What it takes to be a great leader in the era of Gen Z and technology

What it takes to be a great leader in the era of Gen Z and technology

What does it take to be a great leader? Successfully leading a team means adapting to different environments, different working styles and accounting for cultural differences.

Increased globalisation in today's business landscape means leaders are facing new challenges in leading and managing teams in complex business environments.

Research has shown that 36% of organisations do not have a formal leadership strategy and it's essential in the current business climate for any leader to be aware of global workforce trends to progress. 

Digital Transformation

Digitalisation has had an impact on all industries, and the 'threat' of automation has been fueled by research from the likes of Durrant and Whyte (et al. 2015), who estimated around 40% of current jobs in Australia have a high probability of being automated in the next 10-15 years.

The increase and advancement of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are giving data-driven industries, such as human resources, the power to analyse and automate.

Tasks and processes such as employee onboarding, performance management and recruitment can now be automated, leaving additional resources to make strategic business decisions. 

A study conducted by Deloitte revealed that Australian leaders view digital communication tools as key facilitators of team connectedness with 80% predicting an increase in the use of work-based social media platforms.

It was noted that 75% of Australian companies view AI, robotics and automation as important for progression, highlighting the fact that technology is transforming the global workplace.

Business leaders will need to adapt to this digital transformation by creating a clear vision and digital strategy that inspires and engages their employees. 

Make way for Gen Z

In a report conducted by Sodexo, Generation Z is described as a "distinct generation not to be grouped in with their Millennial counterparts.

From their expectations around technology to their preference for work-life blend over balance, these employees are already reshaping the workplace in new and exciting ways".

An estimated 61 million members of Gen Z are poised to integrate into the workplace and research has predicted that by 2020 they will make up over 20% of the workforce.

It's important to note that there are vast differences between Generation Z and Millennials, so this needs to be factored into any successful leadership strategy.

Understanding your employees and how they work is key to leading a successful team.

For example, in comparison, Millennials are advocates for work-life balance whereas Gen Z tends to promote equality and diversity in the workplace. Similarly, Millennials are digital pioneers whereas Gen Z are digital natives.

Accounting for these differences in a workforce can appear to be a complicated juggling act. However, it is essential that leaders adapt to this burgeoning generation or risk stagnation.

Championing technological advancement, encouraging entrepreneurship and appealing to digital natives are all techniques leaders will need to practice to attract and maintain a Gen Z workforce.

The 100% online Master of Business Administration at Victoria University Online is delivered by the internationally respected Victoria Graduate School of Business (VGSB).

It's designed for professionals that want to elevate their career or business, studying specialist units such as Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Art and Practice of Leadership.

This article is brought to you by Victoria University Online.

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