coworkers looking at board
From an emphasis on ethics to promoting inclusivity, these top business management trends focus on the wellbeing of the team. — Getty Images/Goodboy Picture Company

Amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19, many companies are now having their staff work remotely. With all your employees in different places, it can be a challenge to manage everyone and get them on the same page.

Of course, it's possible to successfully manage a team from afar, and many leaders have learned to do it well. However, those who are new to remote management may be finding it difficult to keep in touch and collaborate as seamlessly as they did when they saw their teams face-to-face every day.

Once you're set up with the proper tech and productivity tools, you may be tempted to micromanage and check in with employees constantly to ensure they're doing their work while they're home. However, this top-down, authoritarian approach to leadership fell out of fashion long before the COVID era.

Instead, today's leaders — especially those who now find themselves leading entire teams, departments and companies from behind a screen — must rely on emerging business management trends that promote trust, empathy and ethics.

Here are four management trends that will help you adapt to today's world of remote leadership.

[Read: 6 Ways to Keep Your Team Productive While Working From Home]

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence has become an important quality for modern managers. While "check your emotions at the door" may have been a mantra for some companies in the past, human beings can't simply shut off their feelings and personal circumstances while they're working. Positive or negative, those emotions can affect our work and productivity.

Good managers need a grasp on emotional intelligence. They need to know how to navigate people's individual feelings and behaviors to understand them and bring the best out of them.

"Being in charge of other people can be the toughest facet of a manager's role to navigate," said Karen Oakey, director of human resources at Fracture. "We are all uniquely and independently driven in our emotions, behaviors, morals, ethics and integrity — separate from our knowledge, skills and abilities."

Oakey believes that this trend isn't going anywhere, and is especially relevant right now as teams must gauge each other's emotions through chat and video calls.

"As long as people continue to bring their [individual] behaviors to work, emotional intelligence will remain a trend for managers," she added. "In order to grow their teams through performance processes, managers will need to hone their conversation and people management skills."

In order to grow their teams through performance processes, managers will need to hone their conversation and people management skills.

Karen Oakey, director of human resources, Fracture

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Servant leadership

Servant leadership turns the traditional management style on its head, where employees are at the top, and the leaders are at the bottom. This creates a serve-first mentality that replaces authority with humanity.

This type of management only works if the servant leader acts unselfishly and genuinely wants to help their team and colleagues. You have to put aside personal motivations for the betterment of the team.

One benefit is that this method increases productivity. People feel more cared for and listened to, while the servant leader feels a sense of pride from helping and assisting the team.

Ethical management

As the number of Gen Zers and millennials in the workforce continues to grow, a greater emphasis has been placed on ethical management. These generations aren't shy about their passion for social justice and advocacy, and they look for businesses and brands to reflect their ethics and their way of thinking.

"Think carefully about what the ethical values of the company are — separate from what the brand values are," said Reid Blackman, Ph.D. and founder of Virtue Consultants. "Remember that brand values are mostly centered on promoting and protecting the bottom line."

In the wake of coronavirus, companies' decisions about putting the health and safety of their workers ahead of profits and executive salaries can make or break their reputation. For instance, Amazon's operations and working conditions at certain facilities — and the subsequent employee responses — have been well-documented, and may cause consumers to think twice about supporting the e-commerce giant during and after the pandemic.

[Read: 5 Ways to Manage Small Business Coronavirus Concerns When Employees Can't Work From Home]

To ensure you are leading your team and company ethically, Blackman encourages leaders to carefully consider the relationships the business has to various entities.

"They need to think about what processes and practices they can fold into existing everyday business operations that would make it more likely that those values will be realized," he added.

Inclusive leadership

Inclusion creates an identity in a company where innovation can thrive. Having diverse perspectives, where everyone feels open to express their ideas and feelings, makes your company more likely to be innovative. From executives to entry-level workers, giving everyone a voice and an opinion sparks creativity and provides new perspectives to company problems.

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