As we look at the number of underemployed Gen Yers in our nation, it’s easy to understand how they might be discouraged about their future employment. How do today’s leaders inspire the next generation of employees? I don’t think it will be solved with the status quo.
In fact, employees are looking to follow a special type of leader in the future. In the 21st century, leaders who have the capacity for caring become an inspirational magnet to employees. Most managers don’t care about the personal welfare of their workers.
Furthermore, many managers do not understand how to care and love their employees. I’m not talking about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct. I’m talking about a leader with a genuine concern about the growth and well being of his or her employees. Therefore, this relationship goes beyond this manager’s own self interest. Contemporary organizations simply do not have sincere affection for their employees.
Unfortunately, some managers view their employees like any other business commodity (like a computer, fax, or cell phone). Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of the Human Equation, notes that today’s conventional wisdom holds that the way to economic success is to cut costs. This simply means cutting people. A company may be concerned on a very superficial level as in “how are you doing today,” but don’t feel a sense of caring for its employees.
If organizations hope to sustain any success in the future with the next generation of employees, managers will need to make a giant paradigm shift. Dr. Bruce Winston, my former dean and a leadership guru, advocates the need for more caring leaders.
Leadership is about giving, not taking. It’s more than just being the boss. John Hoyle, author of Leadership and Futuring, suggests three characteristics of this new leadership model. These characteristics include the following: (a) ability to communicate with followers, especially the organizational vision; (b) a capacity for caring and concern; and (c) a persistent attitude. Many leaders operate under a very authoritarian mode.
Sadly, the lack of concern for people is a growing issue for effective organizations. It also creates an unproductive work environment for employee development. What America needs is more people-focused leaders. If leaders are truly concerned about their employees, then the workforce will be transformed into a 21st century organization, thereby changing the world. However, it must start with a different leadership model.
Describe your professional and personal experiences with this new leadership model (concerned & involved leadership).