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WHITE PAPER: Developing Digital Generation Leaders

digleadThe digital generation works differently and organizations have to adapt. There are fundamental reasons why organizations, must respond to generational issues promptly. Improving productivity, reducing turnover and building your talent supply chain across the digital generation, is imperative for organisational growth.

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The Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) brings together the findings from almost 170,000 respondents from 30 countries, including over 4,700 in the UK and Ireland. It reveals that diverse forces are impacting the workplace, including generational and geographic diversity, technology, employee empowerment, and the widespread use of social media.  They refer to the emergence of the highly virtual workforce, characterized by employees that are connected to their workplace around the clock by virtue of mobile technologies.

The advent of smartphone’s and laptops, and 24/7 access to corporate IT networks has empowered a generation of workers for whom the office is always in their pocket. It reveals the challenge facing many organizations, with employees constantly seeking out new employment opportunities, even when they are happy in their jobs. The survey also shows the way that employees are using intelligence from the labor market to negotiate better outcomes with their employers.

Today’s workforce needs to believe in its employer and perceive meaning in its work, too.

The digital mindset:

  • demands flexible conditions and work-life balance,
  • thrives on collaboration and entrepreneurialism, and
  • at once craves knowledge and is qualified to impart it.

From all of this research, is evident that there are fundamental reasons why organisations, not just HR departments and leaders, must respond to generational issues, by fostering an inclusive leadership development process.

By focusing on employee development and providing consistent guidance, you’ll better motivate and engage your employees by demonstrating your commitment to their short- and long-term success, and with better analytics at hand, you can broaden the diversity of your available talent pool.

According to a PeopleFluent brief: How to Motivate Your Millennial Employees – the Digital Generation – represent your organization’s future, and the perennial question is: Are you motivating the brightest to engage with your organization, or is your performance management strategy causing them to look elsewhere?

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In a recent study, Satoris Culbertson (Kansas State University), Jaime Henning (Eastern Kentucky University), and Stephanie Payne (Texas A&M University) ran a experiment to test whether certain goal-oriented workers might value constructive criticism.

Many people just like to be told how wonderful they are.  Performance evaluations probably aren’t their thing.

The disconnect

Organisations and employees have common goals – they both wish to maximise individual achievement and performance. Yet, these common goals are experiencing a clear disconnect, which is compounding issues of retention, turnover and productivity.

What employees want, and what organisations need from them, are exactly the same. They need to be given the opportunity to excel and use what skills they have to offer. Employees report that they not able to reach their full potential and that this is creating a high degree of unhappiness and the desire to quit.

But what is it that managers really need to know in order to deliver on these expectations?

According to Kelly Services, more emphasis on leaders as coaches to continually improve things, rather than as guardians and enforcers of existing knowledge and process is key.

As an HR leader, that means that you need to connect the dots between in a diversity context that best fits your organization’s ambitions and use the right tools and strategies to engage, motivate, develop, guide high potentials and ultimately retain the digital generation.

Talent development platforms with video, mobile, and collaborative tools engage, giving millennials the open access they expect, and mentorship programs tied to leadership development are a powerful boost for diverse young talent finding their way up the ladder.


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