareness building. This is especially beneficial for leaders of global and multiculturally diverse teams.


My expectation for the next 2023 quarter is an increased enrollment of C-suite and executive-level managerial staff in cultural sensitivity training to better support relationship management with front-line staff.

Qualified Administrators can do cultural inventory analysis of their organizations. HR departments and administrative leadership may begin to receive assessments on the proficiency of core competencies tied to multicultural engagement.


To learn more, visit the SIOP White Paper Series Research Publication on Leadership Development/Careers:


Champion: Karanveer Syal

Karanveer Syal

Karanveer Syal is currently an Equity and Inclusion Coordinator at the largest Community Action Agency in the country. Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission fights to end poverty through its 36 program offerings. Karanveer is responsible for providing staff support for Womens Infants Children (WIC), Early Headstart, and Health Services. He is responsible for implementing strategies and initiatives that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion for the assigned programs. Scholar/practitioner-style program with a focus on management and organizational behavior, shared learning, dialogue, and experience with working professionals, from seminars with distinguished faculty, and from an emphasis on managerial skill development that focuses on the human side of business. Incorporates diverse, multicultural and international perspectives.