Leadership in a post-COVID landscape: Emotional Intelligence makes or breaks business leaders

HR Insight, Research / Surveys

March 16 2022, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Adecco Vietnam's latest survey aims to provide insight into leadership changes following the impacts of the pandemic while highlighting employees' expectations of the management team. The findings from this survey can help facilitate a better understanding of leadership in the “new normal” and, ultimately, a better workplace for everyone.

Due to the emergence of COVID-19, employees had to change work habits to sustain performance, and leaders had to lead and manage people under unprecedented circumstances. Over 2 years of enduring dramatic shifts in the workplace, leaders are not only adapting temporarily but also thinking about the long-term effects.

To define this revolution, Adecco Vietnam conducted a countrywide survey in December 2021 with the topic "Rethink Leadership in the COVID-19 Era". The survey receives a total sample of 400 responses. Specifically, the majority of respondents hold a Managerial position, 26% are non-managerial and 13% are (Senior) Executive level.

Survey findings reveal that both leaders and employees are moving towards new principles when it comes to successful leadership.

Mr. Andree Mangels, General Director, Adecco Vietnam, highlights “The pandemic reshapes the workplace in many ways. The changes might vary by industry and employer, but one thing is for sure, flexibility, safety, and career growth now become the most desired elements by employees. Many have learned that they enjoy the flexibility of work from anywhere while hoping for more trust and empathy from the employer. They expect their employer's commitment to helping them expand their skill sets and progress in their careers. And organizations will focus more on employees’ healthcare and seriously consider the daily personal burdens their team faces. That, together with the macro trends in customer behaviors, business operations, and recruitment, urges leaders to re-evaluate their skills, look for new techniques to leading people, and embrace new definitions of leadership.”

He believes that the pandemic “tests global leaders and organizations in every sector and unravels long-held assumptions about what found a healthy work environment”. He continues, “The adverse aftermath could last longer and cause greater hardship than any of us could have foreseen. Our workplace will never be the same after COVID-19, and we need to make sure it is better. This new age of flexible work requires a greater degree of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and the emphasis on leaders to acquire more human skills – including empathy, adaptability, flexibility, and people-first (..). That is how to establish or reinforce values that can help each organization flourish amid uncertainty, no matter how long it lasts, and well-prepared for the bigger challenges to come”.

Key findings:

  • Over 67% of Non-managerial and 70% of Managerial employees were satisfied with the response and support from the leadership during the 4th outbreak.
  • 72% of Managerial employees highly rate their leadership's performance of remote management, higher than 56% among non-managers.
  • Both Non-managerial and Managerial respondents indicate some of their least satisfied areas are support on their learning, reskilling and upskilling needs, support on physical wellbeing, and support on mental wellbeing.
  • Both respondents in (Senior) Executive and Managerial roles share their biggest struggles in remote management are onboarding new staff, identifying and supporting when staff struggling with mental wellbeing, supporting the career development of the team, and identifying and supporting when staff may be struggling with burnout.
  • Over 67% of Non-managerial, 65% of Managerial, and 70% of (Senior) Executive respondents agree that leadership needs to change to accommodate the future of work.
  • More than 62% of (Senior) Executive and 70% of Managerial respondents believe that remote team management is the norm from now on, and around 80% of them are also willing to lead the team remotely when the opportunity arises.
  • When asked about the front-runner competencies that will help leaders navigate the new normal, (Senior) Executive and Managerial respondents ranked the ability to adapt to technology and coach team members at the top. (Senior) Executive roles see driving revenue as the most important one.
  • Meanwhile, employees are looking for a leader who advocates for flexibility needs, treasures team culture, has a strategic vision, and demonstrates trust and empathy for members.

Special thanks to our trusted partners who contributed to the analysis of the survey results:

  • Tuyen Vo, Head of Philanthropy Advocacy at LIN Center and Founder at Dear Our Community.
  • My Holland, Executive Coach, Trainer, and CEO EQuest Asia Ltd.
  • Brad Reed, Leadership and Wellness Coach.

About Adecco Vietnam

Established in Vietnam in 2011, Adecco Vietnam – a member of The Adecco Group - is the leading Payroll, Recruitment & Outsourcing Agency in Vietnam. We provide one-stop solutions for all Human Resources needs. Operating for more than 60 years, The Adecco Group has 30,000+ passionate employees in 5,000+ branches across 60 countries and territories worldwide.

Website: adecco.com.vn

For further information please contact:

  • Huong Ho – Marketing Executive
  • Email: huong.ho@adecco.com
  • Phone: +84 963 427 401
Fill out the form below and get URL to download document.


Find the right person.

Whether you want temporary help or full-time employees.


Get started

Call our team

Contact your local branch and speak to a job expert


Find a branch