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Charlie Hughes | 6 December 2022

Leading your organisation

What we’re seeing at Humankind as we wrap up 2022

As we head into the last few weeks of another big year, we thought it was a great time to share a snapshot of the topics we at Humankind are currently thinking and talking about.

You can’t open a newspaper or watch the news without hearing about the undulating economic environment and the prospect of choppier waters ahead in 2023. For the last few years, many organisations have been in survival mode, however, there is now an opportunity to think about ‘revival’ and how to shift the focus to more proactive preparation and planning.

We know that many leaders and organisations have been ‘hanging in there’ but as time passes and new challenges arise, this is no longer sustainable for both the leaders and employees of organisations. Whilst COVID was a surprise, we have more awareness now of what’s coming, and organisations can be using this time to prepare and ready themselves.

Here’s what we’re seeing as we wrap up 2022:

Building Leadership Capability & Unity

Heading into a new year of challenges, leadership capability will be the key differentiator for smart businesses.

Leaders play a pivotal role in enabling an organisation to meet its strategic objectives and develop high-performing teams. Yet so often we hear of leaders who don’t have the skills or confidence to deliver what is required of them. Without the right training, coaching, and support many leaders aren’t adequately equipped to lean into challenging conversations or shoulder the decision-making burden. Facing a year that will likely have many hurdles, investing time and energy into your people leaders and building their capability will be hugely important.

Equipped with the right skills and confidence, capable leaders ensure the right conversations are being had, that their team understand their roles and what is expected of them, and that individuals are held accountable for their results and overall performance. Investing in your leaders and enabling them to step into and share the leadership responsibility is key to removing the pressure at the top, and ensuring your team is well-functioning and high-performing.

Leadership alignment will also be crucial. Having strong working relationships, unity in what you are trying to achieve, and commitment to shared goals underpins strong organisational performance. Ensuring your leaders have time carved out to connect, challenge each other, and build trusted relationships will be a key ingredient to ensuring success.

Things for you to think about:

  • What are you doing to equip your leaders to develop and lead high-performing teams?
  • How are you connecting as a leadership team and ensuring you're a united front?


  • Plan to switch off for some time over the break so you can switch back on revived and refreshed for the New Year.
  • Don’t shoulder the burden alone, you are surrounded by capable people.
  • Make sure leaders are crystal clear on the top priorities to execute on for the next quarter and 2023. Better yet, get their input into setting them.

Assessing Organisational Fitness

Having the right skills and capabilities, ways of working and decision-making frameworks in place are critical components for achieving results. The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on your organisational fitness, what the pain points and opportunities are, and what else you could be doing to make the team successful. At Humankind we are often engaged reactively to have these conversations, however, being intentional about reviewing your workforce and understanding; what expertise you need to deliver your strategic goals; how you can optimize the way you work together; and providing clarity around accountabilities and decision making can have a significant impact on performance.

Things for you to think about:

  • Do you have the right skills and capabilities in your team to achieve your goals for 2023?
  • How could you be enhancing the way your teams work together, are there any grey spots that need addressing?


  • Having your team play to their strengths will mean positive outcomes for both them and the organisation.
  • If you're in the position of needing to make big changes, tie the changes to your updated strategy so you’re best set up to deliver on it. Think about the culture you want, or need, coming out of these changes. Emphasise the WHY and the plan for the future and repeat these. Make yourself available and visible, and put your oxygen mask on first.

Reviewing Remuneration

We know that with strong financial headwinds and a bumpy economic environment there can be a lot of pressure and stress relating to remuneration reviews. Both how pay decisions are made, and the value of remuneration increases can result in significant challenges and employee discontent. Therefore, we continue to talk about and champion the need to communicate early and communicate well with your employees about remuneration and the process you follow to make pay decisions. As far as possible, and is realistic, you should be sharing important context with your people around your business and financial performance, clearly articulating what your remuneration decision-making principles are, and how you plan to approach remuneration reviews in this uncertain time.

The more employees understand the considerations that have gone into making pay decisions, the more likely they are to accept and support these decisions, whatever they may be. Take a look at our Good Guide on ‘Talking about pay in a challenging market’ to hear more about what you should be thinking about now ahead of remuneration reviews next year.

Things for you to think about:

  • Are you sharing enough context with your people about business and financial performance?
  • Have you clearly articulated how you make pay decisions within your organisation?
  • What else brings people to your organisation over and above remuneration?


  • Remember that pay is not the only motivator for people.
  • Communicate early and communicate well.

Final Thoughts

We know that it can be overwhelming for leaders to prioritise what needs to be done, to remain resilient and support the team, all whilst looking after your own wellbeing. Take the time to reflect on what your people and organisation need going into 2023, and just start by developing a plan for how your leaders can lean into these.

Feelings of burnout are on the rise, and the lead-up to the holidays is busy. Encourage your team to take a proper break, and if you can swing it, get some rest for yourself too. Everyone is better when they’re rested.

The end of the year is also a great time to connect your team’s work to your organisation’s purpose. This could be in 1:1s, a conversation as a group, or a field trip to see end users. This focus can help to reenergise the team when the tiredness of a big year has set in.

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