As employers, we need to prepare future leaders for a world that is going to be quite different from the one we currently all live and work in.
As employers we need to consider some critical questions to help us do so:
- What might your organisation look like in 2020?
- How is technology changing your industry, your business and the way you sell to and engage with your customers?
- What skills, knowledge and behaviors of your leaders, are going to be crucial tomorrow in order for your business to not only to keep up to date with the changes in the global business environment, but to thrive?
Remember, the 2020 multidimensional workplace will be more challenging and diverse than ever before, therefore, developing and nurturing today’s talent, who are tomorrow’s leaders, should be a key priority for your business.
Here are the top five actions that organisations can take today to prepare for an improved workplace in 2020 and beyond:
1. Invest in L&D from the top-down
Building a culture of learning and development from the top down will help ensure your people are the best they can be. Investing in well-crafted L&D programs with a blend of formal and informal learning will not only improve core skills and ultimately business performance but will also help increase retention and improve cohesion across your organisation. Consider where training can be used most effectively in your business and where the greatest skills gaps exist and then prioritize L&D budgets accordingly to maximize ROI and business impact.
2. Offer plenty of career development opportunities
Make sure you provide plenty of opportunities to stretch your leaders in waiting and support them along the way. Think creatively about what opportunities you can provide for your high potentials to gain new skills, experience and the confidence they will need to lead effectively when the time comes. Our survey shows that Generation X wants hands-on leadership experience, coaching and opportunities to undertake international or cross-functional assignments. Talent mobility not only adds to the development of the individual, but also helps to create a cadre of future leaders with a global mindset. A combination of each of these different techniques will prepare future leaders for the challenges that lie ahead and will also enable Generation X to tap into older generational knowledge and expertise.
3. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
Business success increasingly depends on greater collaboration both within and outside of the organisation.
The more the workforce becomes collaborative and socially connected, the more it becomes imperative for a collaborative mindset to be ingrained throughout the business from the top down. From collaborative leadership styles to using technology and social networking to achieve greater collaboration in working practices and L&D, achieving greater collaboration needs be a key focus in all areas of the organisation.
4. Use learning technologies for a clear business/learner need
Learning technologies are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace, with leaders recognizing the importance of technology in L&D. However, to ensure that learning technologies deliver ROI and are used to maximum effect, you need to ensure that you consider the needs of both the business and the learner from the outset.
- What problems can the learning technology help you solve?
- Does it offer the potential to improve business performance?
- How can it help you tap into the knowledge that exists across different generations, job roles and regions?
The key to success is ensuring there is a clear business case and learning goals and that technology is not being used for technology’s sake.
5. Make sure cross-generational training programs focus on the future
Training programs designed to help managers and leaders in a cross-generational environment are all too often falling short of expectation. Also, a significant proportion of organisations do not have a specific program in place to help leaders in this critical area. It is essential to make sure that training programs for managing or leading a cross-generational workforce focus firmly on the challenges that lie ahead and are not too ‘now-centric’ or driven by past events and experiences.