How to Be a Great Leader in the Hyper-Digital Workplace
Two-thirds of leaders surveyed consider digital optimization to be a crucial part of their business strategies, according to the Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. The same leaders also agreed that in this new era of automated work culture, methods of communicating, decision-making, innovating, learning, and problem-solving need to shift and adjust as well.
Now is the time to look at how you work with your team and consider what changes will make you a future-forward leader. Use these ideas to recalibrate your approach to management, so you can continue to lead with passion and success while growing your business.
Be Open-Minded & Flexible
Moving forward and building a future-ready business starts with you and the rest of leadership being open minded and unafraid. Myles F. Suer, Contributor for CIO, explains:
“I was amazed that technology leaders do not see technology as the biggest obstacle to crossing the digital chasm. They say it often comes down to culture, resources, and analog thinking on the part of business leaders. In fact, CIOs believe analog thinking is a significant obstacle for many legacy organizations responding to digital disruption.”
In other words, these established corporate legacy organizations who have functioned within the same parameters for decades are risk-averse and hesitant to transition out of entrenched systems—no matter how inefficient or outmoded.
As a leader, Suer says you need to be fearless, which is “something CIOs believe is rare.” Not only does this open you up to more opportunity, but you show employees that change and digital optimization is good, giving them approval to come forward with innovative ideas.
Find New Ways to Motivate Employees
The more digitally advanced and connected your processes are, the more necessary it becomes to keep your team excited about the evolving nature of the hyper-digital workplace. Michael Stahl, CMO of HealthMarkets, a company that’s undergone much digital transformation in recent years, explains:
“Being motivated to take something from ‘good’ to ‘awesome’ as a team is critical. You need to have team members who aren’t just there to better themselves, but to better the people around them. By sharing and embracing the skills of everyone and genuinely wanting to see others improve and grow, you benefit all team members.”
As a leader, it’s your job to bring the best out in your employees, especially in a digital workspace, where some staff members may not even be in-house. Shift your leadership style to allow for more time with your team, making it easier to get to know everyone’s strengths, while ensuring your employees are continually motivated and supported in innovative endeavors.
Become a Curious, Persistent Learner
A modern workplace has no choice but to keep stride, which means your job is no longer just to lead, but to constantly educate both yourself and the team. “Learning is survival-critical for employees and enterprises alike,” stress global leaders at The Boston Consulting Group. To keep learning effective, leaders suggest implementing an “adaptable learning ecosystem,” which does the following:
● Personalizes the training materials and activities to reinforce the specific needs of each employee.
● Delivers real-time support and feedback, so employees feel challenged and affirmed in their progress.
● Incorporates social and team-building dynamics that encourage active participation from employees.
● Translates into measurable, applicable learning outcomes that each employee can use in their role.
Don’t forget to use the same learning system for all members of leadership. You need to hold yourselves accountable to learning as much as your employees.
Be a Great Digital Leader
Leadership in the hyper-digital workplace is fluid—be prepared to change and revise your methods to match the brisk pace of innovation. As a leader, you need to be adaptable, involved, and development-focused to make the most of new ideas, strategies or trends. With an excited and dynamic team, you’ll be poised for the future of technological advancement—wherever it might lead you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Thiefels is founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting. She’s been writing for more than 10 years and has been featured in top publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Fast Company. She also regularly contributes to Virgin, Business Insider, Glassdoor, Score.org and more. Follow her on Twitter @JThiefels and connect on LinkedIn.