FeaturedPeopleSpecial Feature

MENA Power List 2023: Harnessing the power of humanistic leadership by Havas Red’s Dana Tahir

Dana Tahir has been the Managing Director of Havas Red Middle East for 4 years. Her favourite hobby is traveling the world. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a game changer in talent management. Organisations have leveraged AI and automation to identify top candidates, streamline recruitment, analyse data, identify patterns and predict employee performance, ensuring leaders surround themselves with capable, professional talent.

Expectedly, AI has had an impact on both selection and efficiency.

However, as technology advances rapidly, there is a growing realisation that AI alone cannot capture the complexity of human potential. While algorithms can efficiently process data, they lack the ability to understand the nuances of human behaviour, emotion and motivation. This is where the human element becomes indispensable.

In times where talent shortage runs deep across sectors and the mental health crisis poses a universal challenge in many industries, the role of leadership in overcoming these crises shouldn’t be underestimated.

A visionary leader can intuitively identify gaps in the organisation’s talent pool; develop strategies to address them; inspire and motivate employees to reach their full potential, thus fostering continuous learning and growth. One leadership approach that has been effective in overcoming talent shortage is humanistic leadership.

“Engaged employees are more likely to perform at their best, stay with an organisation and contribute to its success”

Leaders can’t have an impact without taking such an approach. In fact, while leading young professionals, one must remember that open minds are as important as open doors. When listening to colleagues, leaders should try to empathise effectively with their diverse experiences and perspectives, even if misaligned with others’ views.

They must recognise that for a team to work effectively, these unique perspectives should be respected. A good leader should also be relatable: no matter how nuanced the issue, employees today are more inclined to prioritising their needs over the organisation.

A Havas Meaningful Brand study surveyed 91,000 respondents across 10 markets spanning 1300 brands, revealing over 60 per cent of employees don’t believe in companies or brands.

They look at company leaders to assess the brand as a potential employer. Talent responds to leadership that is authentic and consistent; if your leadership persona is a carefully crafted front, it’ll eventually become tiresome to maintain.

Completing the trifecta requires building bespoke styles; in recent years, we’ve realised that progress isn’t linear. People aren’t equally equipped. We need to see individuals’ potentials, respect their innate strengths and lean on them.

Employee engagement is another critical factor in overcoming talent scarcity. Engaged employees are more likely to perform at their best, stay with an organisation and contribute to its success.

Humanistic leadership nurtures a culture of trust and open communication where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and concerns, which encourages innovation and creativity, and enhances the overall employee experience.

Actually, when having a sense of purpose at work, talents feel valued and supported, and tend to go the extra mile to achieve organisational goals.

However, retention remains a key challenge faced by organisations. With skilled employees in high demand, leaders can increase loyalty by understanding team members’ individual goals and career aspirations, providing them with opportunities for growth and ensuring they’re motivated and valued.

Navigating the talent scarcity crisis successfully requires organisations to adopt innovative approaches that attract and retain skilled employees; investing in developing leadership skills; and creating a culture that values and supports employees.

Humanistic leadership, with all its elements and benefits, offers a powerful solution to thrive in today’s complex and ever evolving market.

Looking ahead to 2024, the future of talent management lies in striking a balance between automation and the human element. While technology continues to play a pivotal role in streamlining processes, organisations will undeniably recognise the need to continue investing in the human touch. Because after all, we are, and will remain, human.

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worked or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude”.