Are you really ready to be an effective leader for the dynamics of a fast-changing workforce? What are the questions you are asking yourself to address the matter at hand? How are you leading a multi-generational work environment? Are you maximizing the potential outcome? It is all about generational leadership: inspiring and engaging a diverse, complex workforce.
Are you ready to lead a multi-generation workforce?
These and many more questions are important to address systematically in order to enhance your leadership toolbox and the necessary skills to use those tools effectively. Let me underline the basic facts of (generational) leadership:
The only reason to employ leaders is to create results for the organization.
Leadership is creating results through people.
Leadership is situational.
Do you know and clearly recognize your own generational characteristics? Are you a baby boomer, a Xer, GenY or GenZ? How effectively are you dealing with “the Others”? As a little reminder, this is the first time in history leaders have to find ways to effectively lead a workforce built of 4 distinct generational groups! Five if we consider the fact that baby boomers constitute actually two significantly different groups…Latest assessments on a global level indicate that Generation Z (born post-2001) will become the largest population group surpassing GenY by the end of 2019 and beginning to enter the workforce now. Most of us are still grappling with the effort to lead GenY (aka Millennials) more effectively and engage them towards organizational targets.
One of the current key challenges right now is finding the right employees and retaining those we already have in the organization. Let’s make no mistake, employee retention is to a large degree an issue of effective leadership (or lack thereof!).
What is the cost of less than optimal employee retention?
What is the cost of lack of employee engagement?
What is the cost of undeveloped leadership effectiveness?
Reflecting on these questions can open new doors of self-awareness and lead to a different, more productive path. We have today up to five generations in our workplace reaching from Gen-Z, Millennials, Generation Xto the two groups of Baby Boomers. Each group having its distinct characteristics! Some value their time as a top priority and would rather spend it on getting the job done than in the meeting room. For some, their personal time is their most valuable asset.
How could this affect a multi-generational leader like yourself? What are some concepts you can keep your team on the same page while minimizing potential conflict?
A Flexible Workplace may be an excellent start: I.e. most Baby Boomers tend to prefer a traditional 9 to 5 schedule, while younger generations are more interested in flexible working hours. They often have no reservation in taking their work home. Finding a way to accommodate these differences and communicating openly with your team, your organization can be very effective.
Communication on “their” Terms will be very impactful: Accommodate your organization by providing means of communication that will work for them. Whether that means sending out text messages for group projects, using platforms like Slack or Trello, or adding an email stream to your project communication, you may want to find out what works for each team member to create a harmonious organizational environment.
Generational leadership is challenging but also very rewarding. Navigating the differences between your generational groups will allow finding a pattern that works for everyone. Taking the matter at hand seriously will guide you to the right developmental activities for yourself and those in your organization. If you would like to discuss development options and evaluate possibilities contact us at [email protected] or call +1 (864) 990-5284.
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