The face of the business world is changing, and leaders need to adjust to remain relevant and successful. Millennials and the generation behind them have different ideas about what makes good leadership, and they have shown a willingness to leave their jobs if they are not satisfied. This guide is intended to be helpful for anyone looking to improve their leadership skills in a changing business world. I was able to meet with a group of highly motivated students from Westfield Elementary school about increasing their technology budget. I was extremely impressed with their knowledge and ideas on how to create a brighter future.
Leaders Who Seek Feedback From All Employees Are Valued
As a leader of the next generation, you will need to be sure and seek feedback from all employees. The employees of the future feel that everyone in the company should be involved in decision-making for the simple reason that these decisions affect everyone at the company. Younger employees also feel as though it isn’t a good idea to make decisions based only on the life experiences of upper management when other employees have insightful thoughts as well. This way of thinking is beneficial to your organization. Making decisions without the input of those they might affect breeds disgruntled employees who are more likely to quit your organization. It can also give you innovative ideas employees in management positions would never have thought of.
Be Ready To Clarify And Justify Your Policies
The workers of the future are fine with policies that make sense and are a benefit to the organization. However, they will also question policies that don’t make sense to them or that they feel are unjust. Again, this can be beneficial, because it forces you to consider whether certain policies are really necessary or whether they can be improved. This will help you build a stronger organization overall with practical policies that are logical and employees are happy to follow.
Connect With Your Employees
Next generation employees want to feel as though they are valued – that they are part of the team. They do not like responding to a boss who seeks to control them. Rather, they prefer to be seen as adults who are important members of your organization. Empower your employees by providing them opportunities for career development, continuing education and more, and they will be loyal and want to work under you. Leaders of the future lead by leveraging inspiration and ideas, rather than laws and policies.
Be Tech Savvy
Technology will continue to play a larger and more important role in business as time goes on. Younger employees are used to using technology to get things done and want to use it in the workplace. Always stay informed of new tech trends and software, including apps, that could benefit your company and provide both your customers and your employees with what they want. Adam Schanz, founder and CEO of home security company Alder Home Protection, understands this as well as other key leadership principles. This includes giving due importance to your online presence, where you have access to more customers and a greater candidate talent pool.
Support Work-Life Balance
Younger employees have a strong desire for a work-life balance in their careers. Leaders of the future need to understand this and be supportive of policies that enable employees to have more of a work-life balance. These policies can include greater maternity leave and childcare benefits, more flexible schedules, the ability to work from home at least some of the time and more. Doing so results in employees who are happier as well as cost savings and other benefits.
The most successful business leaders are always looking to the future. Do this yourself by innovating and keeping tabs on what the next generation wants out of their careers, and you will likely be looked upon as a very good leader. Remember that the future of business is built on networking and relationships, especially with your own employees. Have good relationships, and you will have a loyal, dedicated workforce that is driven to see your company succeed.