Whether you counted down to it or can’t believe it’s really here, 2020 has arrived. What arrived with the new decade? A new age of employees. Generation Z has entered the workforce, and to be successful in 2020 and beyond, you must adopt leadership skills that can manage this new age of employees.
As with any new age of employees, managing Gen Z comes with its own unique set of challenges. Even if you consider yourself a competent leader, simply doing what you’ve always done may not be enough. If you are to be successful in 2020 and beyond, you will need to adjust your leadership skills to fit Generation Z.
When you adopt leadership skills that can manage Generation Z, you make your organization stronger as a whole. Tailoring your style to fit yet another new age of employees may seem tiresome or overwhelming. But, as every good leader knows, such fine-tuning comes with the territory. Like former President John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to one another.”
Skills You Need to Thrive in 2020
To help focus your learning efforts, consider the World Economic Forum report which reveals the skills you need to thrive in 2020. People management, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility all made the list. However, Forbes contributor Avil Beckford, argues that, while these skills make sense for the current age, they may not be enough for you to succeed.
If you are to find success in 2020 and beyond, Beckford writes that you will need to adapt some of your skills to the workplace of the future and, also, learn new skills. One area you should assess for improvement is communication. Especially with the remote work trend gaining traction, being able to effectively communicate your ideas, both written and orally, to employees you may no longer meet with face to face on a daily basis is more important than ever.
Staying with the remote work trend, understanding and leveraging technology is a skill vital to your success. It’s no secret that technology is developing at an unprecedented pace, and Beckford urges leaders to stay on top of it. Technology is shaping the future of business and one way is making remote work possible. This means workplaces are becoming more globalized. This decade, you’ll likely be working with and managing people vastly different from you. Cultural awareness and sensitivity are critical, according to Beckford.
Managing Generation Z
Cultural awareness and sensitivity, understanding and leveraging technology and communication are three of the most important leadership skills for managing Generation Z. Unless you’re entirely new to leadership, chances are you already embody these skills to a certain degree. It’s only a matter of adapting them to manage this new age of employees.
For example, being aware of your employees’ social backgrounds and belief systems is a timeless leadership skill. However, social backgrounds and belief systems can change when a new generation enters the workforce.
In the case of Generation Z, they are particularly more ecologically minded than previous generations. Understanding this, you should enunciate your value of the environment and prioritize sustainability tactics such as investing in green building materials to reduce your carbon footprint.
In addition to being more ecologically minded, Generation Z is more diverse than previous workforces. Practicing cultural sensitivity through solid intrapersonal skills is imperative. In one of its many educational resources, Bradley University reports that leaders who express themselves clearly and display empathy toward others have a positive influence on their teams. Effective communication and having empathy rank high on the list of best leadership advice from successful entrepreneurs.
Putting New Leadership Skills Into Practice
Now that you understand the leadership skills you need to successfully manage Generation Z, it’s time to make a plan for adapting your unique leadership style to those skills and putting them into practice. Business 2 Community contributor Shane Green writes that changing the way you think and choosing the right attitude is essential to enhancing your leadership skills.
If you are going to show up in a way that will inspire your team to perform, Green recommends training your mind to focus on the positives and utilizing stress-reducing tactics. He suggests testing out visualization, meditation, breathing exercises, and brain games to find what works best for you.
Another mindset shift you will need to make as you put your new leadership skills into practice is adopting a confident approach. If you’re a confident leader, your employees will bask and share in that confidence with you. One way to build confidence is quieting your negative inner voice. Green writes that, in order to enhance your leadership skills for 2020, you must stop competing with others and focus on bettering yourself.
When you focus on bettering yourself and honing your leadership skills for success, your whole team benefits. Developing your leadership skills is an ongoing process. The start of a new year is a great time to take stock of your skills and make a plan for how to adapt them to the current workforce. With that plan in hand, you’re well on your way to success in 2020 and beyond.
Guest post courtesy of Noah Rue