Last week I shared with you a glimpse into the future, particularly in the year 2017, regarding recruitment and your hunt for talent. At the core of it, your search and retention boils down to one main idea – the perception of your company. What that translates to is how engaged your employees are, the perceived value of your company by external stakeholders, and the values and richness of your internal environment and culture. Three core ideologies that spawn a great employee experience. Three core ideologies that’ll enhance growth. Three core ideologies that’ll shape the mindset of leadership in 2017.

2017 could be a bump ride for many companies. It could very easily be a smooth one as well. Either way, employees will continue to be the key on how well companies adapt, navigate through challenges and surpass disruptive forces. You may find that the style of leadership in 2017 will require some changing – a few tweaks here and there. Or you could simply sail through the year with no alterations to your leadership mindset. What’ll truly help you make that decision will be how closely you observe and react to your employees and their needs.

Here’s my take on some of the trends to look forward to regarding leadership in 2017:

Recognize Talent

Searching and attracting talent is just one piece of the puzzle. When you’ve acquired a talented group of individuals it’ll be massively difficult for you to retain them if they aren’t challenged, engaged or recognized. So while leaders of each function are driving and challenging their talent to exploit their full potential, the top management must equally play its part in engaging with and recognizing the contributions of these talented employees. Leadership in 2017 will not only demand visionary and strategic thinking, it’ll also emphasize on the need to connect with your company’s talent so that the hands on ground, the actual implementers of those strategies, are recognized and feel celebrated for the hard work they put in.

Diverse Workforce

There’s been much talk about diversity in the past few years and you can only expect this to escalate in 2017. There’s no secret that companies who’ve gotten diversity right have shown higher success rates. It’s definitely not too late to get on the bandwagon of shaping your company around this ideology. And it’s not just gender diversity I’m talking about here – it’s diversity in all respects. Be it demographically, educationally, with respect to skills or even personality. A strong diverse workforce, in general, will enhance a leader’s mark as being a true driver of performance, from just about any mixed group of people.

Technology and Innovation

The past 5 years has seen a huge impact on how we work thanks to technological disruptions caused by mobile computing and communications, cloud computing and big data. The coming years will be no different as companies will continue to rely on these technologies. More so, with greater research and development occurring in robotics, AI, 3D printing, nanotech and other such cutting edge technologies, you can expect rapid transformations in the work environment. Embracing these innovations early could help leaders shape a more advanced operating model for their companies. Along with that leaders could also enhance efficiencies that could optimize costs and reduce human errors.

Engage And Communicate

Those annual messages from the Chairman or CEO are great to kick start the year, refreshed, rejuvenated, and reenergized. But an annual message can’t convey the emotions that a leader truly feels. Leaders are known to be passionate about the companies they lead. They’re relentless and fierce. But won’t it be unfair to you if you’re the only one in the company with these strong feelings? Would you really be able to achieve your goals with a team who feels otherwise, or less than you? That’s why your objective, as their leader, should give weightage to continuously and frequently communicating and engaging with your workforce. And when engaging, skip the clichéd motivational talk and stick to the emotions behind the goals and objectives of the company. Make it a personal challenge or goal for your team to strive for. Objectives that are backed with emotions will produce a stronger drive from your team.

Leadership in 2017 could be just the same as it was in the previous years. Or it could be altered to be the turning point that’ll help you and your company achieve even more success than you did so far. Whatever path you choose in your leadership style, be mindful of the signs you’re your employees put out during the year. These signs could help you lead them towards a year that may just be your career’s greatest achievement.