The ability to embrace and to adapt to change quickly and effectively is perhaps the most important issue for business owners today. Technology, politics, demographic changes and global issues continue to create challenges to today’s interconnected business world. More than ever, companies, public sector organizations, business owners and employees need to work together on ways to innovate to stay on top. Technology is a major consideration for nearly every business, but it might surprise you to consider just how important the human touch is, too.
Here are some considerations on what it will take to lead, and succeed, in 2017:
- Millennials have come of age
We can no longer categorize this generation as being fresh out of college or grad school. The youngest of the millennials now are approaching their mid-thirties. Attracting experienced employees and managers means business owners might need to rethink some old ideas. As a group, millennials are socially motivated and innovative. Understanding their motivations and values will be key to attracting vital new talent.
- Employee communication and motivation
Managers know they’re supposed to review and appraise those who report to them. For a variety of reasons, employee reviews frequently are postponed, ignored or pushed to the bottom of the to-do list at companies both large and small. For employees to feel fully vested in the company where they work, they need truthful information and fair and compassionate feedback. Today, successful bosses are those who not only critique, but also listen, lead by example and recognize good performance.
Business owners, as well as board members, are seeing more pressure to increase transparency and two-way communication with their employees and stakeholders. Social media, investor activism and a host of other factors have increased distrust, and more businesses are feeling the pressure to be more transparent.
- Diversity and inclusion
Industry and commerce leaders in a variety of sectors are demonstrating their commitment to developing an inclusive culture. They recognize it is crucial to their success. Engaged, motivated employees expect to see diversity, real inclusion and gender parity. Consider your own business: What messages are you sending when it comes to diversity, inclusion and gender equality?
Companies that are open to new workplace ideas, including flexible working hours and conditions, will reap the benefits in increased productivity and employee loyalty. Businesses that are willing to use technology to allow their employees to work from home are well positioned to thrive in the coming years.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of issues, but it’s a starting place for your own brainstorming.