By Sammi Caramela, B2B Staff Writer
Today’s business leaders have to deal with ever-changing tech products, globalization and a new generation of workers. Nothing ever stays the same. Just as society changes and develops, so do workplace challenges. As a leader, you must be able to adapt to the technological advancements and economic forces that directly impact your team. Here are five modern leadership challenges and how to handle them.
1. Technological advancements
The latest and greatest tech tools from a few years ago are now obsolete, and business leaders may find it difficult to adjust. But staying ahead of the curve means using these gadgets to your advantage.
The more experienced leader may never feel comfortable with technology. If you’re not comfortable, allow your younger staff to help lead your company into a more technology-friendly direction
The internet has opened the doors for global business opportunities in many different industries. While the increasingly global economy has given businesses the chance to enter previously untapped markets, it also means that leaders need to be more aware of what happens in those markets.
3. Demographic shifts
Along with globalization, today’s business world is seeing a huge shift in demographics, Engelmeier said. Disposable income and spending power have increased greatly for Generation Y, as well as Latino and African-American populations in recent years, so diverse input in the workplace will be required to adapt to this changing market.
4. Customer needs and motivations
Every business owner knows that the key to success is giving customers what they want, but are you doing everything you can to find out exactly what that is? Bruce Cazenave, CEO of home fitness solutions provider Nautilus, believes that many of today’s leaders have trouble understanding the complex, changing needs of their customers.
Cazenave recommended spending quality time with your customers to let their voices drive progress and inform changes within your organization. You can do this with personal visits, consumer insight research, trade shows, social media and other communication channels.
5. Information and choice available to the workforce
With websites employees can share their opinions about their employers, which means candidates may form an opinion of your company before contact is ever made.
“The internet has changed workplace team dynamics in ways many leaders don’t fully realize,” said leadership author and speaker David Dye. “An organization’s management culture, compensation and even its interview questions are often available to anyone who wants to look.”
Creating a strong culture of collaboration and respect within a company begins with its leaders. To build this culture, Dye advised treating your team as if they were volunteers who are motivated by factors other than salary and benefits.
“Recognize that your employees choose how they’ll show up each day, how much energy they will expend, and whether or not they will solve problems or ignore them,” Dye said. “Believe in and respect your people, and equip them to succeed.”