Are You a Future-Focused Leader?

By Elizabeth P. Cipolla, VP of Talent Development

Stop and think about this: For years, your organization has been bustling with plenty of work to do filled with hardworking employees who operate like a well-oiled machine. The people you hired in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s have worked their way up into key positions thus comprising your inner circle of trust on whom you can depend to keep things humming along smoothly. The young and eager fresh graduates you hired in 1985 will be retiring in about ten years, and your most seasoned people who were there to train them are now starting to retire. The amount of twenty and thirty something’s are now beginning to outnumber your baby boomers for the first time ever.

So what? Well, your future as a leader is happening right now and your sustainability as an organization is being determined by the choices you make today.

You haven’t asked to have struggles attracting (and keeping) qualified candidates. You never wished for the increasing difficulties that come with leading multi-generational teams while staying on top of ever-changing technology. Yet, here you are. The world is in the midst of another Industrial Revolution and in order to survive, you must harness its power to clinch a sustainability advantage. This can only happen by putting your people at center stage.

Not convinced that we are in the midst of a modern day revolution? Let’s explore a handful of startling statistics from a 2016 “Work-life 3.0” survey of 1,500 employees and executives conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. They highlight a time where jobs and workplaces, as we know them, are going away.

-More people work from home than ever before. Over the past decade, the remote office has become commonplace as employees can connect from anywhere in the world. In fact, 38 percent of employees say they are able to work from home at least one day a week. Employees allowed to work from home are 48 percent more likely to rate their job a “10” on the happiness scale, with 10 being the highest.

-Small businesses offer more flexibility. More than 50 percent of small business employees enjoy a work from home perk, compared to only 26 percent of employees working at large companies.

-Those who work from home achieve higher productivity. Employees who work from home are 13.5% more productive than those who don’t, and quit at half the rate of people who work solely in the office.

-There is more to employee happiness than money. The top reason employees decide to quit is a lack of career path or growth opportunities and real-time feedback or recognition from their manager. Small business employees are 11 percent more likely to say they feel appreciated at work.

-Men and women have different opportunities and priorities. Only one-fifth of women agree they are given opportunities to advance, compared to one-third of men. Women are less likely to feel like they have control over their work which dampens their confidence and motivation. Women are 10 percent more likely than men to site work-life balance as a top value to prioritize in their career.

The data speaks for itself. Business as usual is a thing of the past, and it isn’t isolated to the largest metropolitan areas. Technology has reshaped the way business is done. The opportunities for organizations to use technology as a competitive and sustainable advantage are without question. Progressive organizations have recognized that the status quo is a ticket to obsolescence. Those who learn to unleash the genius of their biggest asset – people – through the best possible work experience and empowerment opportunities will move forward at an unprecedented rate. Those who don’t will fall backward at the same whirling pace.

To stay on top of the talent wars happening during this revolutionary work era, leaders must arm themselves with the skills to meet the demands of an increasingly complex employment experience being demanded by today’s workforce. Success as a future-focused leader is about reshaping your organization and culture so employees can flourish in a future made better by new technologies in a way that drives solid business value through productivity, innovation, flexibility and talent acquisition. Your future success is more than simply offering a quality product or service. It’s about designing a more engaging, flexible and rewarding employee experience.

You have the opportunity to rethink your organization’s employee experience, and apply technology to make it better. Will you seize the moment as a future-focused leader, or hold back until it’s too late?

 

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