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Leadership and engagement: The most important points from Denmark’s HR Conference 2021

Author - Lise Garbus & Katrine Holm Bendixen

Corona has led to changes that impose new requirements on HR and leadership. This is why Denmark’s HR Conference focused this year on leadership and engagement in a changing world. Learn about the most important points from the speakers at the conference here.


This year’s HR conference, which Ennova again held in co-operation with Confederation of Danish Industry, explored the question “How do we work with leadership and engagement of employees in the future?”. This year’s speakers provided insight into what COVID-19 taught us about HR leadership, which new knowledge was created in conjunction with Corona, and how organizations can generate true inclusion and engagement at the workplace. The speakers shared their experiences, newest data, own practice and in-depth insights from their own companies concerning leadership and engagement of employees in a changing world.

Watch the videos and gain insight into the most important points from the speakers at the conference.

Christian Ørsted, Author and Leadership Advisor

In the video, Christian focuses on the importance of the organization’s ability to create psychological security, and he provides three specific pieces of advice for how psychological safety can be improved in the organization.

 

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Another essential point from Christian Ørsted’s presentation is that the concept of “resistance to change” is a myth. He therefore believes that leaders would do themselves a big favor by focusing on the things that may resemble resistance but are not:

“Unfortunately, engagement is often confused with resistance. However, leaders should remember that when employees express themselves, they actually show engagement. Engagement is an expression that they want to make the situation better and that they are not indifferent.”

 

Lene Klejs Stuhr, Associate Vice President, Agilent Technologies

Lene Klejs Stuhr talks about why having more planned and candid dialog has become even more important for exercising good distance leadership and how COVID-19 has changed the discussion on mental health at work.

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Another point she made at Denmark’s HR Conference 2021 was that practising “really good leadership” is being strongly challenged since it is becoming clearer that employees can no longer be pigeon-holed; instead, they have diverse desires and requirements with respect to the workplace. Therefore, she believes that it continues to be very important to focus extensively on how to practice good leadership – both on-site and now also remotely.

However, Lene Klejs Stuhr does not regard change leadership to be more important today than it was previously – but, on the other hand, change leadership has become a greater priority in many companies.

 

Stine Würtz Jepsen, Senior Vice President Group HR, Terma

In the video, Stine Würtz Jepsen talks about how COVID-19 can be used as a catalyst and a springboard for companies to examine their own setup and to ask themselves to what extent this is the right structuring and organization of the employees.

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At Terma, there is great focus on organizational development, from an HR strategic standpoint, with respect to being able to meet challenges and market developments.
For instance, this means that Terma focuses greatly on creating and maintaining the right and necessary employee composition, so that it always has the right workforce within the numerous areas in the company in relation to the challenges that Terma faces – and will face – in the market of the future.


Velin Nikolov, Senior Advisor, Ennova

In the video, Velin Nikolov explains what characterises the companies that have done well during the Corona crisis.

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In addition, Velin Nikolov also offers insight into three primary things that we have learned from COVID-19 within leadership.

  1. Leaders generally seem to have done well because they have been capable of being present, understanding with regard to challenges, and have been able to show empathy.
  2. Data shows that female leaders have been the best at handling distance leadership and generating high engagement among the employees.
  3. Finally, it has become clear to see that a lot of the leadership in previous years was practised based on instincts and gut feelings. Therefore, leaders aim to be even better at navigating the new world.


Thomas Phillipsen, Acting Director & Business Psychologist, Ennova

Thomas Phillipsen offers insight into how HR can support the organization after COVID-19 on a strategic and more specific level, and he points out that an ongoing dialog plays an important role when leadership needs to define the best organization of the company going forward.

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Another piece of advice that Thomas Phillipsen offers to HR is to be attentive and open while reminding the rest of the organization and top leadership how important this is. According to Thomas Phillipsen, an attentive HR function – and of course leaders – that is willing to listen is currently one of the most important assets. Dialog is a key concept in this regard since it is necessary for HR to best support top leadership’s ability to make nuanced and smart decisions concerning the future structuring of the organization.

Lise Garbus & Katrine Holm Bendixen
Author

Lise Garbus & Katrine Holm Bendixen

Lise is UI & Graphic Designer and responsible for CVI and video production in Ennova. Katrine is Copy Writer and works with digital content creation to Ennova's digital platforms.