The Next Generation of Leaders: 6 Needs to Remember

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Organizations Must Prepare

As we look to the future of our organizations, we must prepare for the many variables that affect jobseekers and the current workforce. Workforce demographics are changing for multiple reasons, including that some Baby Boomers will be leaving the workforce as an influx of Millennials and Gen Y opportunity seekers will join or migrate. 

Implement Strategy?

Forward-thinking organizations will need to implement strategies that meet the needs of the next generation of workers. These needs include:

1. Flex-time requests

2. Remote, virtual, telecommuting work opportunities instead of on-location and/or in-office

3. Future opportunities

4. Shared appreciation

5. Contingent or contract work

6. Updated technology and social capabilities within an organization

Whatever strategy is developed and implemented to engage the next gen workforce, the above considerations are a must.  

Leadership Development

The next gen workforce has high expectations of transparency regarding future opportunity.  They want to know now whether there is a chance for future learning or leadership potential.  Sharing opportunity with the current workforce also serves as a brilliant method of retention.  

In-depth, enterprise-wide leadership development must be part of total talent management.  This includes performance management and learning, as well as succession planning. Cohesion must exist between all of these elements.  

Total Talent Management

An integrated and unified talent management system will assist in aligning compensation, reporting and analytics, talent mobility, and career planning with performance management, succession planning, and leadership development. Understanding the various data sets helps organizations to use the data necessary to evolve and grow their future. A strategy that uses these many variables in definition will only benefit and help the organization to progress – which is the most sought after but most difficult to achieve by-product of a “Leadership Development Strategy.”

Readying Tomorrow’s Workforce

It is very important to remember that Millennials, tomorrow’s leaders, demand higher engagement than previous generations of workers. They want input regarding their future and direction on where their career path is headed. Technology is causing businesses to evolve and adapt rapidly – Millennials do this well – they like to adapt and adopt, they like technology. Engage with them appropriately and a future workforce is planted and nourished.  

Creating opportunity and growing tomorrow’s leaders from within demonstrates desire and effort to retain quality within the organization – this is another form of appreciation – which Gen Y and Millennials crave…well, don’t we all?

The Future

We are currently facing skills shortages and gaps that will impact the future for most organizations unless it is addressed now. Investing in solid performance management processes, developing a necessary ongoing skills development cycle, and embracing a vast, cross-cultural approach will assist companies in creating the flexible and enduring organization of tomorrow.  

The future is here. Tomorrow is today. Time to get started.

“The more seriously you take your growth, the more seriously people will take you.” - John Maxwell

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