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7 Key Responsibilities for Business Leaders in 2021

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7 Key Responsibilities for Business Leaders in 2021

During normal times, business leaders drive their organizations’ growth through their vision, risk-taking, and management skills. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a crisis that requires business leaders to take on additional responsibilities.in 2021. Let’s look at the 7 Key Responsibilities for Business Leaders in 2021 to address the various challenges confronting their organizations.

Current Challenges for Business Leaders

traction for employee recognition programs

The many disruptions faced by organizations over the past several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic have posed several challenges for business leaders.

The most important of these challenges are as follows.

Hence, quite unsurprisingly, there would be specific key responsibilities for business leaders in 2021 that can help organizations to overcome these challenges effectively.

What are the Key Responsibilities for Business Leaders in 2021?

Given the challenges in the business environment posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are looking towards their business leaders to provide them with direction.

The 7 key responsibilities for business leaders in 2021 are as follows:

1. Drive Business Growth in Volatile Markets

Incentivize Kaizen, Lean and Six Sigma Projects

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed the worst economic upheaval in modern times with high market volatility.

Hence, this has forced organizations to continuously rework their business plans as the situation pans out.

Therefore, in 2021, business leaders need to play an important role in devising flexible strategies to not just survive under such volatile market conditions but to exploit all available growth opportunities.

2. Adopt a Mindset of Change


Business leaders in 2021 need to be more flexible and comfortable with the massive changes in the way businesses operate.

Hence, leaders need to find growth opportunities in areas where the changes are taking place.

The mindset of staying abreast of the changes can prove valuable for organizations to drive business growth under these tough economic times and can become a sustainable competitive advantage in the long run.

3. Build the Right Culture for a Remote Workforce

Virtual Awards Ceremony

In 2020, managing remote teams is something that organizations were forced into suddenly, without any time to prepare.

So, in 2021, as remote working has become the norm, organizations need to build and reinforce the right culture for their remote workforce.

Business leaders need to work closely with HR teams and managers and implement new strategies and tools that can help build the right culture for a workforce that is working remotely.

Read: 7 Ways HR Software Can Support Your Remote Workers

4. Build Employee Trust and Engagement


During these challenging times, organizations need to build employee trust and engagement to ensure business continuity and growth despite the continuous challenges and adverse market conditions.

Hence, in 2021, business leaders need to play a key role in communicating to the workforce regularly through digital platforms; sharing updates with them, guiding and motivating them.

Read: How to Boost Employee Motivation in a Post-COVID World?

5. Adopt an Empathetic and Humane Approach

Integrating Employee Recognition with the Organizational Culture

The pandemic has resulted in high levels of stress and uncertainty among employees.

Remote working has added to this stress as employees try to manage their work and home situations simultaneously.

Hence a more empathetic and humane approach is required from business leaders to manage their workforce.

They need to strike the right balance between business priorities and employee sentiments.

6. Promote a Culture of Digital Learning

A Guide to Rewards and Recognition for Learning and Development

Learning and development is another process that the pandemic has impacted.

The lack of face-to-face mentoring and classroom training sessions has made it challenging for employees to pick up new skills and improve upon existing skills.

In the significantly changed work environments, organizations need their leaders to promote a culture of digital learning. 

So, employees will need to leverage online training sessions, self-learning videos, webinars, and pre-recorded sessions to learn new skills.

7. Focus on Employee Wellness

Mindfulness Workshop

The pandemic has put a lot of the organization on employee wellness, not just physical wellness but mental and emotional. 

In 2021, business leaders are expected to promote greater awareness about employee wellness and drive various wellness initiatives, especially for remote working employees.

Read: Employee Wellness Ideas for Work from Home


The key responsibilities for business leaders in 2021 would be centered on driving business growth for the organization while balancing employee wellbeing.

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.