Are you preparing your future leaders and managers?

chinese businesswoman with blurred teamIn the modern world, we are experiencing an unprecedented shift in the way we work. The speed of this shift can seem overwhelming, and has thrown up a whole range of challenges for companies, not least in the area of leadership and management.Cegos Asia Pacific recently conducted a survey to establish the 5 key drivers for success as we head to the 2020s workplace. The second of these is Leader and Manager Readiness, where we found that whilst most companies consider this an important goal, many staff lack the skills to deal with future challenges.Generation X (born between 1966-76) are seen as the ‘leaders in waiting’ with the right skills and flexibility to meet these challenges. Yet, paradoxically, respondents from Gen X appeared to have the least confidence in their own abilities.This is in contrast to Gen Y (born 1977-94), who are best placed to plug into the digital world, ready to engage Generation Z (born after 1995) when they hit the workplace sometime over the next few years. Yet many respondents felt that, in order for this to happen, Gen Y had to lose some of the ‘me’ in favour of more of the ‘we’.According to Cegos, there are five leadership skills essential to preparing current and future leaders for the 2020s workplace.

1. Ability to manage change

The rapid rate of change in the workplace brings with it a need for managers to keep up-to-date with the latest industry practices, and importantly manage change in an environment where there is often some resistance. Future managers should have the know-how to positively communicate the benefits of change as well as ensure that employees are on board with the latest initiatives.

2. Being technologically capable

The impact of technology is having a profound influence on the way we all do business. Tech-savvy managers have the skills to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape and implement bold initiatives to keep ahead of the competition. With continual training on the latest trends, managers will be well equipped with the tools to meet currently unknown challenges.

3. Collaboration

We collaborate on projects in a variety of different ways these days, often remotely. Managers who understand the challenges of cross-generational and cross-cultural working are well-placed to harness the benefits of such collaboration and compete in an increasingly globalised and diverse market.

4. Social media active and capable

Like it or loath it, social media is now an integral part of any modern business, both in the realms of marketing and in general working practices. Those at the younger end of the employee spectrum have grown up with social media being an important communications tool and expect it to play a significant role in how they work. Managers who are active in the use of social media are well positioned to lead initiatives around it and communicate the positives.

5. Negotiation and conflict resolution

As working groups become more fragmented, and with communication now focused on digital rather than face-to-face, there are increasing opportunities for misunderstanding or conflict. Strong negotiating skills are therefore paramount in keeping all parties content and motivated. When conflicts do arise, managers who can deal with them swiftly and positively will help to smooth the process of collaboration and get better results.It is clear that companies who train their staff and encourage development of these five skills will have a distinct advantage over companies who do ‘more of the same’.Indeed, it would seem that companies who actively prepare their future leaders can expect to see a significant return on investment.Are your future leaders ready for tomorrow’s challenges? For a more in-depth look at our survey results and some ideas on how to implement initiatives to ensure future leader and manager readiness, click here to download