Styles of leadership change with each generation and some businesses may find their preferred style of leadership does not seem to be getting the most effective engagement with their employees. What may work with the baby boomer generation is proving ineffective to the X or Y generation workers. The corporate world is realising that it must change with the times as today’s generation are preparing to become the upper management and C-Level executives of tomorrow.
People are motivated by very different things, but in general the X and Y generation prefer a more open style of leadership, they prefer to focus on their own career development rather than working flat out for the good of the company, so leaders need to find ways of tapping into this for the benefit of the business. The following pointers will help you understand how to manage and be managed by the new leadership styles and therefore help increase employee engagement.
Open dialogue, open door policy
The company culture of having the boss locked away in their office is over, generation X and Y need to be able to access their boss’s thoughts and opinions easily. Generation X/Y are able to multitask and achieve fast results and prefer to have a collaborative, open environment to work in. It’s important to offer support and take on board new ideas for getting things done. In large enterprises where leaders simple can’t physically be everywhere at once it’s critical to find other ways to express your vision and allow for feedback loops to be closed.
Value the new values
The work ethic of the company will appear to be different to each generation, the baby boomers often believe that a long working day is the sign of work well achieved whereas the X or Y generation will value a healthy work life balance and will aim to get what they can done in 8 or 9 hours. The use of technology will help speed on their work process so ensuring everyone is trained up their potential for using such equipment will be a great help.
Baby boomers generally have been satisfied with working for one employee for most of their career, but generation X and Y tend to move when they feel that they have met their personal growth needs they will move onto the next opportunity. So in order to help keep employees for a long as possible it is important to provide continuous opportunities such as assignment based career paths that will help challenge a member generation X or Y.
Organisations that embody change and innovation are the ones that Generation X and Y feel most at home in, they feel they are able to best achieve their career ambitions. The more dynamic the business becomes, the better able the business is able to pick and choose the talent available which makes it mutually beneficial for both parties.
Its clear that it’s important to consider how the next generation are working and wishing to advance in the workplace, one incentive that works for one generation doesn’t necessarily work for the next. Businesses are in line for change, as the talent of tomorrow is not far away from coming in. If your not thinking about and planning for this now – you should be.