The importance of understanding human behaviour for leadership

Whereas once upon a time, the sum total of leadership was the power to instruct others without question, the world has thankfully moved on from such feudal structures. The ability to guide a workforce, keeping employees engaged, motivated and committed is prized by businesses as one of the highest skillsets managers can hold.

It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution in the 19th Century that understanding great numbers of workers was required. Previous cottage industries were made up of families or tiny groups, but a mass workforce quickly became viewed in the same light as any other large, moving machine made up of intricate, individual parts.

Understanding the mechanics of groups

Modern businesses fully understand that employees are a valuable resource that can suffer dramatic dips in performance if not treated correctly. Creating engagement, commitment and drive for peak performance requires in depth knowledge of both the practical aspects of human behaviour as well as behaviour management theory.

The ability of any company to thrive relies on not only keeping customers happy, but also maintaining employee satisfaction levels. Communication between managers and individuals, teams and even entire departments is critical to success, and being able to inspire and coach employees as well as taking a critical approach to problems within the framework of HR can have a profound effect on unity and engagement.

The competitive edge of employee insight

The ability to guide employees creates a distinct business advantage, but with the global workforce expanding at an incredible rate, companies need management with knowledge of practical and theoretical aspects of HR and international business to hit the ground running. Having an immediate effect on company culture not only boosts departmental performance, but the success of entire businesses.

Modern companies can also be spread across great distances and even time zones; the ability to manage and co-ordinate large, diverse groups spread across different locations can put your company one step ahead of the competition. As new candidates enter the work force, the need for effective leadership grows; particularly as digital work paths and decentralised businesses become more common. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills predicts that 1.9 million more managers will be required by 2024.

The new MSc International Business, Leadership and Management Online from the University of York is the perfect path to getting the credentials to deal with this modern way of business thinking. All course content is delivered 100% online, letting you choose when and where you study, meaning you can continue in your current job role and apply the principles as you learn. We also offer six start dates per year and courses are pay-per-module, removing the burden of large, up-front payments. The ability to study for a prestigious Russell Group University Masters from anywhere in the world could be the very thing to turbo-charge your career!

The human resource is one of the most diverse, unpredictable and complex that any business has, but it’s also the one that has the greatest effect on not only the success of a company, but its very survival. A proven knowledge of leadership techniques, understanding of the challenges of HR and the ability to communicate effectively with insight into how employees will respond is what sets good businesses apart from universally successful ones.

Find out more – and begin your application