Latest management trends to emerge in 2021

The 2020 pandemic completely revamped the work structure and brought in numerous changes ranging from a remote team to advanced collaborative tools. Handling these unforeseen changes required competent leadership and a willingness to proactively adapt.

The modern business set-up comes with its own challenges: many organisations have witnessed these challenges and adapted accordingly. Whether the challenge involves creating a flexible work environment, upskilling employees or improving job satisfaction, management has to remain fully involved at each stage of the process.

This also pushes away the archaic notion of autocratic leadership. Previously, upper management made decisions that were not people-oriented. Now, the gap between employees and “the leader” has shrunk and everything is done to ensure that the company works as one single unit for a common goal. 

Read on to find out more about popular management trends of 2021 and how they will further shape the new work culture. 

A flatter organisation structure 

While micromanaging has always been the norm, it ceases to work for the new generation. Employees no longer want to be led but instead, want to be included in the decision-making process. This means the most effective management style is a collaborative approach that has constant two-way communication where no one feels left out.   

This brings more accountability for employees, as they play a greater part in every organisational process. By bridging the hierarchy structure, companies can encourage each member to suggest innovative ideas and push the boundaries a little bit more. 

Nike is the perfect example of a flat organisation structure where teams are divided based on product and report to separate managers – one for project-based assignment and another for regulation and policy. Most of the divisions function “pseudo-independently” creating room for transparency and creative ideas. 

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Adopting a ‘change mind-set’

Nothing can ruin a business more than rigidity and inability to adapt. To flourish in the ever-growing landscape of technological development, entrepreneurs have to think ahead. What has worked previously may not work in the future, be it an inflexible work environment, traditional marketing or even a rigid hierarchy. 

By making the most of the adverse circumstances brands such as Uber and Airbnb have done remarkably well, despite the economic downturn. From making travel easier, to bringing in experimental travelling, these brands carved a niche for themselves that resonated well with the masses. The skill, after all, lies in identifying change and acting on it.  

The same goes for the pandemic which brought in various technological, regulatory and even cultural changes. Many organisations are using this as a tool to re-invent themselves. Salesforce, for example, plans to continue with the remote set up and wants to give employees the option of flexible working. 

Continuous development 

Among all of the potential management trends, one that will always dominate the business sector is the need for continuous development. Leaders have to focus on improvising and learning new things. The attitude of “I know everything” is detrimental to self-growth and that of the business. 

All those in leadership positions have to keep up with changes in technology, job culture, technology and much more. Furthermore, they have to introduce new learning tools that can help employees grow and perform better. 

Brands like SAS and Amazon offer professional training and on-job training to employees. Amazon even prepays tuition fees of employees who enrol for courses in fields that are in-demand and directly impact work performance. 

The new generation of workers are millennials who are tech-savvy and prefer to take the lead in every task. They like to be constantly engaged and hence require leadership that will keep up with them and provide them the right working environment. Hence, a successful management team needs to step up and incorporate new trends and methods that work for the modern workforce. 


This article is written by Nandita Kaushal.


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