“What motivates you?” The general perception of the amount credited into our accounts at month-end is not the only driving factor. There are other things such as that intense adrenaline rush on a new project, a healthy competition to keep the motivation high, and a leader that inspires you to do better each time you fall short on the targets.
I have been leading people in various teams for the past 15 years, and through my personal experience, I can safely say that it is neither the money, or the culture, the policies, or the leader. However, all of these ingredients put together in the right quantity make a new-gen organization ready for the future.
We see a broader integration of the multi-generational workforce, and in the last five years, the leading teams have taken center stage by becoming much more dynamic. Organizations (now more than ever) need leaders who have sharp emotional intelligence, creativity, persuasion, and collaboration skills and are additionally able to prioritize, adaptable to new environments, and resilient.
In the current market, while one of the challenges is of managing a multi-generational workforce, the other is artificial intelligence. Future-focused organizations are looking at multiple hard and soft skills when acquiring new talent – the focus is on people who are masters of many skills (for example, deep domain expertise along with strong technology skills). The same is applies to grow existing talent – how we can help people build many primary skills and, at the same time, make them stronger on the softer aspects.
Employee engagement has moved to employee experience. Today, it is not just about how engaged an employee feels, but what experience is she/he receives from the time we start screening the profile, through the employment lifecycle, to even after they have left the organization. Some of the aspects that a new-gen organization needs to focus on to stay future-proof are:
Build personalized-customized employee experience
From the moment employees are exposed to the company to the time he/she gets on board, the careful handling of people/prospective employees is what sets the positive tone for a long-term relationship. Creating personalized communication and customizing the approach of reaching out to them will help in creating a unique experience.
Focus on employee well-being
While aligning employee experience and helping them achieve their goals is one thing, the focus often gets lost when it comes to focusing on their health, well-being, and work-life balance. Mindfulness workshops, active employee engagement programs, a healthy work environment that improves health outcomes are some of the critical elements employees look before deciding to join or continue their stay at an organization.
Build a stronger leadership team
Investing in the development of leaders is very important. Assuming that leaders are leaders for a reason and that they have ways to deal with every situation thrown at them is not a healthy approach. Timely discussions, developmental leadership exercises, advanced courses in problem-solving, real-time problem-solving scenarios, and equipping them with knowledge on the latest technological developments are imperative to strengthen the leadership.
In the end, I would like to add one secret ingredient that has always helped me select the right approach towards people – Empathy. Putting yourself in the shoes of the person you are referring to or making yourself a part of the situation, ask yourself, what would you have expected if you were to be in the same condition as your employee? Listen to your gut – the best advisor there is, and learn as you move along. Implement the learnings and quickly overcome a few unfortunate encounters and be focussed on the future. Be dynamic in the way you think, feel, and converse in the new-gen organization.