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Leading and managing in the 2020 workplace challenges for gen x leaders in waiting

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This new joint research paper delivered by Cegos Asia Pacific, Temasek Polytechnic and the Singapore Training and Development Assoc highlights the leadership and managerial challenges in the 2020 …

This new joint research paper delivered by Cegos Asia Pacific, Temasek Polytechnic and the Singapore Training and Development Assoc highlights the leadership and managerial challenges in the 2020 workplace - with special attention on Gen X'ers who are leaders-in-waiting. The research was carried out in Singapore and has inputs from across SE Asia.

There is much talk about Generation Y and that is fair enough! That said, we felt a focus on Generation X was needed as the changes in the workplace over the next 5-7 years will be enormous when you consider: The iGen joining the workforce, an Ageing population continuing to contribute to organisational success, the increasing integration and use of technologies at work and within learning, the multicultural and often remote working environment and much more.

Some key outputs here for developing the leadership and management skill-sets in this increasingly cross generational and multi-dimensional workplace.

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  • 1. Leading and Managing in the 2020 multi-dimensional workplace New knowledge, skills, habits and behaviours to support Generation X Leaders-in-Waiting A cross generational research project with particular focus on Generation X challenges, conducted in Singapore between June and August 2013 Authored by: Mr Jeremy BLAIN Regional Managing Director, Cegos Asia Pacific September 2013 A joint research project with : TP-THT Asia TransCultural Research Centre, Temasek Polytechnic Singapore Training and Development Association (STADA)
  • 2. Contents 1. Executive summary 2 2. Introduction and aims 5 3. Survey sample and demographics 7 4. Leadership challenges today and tomorrow 8 5. Leadership skills for today’s and tomorrow’s workplace 11 6. Generation X - mind the skills gap 13 7. How will leadership styles change? 16 8. The role of technology 17 9. Helping Generation X develop their leadership skills 19 10. Training for leading a cross-generational workforce 21 11. What can organisations learn from this study 23 12. Top five actions for organisations today 24 13. References 25 14. About Cegos Group 26 15. About Temasek Polytechnic - Centre for TransCultural Studies and 26 TP-THT Asia TransCultural Research Centre 16. About STADA 27 17. About Jeremy Blain 28 1
  • 3. 1. Executive summary This research-led report examines the challenges facing managers and leaders today in an increasingly cross- generational workplace and evaluates how these challenges will evolve in the 2020 workplace with a wider cross generational mix as Generation Z (iGen) enter the workplace over the next few years. This major new study and report into attitudes towards leadership capabilities now and for the future in Asia Pacific, identifies Generation X Managers as the most likely to transition to leadership positions within organisations over the next five-to-seven years, hence highlighting the importance of closing the skills gaps within this group. In addition, it provides insight into how the issue can be tackled effectively through the right talent management and training practices. The study was carried out through a partnership between Cegos, Temasek Polytechnic –TP-THT Asia TransCultural Research Centre and The Singapore Training and Development Association (STADA) with opinion sourced from 584 respondents, primarily Generation X Singaporeans in the Asia Pacific workplace during the summer of 2013. The definitions and age-groupings of the different generations are closely mapped to articles and publications of Strauss and Howe from 1991 onwards. Key highlights of the study: The number one leadership challenge is developing and growing staff • The study found that developing and growing staff is the number one leadership challenge facing leaders and managers both today (rated highly by 73% of respondents) and in the future (71%) as organisations prepare for growth and challenges of the 2020 workplace which will see up to five different generations working side by side. • Self-development and managing change are perceived to be the next most important challenges both today and in the future. • As the Baby Boomers continue to retire and as Generation Z (iGen) enters the workforce, knowledge transfer across generations rises up the priorities along with managing talent and skills shortages, engaging a multi-generational team, changes in technology, managing a multi-cultural team and managing cross-cultural communication - all perceived to be more important challenges in the future than they are today. What makes a good leader? • The study found that the three most important skills leaders need today are the ability to manage change – cited as being of high importance by 79% of respondents, negotiation and conflict resolution skills (68%), and collaboration skills (68%). • While ability to manage change remains the most important skill for leaders in the 2020 workplace, tech-savvy skills rises to the second position followed by collaboration skills and social media skills. • Social media skills and collaboration skills go hand in hand and technology has only recently emerged to enable these new paradigms, therefore organisations have a major challenge on their hands making sure their managers/leaders can use them to their best effect. Supporting the growth and development of leaders in these areas, and helping them to evolve their skills will be critical to future business success. 2 © CEGOS 2013
  • 4. Today’s managers, tomorrow’s leaders – Generation X lacks core competencies and the confidence to lead effectively • Today’s Generation X managers will be tomorrow’s leaders. While they are perceived to be tech-savvy and have networking, social media and collaboration skills, they lack many of the core ‘management’ skills required to lead effectively in a diverse workplace. – So on one level Generation X is well positioned to enable the new technology enabled paradigm shift – On the other the more essential skills of managing, leading and coaching are highlighted as the biggest need for development. • The study also reveals that there is a deep-rooted lack of self-belief among Generation X who perceives its current skills to be lower than what is required. Additionally, a general lack of confidence across the different age groups in the workplace as to Generation X’s leadership skills levels both today and in the future. • This lack of capability and confidence represents the single biggest barrier to effective leadership in today’s dramatically evolving workplace and in the lead up to 2020 when the challenges for managers and leaders will be even greater. Leadership styles must evolve as we move towards 2020 • Not only must leaders evolve their skills sets to lead effectively as we head towards 2020, they must also evolve their leadership style to reflect the changing demographics of the workplace. As organisations become increasing cross-generational, the study shows that leadership styles are expected to change. Again, here we see collaboration coming to the fore, with a collaborative style of leadership predicted to increase the most and micro-management predicted to decrease the most to reflect the changing needs of the workplace. Technology’s greatest role in the workplace is in Learning & Development • Technology continues to revolutionise how people work, live and learn. As such, it has most important role to play for leaders in learning and development both today and even more so in the future as the study shows. L&D was rated above supporting day-to-day communication, changing business practices and bringing together virtual teams. • It is encouraging to see leaders rating the role of technology so highly. Perhaps this will help dispel some of the generalisations we read about business leaders being technophobic and technology luddites. The challenge for organisations however, is ensuring that technology learning tools are deployed to the greatest effect and are not just used for technology’s sake. Generation X wants hands-on leadership experience and to be coached • When it comes to developing their leadership skills, Generation X has a preference for gaining leadership experience on the job; allowing them to choose the leadership style that best suits them and their teams. They also place a high importance on talent mobility initiatives, the opportunity for international assignments and cross-functional movement. • Coaching/mentoring is seen as one of the most effective learning techniques with 60% of respondents rating this method as being highly effective in terms of leadership development. 3 © CEGOS 2013
  • 5. Training programmes for leading a cross-generational workforce need to be more effective • The good news is that the majority of organisations are making some level of investment in training specifically to prepare current and future managers and leaders for the 2020 cross-generational workplace with 44% of people receiving training in this area in the last two years. • However, while organisations clearly recognise the importance of ensuring that their people have the skills to ‘manage’ in the increasingly cross-generational workplace, the study reveals that the training initiatives they are investing in are not as effective as they should have been. In some cases this is because their programmes are too ‘now-centric’ or past driven, rather than focused on the challenges ahead within a dramatically shifting workplace over the next five-to-seven years. Two key questions organisations need to address now Overall, the survey highlights two key questions organisations need to be asking themselves right now in order to prepare for the 2020 workplace. – What skills do our leaders need now and tomorrow in order to thrive? – What steps can we take to prepare them for the future and close the skills gaps that exist? • As well as providing an in-depth analysis of the key trends emerging from the research study, this report also provides an insight into some of the opportunities that exist to prepare Generation X for the key leadership challenges that await them. • Developing and growing staff is the top leadership challenge • Knowledge transfer across generations will become a greater challenge in the next five years • A good leader today can manage change and has strong collaboration and negotiation and conflict resolution skills • In the 2020 workplace, skills in technology, social media and collaboration will be increasingly important for leaders • While many Generation X managers already have these skills they lack essential managing, leading and coaching skills • A lack of capability and confidence to lead among Generation X is the single biggest barrier to effective leadership • Leaders need to evolve from micro-management to a more collaborative leadership style • Technology has the most important role to play for leaders in learning and development • To develop their leadership skills, Generation X wants hands-on experience, coaching and talent mobility opportunities • Training programmes for leading a cross-generational workforce need to be more future focused to be effective 4 © CEGOS 2013
  • 6. 2. Introduction and aims Globalisation, the rise of technology, shifting demographics and an uncertain economic climate continue to create unprecedented challengers for today’s managers and leaders. The global workplace today is increasingly cross-generational. As we move towards 2020 there will potentially be five different generations working side by side or at least four, with the first wave of Generation Z or ‘iGen’ set to enter the workforce shortly. While it can be dangerous to stereotype or generalise, it is widely recognised that each generation in the workplace share at least some common traits, experiences and expectations (see Figure 1). For employers, the key challenges will be ensuring they have the right leadership talent on board capable of navigating through the increasingly global and cross-generational workplace and creating an inclusive and cohesive working environment where every generation works in harmony to their full potential. Traditionalists Baby Boomers Generation X Generation Y Gen Z / iGen 68 years and over 50 – 67 years 33 – 49 years 16 – 32 years 15 years or less Duty Idealistic Work/Life I want.... Connected! Logic Competitive Balance Tech Literate Face-to-Face? Discipline Questioning Positive Loyalty Dislike Change Portable Careers Confident & Collaborative Legacy Continually Evolve Flexibility Want Meaningful Work Figure 1: The five generations In today’s workplace, leadership power has clearly begun to shift towards Generation X. As these individuals continue to rise to the top positions of companies en masse while others represent ‘leaders in waiting’, the last remaining Traditionalists along with a growing number of Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce, taking with them the knowledge and skills they have used to lead the workplace for the last 50 years. The rise of Generation X as leaders poses a number of pertinent questions for organisations. - Does Generation X have the skills and competencies required for today’s leadership challenges and those which lie ahead in the future? - How is their leadership style going to need to evolve to embrace newer generations entering the workplace? - Do they understand technology and how to capitalise on the benefits it offers? - Are they being prepared so that they can get the most out of their people and ensure everybody works in harmony regardless of their generation, and to their maximum potential? -Do they have the confidence and support they need in the workplace to lead effectively and drive business growth now and in the future? 5 © CEGOS 2013 The Generational Challenges • Traditionalists – Maintaining their engagement • Baby Boomers – Transition and succession planning • Generation X – Preparing them for leadership roles • Generation Y – Integration & retention • iGen – Handling an even more technologically conversant generation and ensuring they have the right human interaction and communication skills
  • 7. With all this in mind, our research study has three key objectives: 1. To determine the current leadership challenges in today’s workplace and how these are anticipated to evolve as we move towards 2020 and an increasingly multi-generational workplace. 2. To understand what leadership skills and styles are required now and in the future and pinpoint what skills gaps exist amongst Generation X leaders in order to help organisations prepare for the future. 3. To explore the role of technology in the workplace, its growing importance in L&D, and whether current training methods for preparing people to ‘manage’ an increasing cross-generational workforce are meeting expectations. 6 © CEGOS 2013
  • 8. 3. Survey sample and demographics 7 © CEGOS 2013 The survey was carried out among 584 business leaders, managers and employees in the Asia Pacific workplace during the summer of 2013. Respondents were drawn from a cross section of organisation sizes and professional categories, with the majority being Generation X Singaporeans (see Figure 2 to Figure 6). Age groups in the workplace were categorised as follows: • 68 years and over – Traditionalist • 50 – 67 years – Baby Boomer • 33 – 49 years – Generation X • 16 – 32 years – Generation Y • 15 years and younger – Generation Z / iGen Figure 2: Age demographics Figure 3: Gender demographics Figure 4: Nationality Figure 5: Organisation size Figure 6: Job role
  • 9. 8 © CEGOS 2013 4. Leadership challenges today and tomorrow In order to understand how the challenges for leaders are going to change in the future with four or even five different generations in the workplace working side by side, respondents were asked to rate the importance of their key leadership challenges both today (Figure 7) and in five years’ time (Figure 8) so that comparisons could be drawn. The study found: • Developing and growing staff is the greatest challenge facing leaders and managers today, with nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents rating this key challenge of high importance. • Self-development and managing change are seen as the next most important challenges today, each rated to be of high importance by 69% of respondents. This dual challenge and focus for leaders on developing their employees’ skills while simultaneously time refreshing and acquiring new skills themselves is not surprising given both the current skills shortages in Asia Pacific as well as how critical building skills capability is for achieving competitive advantage and business growth which is projected to be over 5¾ percent in the course of 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [1]. The need to build skills in order to execute business strategies, serve customers and remain competitive is clearly evident in the 2013 Talent Shortage Survey carried out by recruitment specialists Manpower Group [2]. They found more than half (51%) of Asia Pacific employers reporting that skills gaps are posing difficulties in filling job vacancies, up 6% compared to 2012. The Manpower survey also found that almost one in five (19%) Asia Pacific employers with a talent shortage issue are offering additional training and development to current staff to help fill the gaps. Meanwhile, Cegos’ own annual Learning Trends survey [3] reassuringly also found a strong commitment to training in Asia Pacific with 87% of learners having received training in 2012 across a broad range of training areas, using a wide range of training techniques from classroom and online training to coaching, mentoring and on-the-job learning with companies increasingly adopting a blended approach. Figure 7: In your leadership roles today, how would you rate the importance of each of the following challenges?
  • 10. 9 © CEGOS 2013 Figure 8: In your leadership roles in five years’ time, how would you rate the importance of each of the following challenges? Looking ahead towards 2020 our survey found that: • Today’s managers and leaders anticipate relatively little change to their top leadership challenges with the top three challenges being: - Developing and growing staff (71%) - Managing change (71%) - Training for self-development (67%) • The following challenges are perceived to be more important in the future than they are today: - Knowledge transfer across generations (65%) - Talent and skills shortages (64%) - Engaging a multi-generational team (63%) - Changes in technology (63%) - Managing a multi-cultural team (60%) - Managing cross-cultural communication (57%) Clearly, as the global workplace becomes more diverse than ever before (both in terms of culture and age group), the need to engage and manage multi-cultural teams and manage cross-cultural communications will certainly intensify. Technology is becoming an increasingly important enabler for communication and collaboration across geographically dispersed and remote teams and while it provides clear opportunities for leaders, it also presents challenges. This is explored in detail in my recent whitepaper ‘Getting the Best Out of Your Talent – Whatever the Generation’ [4]. Another major factor is the forthcoming exit of the final Traditionalists and the predicted spike in the number of Baby Boomers leaving the workplace which make tapping into older generational knowledge more important than ever. The importance of this can’t be over-estimated – there is a pressing need to harness the knowledge and expertise that exists at the top of organisations. Maximising the potential resource will ensure that the What factors are leading to a perceived increase in the challenges that leaders will face in the future, compared with today?
  • 11. 10 © CEGOS 2013 younger generations are mentored so they can step up to their new roles while having the skills to reach out to Traditionalists and Baby Boomers. Indeed, a recent research study by Cass Business School and Odgers Berndtson ‘After the Baby Boomers – The Next Generation of Leadership’ [5] found that 59% of senior executives do not think that their organisations are ready for demographic change. Challenges specifically for Generation X leaders Respondents were also asked to rate which areas they thought Generation X leaders face greater challenges in than their Baby Boomer counterparts have faced in the past (Figure 9). • Engaging a multi-generational team and managing multicultural teams with different values and behaviours came out top in the study, with 60% and 57% of respondents respectively, thinking that these are greater challenges for Generation X leaders now than they have been in the past for the Baby Boomer leaders. • Indeed, all the key leadership challenges in the survey are perceived to be greater for Generation X leaders than their Baby Boomer counterparts in the past. The fact that Generation X faces greater leadership challenges than its Baby Boomer predecessors is clearly evident in other research data. For example, the TAFEP study [6] examining inter-generational issues in Singapore found that some Generation X (as well as Generation Y) respondents encounter more challenges than their older colleagues when working across generations. While the majority of respondents indicated that they rarely find it hard to work with colleagues of a different generation, among those respondents who did report some difficulty, the percentage is higher among the Generation X and Generation Y respondents compared to Baby Boomers. Figure 9: In which of the following areas do you think Gen X leaders face greater challenges than the previous generation of Baby Boomer leaders? • Globalisation, greater diversity and technology are driving change • Developing and growing staff is the greatest leadership challenge today and in the future • Leaders need to become more cross-cultural and multi-generational savvy
  • 12. 11 © CEGOS 2013 5. Leadership skills for today’s and tomorrow’s workplace In the context of today’s global economic environment and with leadership challenges all set to increase as we move towards the 2020 workplace, what implications and impact will this have on the skills required among leaders today and in the longer-term? Put simply, what makes a good leader today? And what will tomorrow’s leaders look like? • The study found that the most important skill for leading in today’s workplace is the ability to manage change cited as being of high importance by 79% of respondents. • Negotiation and conflict resolution and collaboration skills are the next most important skills – both cited as being of high importance by 68% of respondents. • Surprisingly, entrepreneurial skills were seen as being relatively less important - although still rated as of high importance by 45% of respondents – given the challenges of today’s global workplace from an economic, technological and demographic perspective. • Particularly surprising, is the fact that language skills were only rated as being of high importance by 44% of respondents given the quality of language used is essential for ensuring effective communication in today’s cross-cultural and more collaborative workplace (Figure 10). And how important are the same skills going to be in 2020? • Compared with today’s workplace, the ability to manage change remains the most important skill for leaders (cited to be of high importance by 80% of respondents). • Meanwhile technology, collaboration and social media skills are all seen as being more important in the future than they are today (Figure 11): - Being tech savvy rises to the second position with 74% of respondents rating this category as being of high importance. - 72% of respondents rate collaboration skills (72%) as being of high importance - Also it is becoming increasingly important for leaders to be social media savvy (70%). Figure 10: How would you rate the importance of the following skills for leading in today’s workplace?
  • 13. 12 © CEGOS 2013 • Language skills are still seen as less important than other key skills, however they are perceived to be more important in the future than they are today with 54% of respondents rating them as highly important. This figure is backed up by the recent Cass Business School and Odgers Berndtson study which highlights that 62% of senior executives of global companies believe that the ability to speak foreign languages will be more important for executives in the future compared to the past.filling job vacancies, up 6% compared to 2012. Summary of the top five leadership skills today versus 2020: Tech-savvy, social media skills and collaboration skills go hand in hand and technology has only recently emerged to enable these new paradigms, therefore organisations have a major challenge on their hands making sure their managers/leaders can use them to their best effect. Supporting the growth and development of leaders in these areas, and helping them to evolve their skills will be critical to future business success. It’s essential that managers/leaders get up to speed with technology innovation if they are to keep pace with the ever more tech-savvy Millennials and particularly as Generation Z / iGen enters the workplace. Given that some of the key skills leaders need tomorrow are going to be different from those required today, it is essential that organisations ensure they prepare for the future. Management and leadership development programmes have a key role to play here. Figure 11: How would you rate the importance of the following skills for leading in 2020? 1st – Ability to manage change 1st – Ability to manage change 2nd = Negotiation / conflict resolution 2nd – Tech-savvy 3rd = Collaboration skills 3rd – Collaboration skills 4th – Talent management and retention 4th – Social media savvy 5th – Networking 5th – Negotiation / conflict resolution Top 5 leadership skills today Top 5 leadership skills in 2020
  • 14. 13 © CEGOS 2013 • The ability to manage change is the most important skill for leaders today and in the future • In 2020, tech savvy and collaboration skills will be ever more critical for leaders • Organisations must prepare for the future in developing today’s managers to be tomorrow’s leaders 6. Generation X - mind the skills gap • Looking at the survey findings as a whole, the good news is that today’s Generation X leaders are perceived to have key technology-related skills which were also identified as being key skills for the future (see section 5): - 33% of respondents rated their Generation X leaders as being highly tech-savvy - 28% of respondents rated their Generation X leaders as having strong networking skills - 26% of respondents rated their Generation X leaders as having strong social media skills • However, Generation X is seen to be less well equipped with more traditional ‘management’ skills (Figure 12) such as: - 29% of respondents rated their Generation X leaders as having low skill levels for talent management and retention - 27% of respondents rated their Generation X leaders as having low skill capability in techniques for engaging different generations - 26% of respondents rated their Generation X leaders as having low skill levels for cross-cultural communications - 21% of respondents rated their Generation X leaders as having low skill levels for the ability to manage change • Given that this study shows that the most important skill now and in the future is the ability to manage change, organisations have much work to do in this area in terms of up-skilling their managers/leaders. There is also a skills gap in Generation X’s collaboration skills and negotiation/conflict resolutions skills which are essential in creating a cohesive working environment in today’s cross-generational workplace. Figure 12: How would you rate the current level of leadership skills amongst the Generation X leaders you have worked with or observed?
  • 15. 14 © CEGOS 2013 Next the study compared how pre-Generation X, Generation X and Generation Y perceive Generation X’s leadership abilities. The survey data shows that different generations have different opinions of Generation X’s leadership skills (see Figure 13). • Not surprisingly, the study shows that the older generations feel that Generation X is more comfortable with technology and social media than Generation X does itself. • Meanwhile, Generation Y feels that Generation X is more entrepreneurial and has more negotiation and conflict resolution skills than Generation X does itself. This is reassuring given these key skills are important in today’s rapidly progressing business environment where the rules of business are changing (Figure 7). Of particular importance to note is when comparing Generation X’s actual leadership skills in the workplace today, with the skills that are perceived to be needed today and in the future, they are lower across the board. Figure 14 shows the gap between actual skill levels present in the workplace (blue), current skills needed (red) and skills needed in the future (green). • The biggest gap between current skills needed now and the skills that are currently available in the workplace can be found in change management, skills for talent management and retention, and techniques for engaging different generations. • An evaluation of what skills leaders need in the future, compared with the skills currently existing in the workplace reveals that there are currently major gaps for skills for talent management and retention, ability to manage change, entrepreneurial skills and techniques for engaging different generations. Clearly there are a number of skills gaps that need to be addressed today in order to support success in the future. However, one of the biggest issues to address is the fact that there is a lack of self-belief among Generation X, who perceives their current skills to be lower than what is required of them. Figure 13: How would you rate the current level of leadership skills amongst the Generation X leaders you have worked with or observed? Breakdown by age groups with Y axis showing rating for skill level.
  • 16. 15 © CEGOS 2013 Also there is a general lack of confidence across the different age groups in the workplace as to Generation X’s leadership skills levels both today and in the future. Organisations have a lot to do to overcome this issue in preparation for what will be a massively changing workplace in the next five-to-seven years. Leadership development initiatives need to not only focus on building competence, but also confidence. Techniques such as coaching and mentoring also have a fundamental role to play here. Previous Cegos research shows that during the economic downturn many companies had to make cuts to their training budgets and unfortunately Generation X was a key casualty of this. As a result they have missed out on vital management skills training and development initiatives and this has not only affected the skills they have today, but their confidence to take over the reins as they move up the career ladder. Figure 14: A comparison between current skills levels of Generation X leaders with desired leader skills levels now and in the future • Generation X lacks core ‘management’ skills and the confidence to lead effectively • This is the single biggest barrier to effective leadership in 2020 when the challenges for managers and leaders will be even greater • Leadership development programmes need to focus on competence and confidence building
  • 17. 16 © CEGOS 2013 7. How will leadership styles change? Not only must leaders evolve their skills sets to lead effectively as we head towards 2020, they must always evolve their leadership style to reflect the changing demographics of the workplace. 85% of people surveyed in the study agree that they have cross-generational challenges within their organisation today and the importance of managing multiple generations will only increase as Generation Z enters the workplace. Respondents were asked which age groups they are currently managing in the workplace. The study shows that leaders and managers at every level are responsible for managing an increasingly multi-generational workforce (Figure 15). • Looking specifically at how leadership styles will need to change to embrace Generation Z/iGen entering the workplace in 2020, the study found that leaders will need to become more collaborative in their leadership style (with 71% of respondents expecting a need for an increase in use of this leadership style) in 2020. • Also, looking into the future, there will need to be a greater emphasis on coaching/mentoring (with 58% of respondents predicting this style of leadership to increase). • 59% of respondents expect micro-management and directive techniques to significantly decrease in the future. (Figure 16) Figure 15: Percentage of people responsible for managing each different generation Figure 16: What change do you predict in the following leadership styles to embrace Gen Z / iGen (currently 15 years and younger) entering the workplace in 2020?
  • 18. 17 © CEGOS 2013 These findings concur with the Cass Business School and Odgers Berndtson study which found that 58% of senior executive respondents believe that a different leadership style will be needed to motivate future employees, as Generations X and Y replace the retiring baby boomers, although the feeling was there would be a shift in leadership styles rather than a complete transformation. • Leadership styles must evolve to reflect the changing demographics and attitudes in the workplace • Collaboration and mentoring/coaching are in • Micro-management is out 8. The role of technology Figure 17: In the following areas, how would you rate the importance of technology to you as a leader today? The rapid progression of technology continues to impact virtually every organisation, area and function of the business. We want to understand leaders’ viewpoints on the importance of technology in the workplace, and in particular, what they consider the critical function of a leader is today and in the future. • When asked to rate the importance of technology for business, talent and learning practices, technology was seen to have the most important role to play in L&D today with 61% of leaders rating technology’s role in this area to be of high importance. (Figure 17). • The importance of technology today to leaders for L&D was rated above supporting day-to-day communication, changing business practices and bringing together virtual teams.
  • 19. 18 © CEGOS 2013 How will the role of technology change in 2020? • The role of technology is only going to increase in L&D as we head towards 2020 with 71% of respondents rating the role of technology in L&D highly in 2020. (Figure 18). • As business becomes increasingly global and multi-generational in 2020, technology is seen as increasingly important to leaders for business, communications and people management processes compared with today. • Respondents placed a high importance on the role of technology for the following: - Supporting changing business practices (71%) - Bringing together remote cross-cultural teams (70%) - Internal and external communications (67%) - Co-creation and transfer of knowledge between generations (67%) - Building a greater sense of community and collaboration (66%) - Talent management and retention (61%) Overall, the data shows that leaders appear to appreciate the benefits technology can deliver across their organisations and recognise the important role that technology can play in supporting business growth in the move towards 2020. It is very encouraging to see the role of technology so highly rated for L&D. This survey helps to dispel some of the generalisations we read about business leaders being technophobic. It is clearly apparent that many older generations are embracing technologies every bit as much as younger employees. Cegos’ 2012 pan-Asian survey on major learning trends and indicators, for example, found that countries, such as Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong (which represent four of the world’s top 10 fastest ageing populations), all had strong technology penetration in their L&D. What this does however reinforce, is the importance of ensuring that technology learning tools are deployed to the greatest effect and are not just used for technology’s sake. Figure 18: How would you rate the importance of technology for leadership in 2020?
  • 20. Investing in developing Generation X’s leadership skills makes strong commercial sense given the magnitude of these challenges and their impact on the bottom line. So what are the best techniques to use? Respondents were asked to rate a number of different initiatives in terms of their effectiveness in helping Generation X develop their leadership skills for the future. (Figure 19) • Allowing flexibility in management style was rated as the most effective initiative, cited by 62% of respondents as being of high importance, followed by managing empowered teams (61%) and coaching/mentoring 60%. • Opportunities for international assignments and cross-functional movement were also rated highly by more than 50% of respondents. • Informal learning techniques were not rated quite as highly in terms of effectiveness for building leadership skills as those that are focused primarily on providing ‘experiential’ learning opportunities and the ‘human touch’. However, as illustrated earlier, we know that leaders highly rate the role of technology in L&D and see this as growing importance in the future. 9. Helping Generation X develop their leadership skills 19 © CEGOS 2013 • Technology has the most important role to play for leaders in L&D • Technology is becoming more important in all areas of the business • Organisations must ensure learning technologies are deployed to the greatest effect, not just for technology’s sake Figure 19: How would you rate the potential effectiveness of each of the following initiatives to help Generation X develop their leadership skills for the future?
  • 21. 20 © CEGOS 2013 Overall, this data shows that on-the-job learning and gaining hands-on experience is critical for developing leadership talent. Coaching and mentoring with their ‘human touch’ focus also have a key role to play in preparing leaders for the future and can be particularly beneficial in nurturing new leaders and in helping to build their confidence as previously mentioned. Today’s talent likes and wants to be stretched with new leadership experiences and challenges and the data shows that a strong value is placed on opportunities to gain an insight and working knowledge of different cultures through multi-national assignments as well as opportunities to work across different functions within the business. Here we are seeing a clear trend towards talent mobility as defined by analysts Bersin by Deloitte as ‘a dynamic internal process for moving talent from role to role, at the leadership, professional and operational levels’. Talent mobility has an important role to play in today’s talent management strategies. Not only does it helps companies to grow from within and future-proof the business by plugging skills gaps by moving talent where it is needed, when it is needed, it also provides career progression opportunities which is essential for retaining top talent. • Generation X wants hands-on leadership experience and to be coached • Talent mobility is a key weapon in the war for talent • The ‘human touch’ is fundamental to leadership development
  • 22. 21 © CEGOS 2013 10. Training for leading a cross-generational workforce A recurring theme in this study is the need to prepare for the increasingly multi-generational workplace. How many organisations are providing specific training programmes to address this issue and are they achieving the desired outcomes? The survey found a division in how organisations are preparing their leaders. 41% of respondents have never received any cross-generational leadership training, meanwhile 44% have received training in this area in the last two years. (Figure 20) • The study looked at what training techniques are currently being used to help managers and leaders to lead a cross-generational workforce. • Organisations are using a range of different training techniques. - 66% of those who received training for leading a cross-generational workforce have undertaken classroom training - 49% have undertaken coaching/mentoring - 39% have received on-the-job training. • There is a clear preference for blended learning over e-learning with 30% of learners using this method compared to 24% for e-learning. This backs up a preference for the ‘human touch’ and face-to-face training interventions for a subject matter which by its very nature is personal. (Figure 21). Figure 20: When did you last receive any training specifically aimed at helping you lead a cross-generational workforce? Figure 21: What training techniques were used specifically for your cross-generational training?
  • 23. Next the study looks at how effective the training that was being carried out is. • Only 17% of respondents felt their training in this area ‘fully’ met their needs and rather worryingly, nearly a fifth of respondents said it did not meet their needs at all. • For the majority of respondents, training to prepare leaders to lead in a multi-generational workplace is ‘partly’ meeting their needs. (Figure 22) Again, it is worth mentioning the Cass Business School and Odgers Berndtson study which asked senior executives in global businesses whether they felt their organisation was ready for the changing demographics of the workplace. Rather tellingly, it found that only 41% of respondents believed their organisations are ready. While it is encouraging to see from our study that some organisations are investing in helping to prepare leaders to lead in a cross-generational workplace, clearly more needs to be done in this area. In particular, the content of training programmes needs to be rethought in order to achieve higher satisfaction levels and the learning goals. • Organisations are investing in training programmes for leading a cross-generational workforce • Organisations are using a mix of different learning techniques • Cross-generational leadership programmes are not as effective as they should have been Figure 22: How effective was the training you received? 22 © CEGOS 2013
  • 24. 11. What can organisations learn from this study Today’s workplace is rapidly evolving and organisations must prepare for the future now. There are a number of key issues that need addressing: • The key challenge for leaders now and in the future is developing and growing their staff. Organisations need to support leaders in achieving this goal from the top-down and prioritise L&D budgets to maximise ROI and business impact. • Ability to manage change is now and will continue to be the most important management skill. However, technology and collaboration skills are becoming increasingly important and leadership programmes need to reflect this. • Today’s Generation X leaders have not been prepared sufficiently for leadership positions now and in the future. There is an urgent need for organisations to build capability and confidence among new and potential leaders. • As the workforce becomes ever more collaborative and socially connected with the entry of iGen into the workplace, manager and leaders must evolve their leadership styles and become more collaborative to get the most out of their people. • Leaders clearly recognise the importance of technology for L&D. The challenge for organisations is ensuring that learning technologies are deployed to the greatest effect and are not just used for technology’s sake. • Generation X wants hands-on leadership experience combined with coaching – they see these methods as the most effective ways to gain leadership expertise. There is a clear need for organisations to ensure they enable Generation X to tap into older generational knowledge and experience. • Current training programmes designed to help leaders in a cross-generational environment are falling short of expectations. Organisations need to address this to ensure their future leaders are prepared adequately and to improve ROI. Globalisation, the rise of technology and greater diversity in the workplace are going to continue to drive increased demand for more sophisticated talent with global acumen, multi-cultural awareness and fluency, technological literacy, and the ability to manage increasingly de-layered, disaggregated organisations. Those organisations that fail to prepare their managers and leaders effectively do so at their peril. 23 © CEGOS 2013
  • 25. 12. Top five actions for organisations today This report highlights that there are a number of actions organisations can take now to prepare for the future. As employers we need to prepare future leaders for a world that is going to be quite different from the one we currently live and work in. Think about what your organisation might look like in 2020. How is technology changing your industry, your business and that of your customers? What skills, knowledge and behaviours are going to be crucial tomorrow in order for the business to thrive? The 2020 multi-dimensional workplace will be more challenging and diverse than ever and developing and nurturing today’s talent, who will be tomorrow’s leaders, should be a key priority. Here are the top five actions that organisations can take today to prepare for the future when we consider some of the key messages from this research: 1. Invest in L&D from the top-down Building a culture of learning and development from the top down will help ensure your people are the best they can be. Investing in well-crafted L&D programmes with a blend of formal and informal learning will not only improve core skills and ultimately business performance but will also help increase retention and improve cohesion across your organisation. Consider where training can be used most effectively in your business and where the greatest skills gaps exist and then prioritise L&D budgets accordingly to maximise ROI and business impact. 2. Provide plenty of career development opportunities to build the capabilities of your leaders in waiting Make sure you provide plenty of opportunities to stretch your leaders in waiting and support them along the way. Think creatively about what opportunities you can provide for your high potentials to gain new skills, experience and the confidence they will need to lead effectively when the time comes. Our survey shows that Generation X wants hands-on leadership experience, coaching and opportunities to undertake international or cross-functional assignments. Talent mobility not only adds to the development of the individual, but also helps to create a cadre of future leaders with a global mindset. A combination of each of these different techniques will prepare future leaders for the challenges that lie ahead and will also enable Generation X to tap into older generational knowledge and expertise. 3. Ensure your organisation has a collaborative mindset Business success increasingly depends on greater collaboration both within and outside of the organisation. As the workforce becomes more collaborative and socially connected, the more it becomes imperative for a collaborative mindset to be ingrained throughout the business from the top down. From collaborative leadership styles to using technology and social networking to achieve greater collaboration in working practices and L&D, achieving greater collaboration needs be a key focus in all areas of the organisation. 4. Use learning technologies for a clear business/learner need, not for technology’s sake Learning technologies are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace, with leaders recognising the importance of technology in L&D. However, to ensure that learning technologies deliver ROI and are used to maximum effect, you need to ensure that you consider the needs of both the business and the learner from the outset. What problems can the learning technology help you solve? Does it offer the potential to improve business performance? How can it help you tap into the knowledge that exists across different generations, job roles and regions? The key to success is ensuring there is a clear business case and learning goals and that technology is not being used for technology’s sake. 5. Make sure cross-generational training programmes focus on the future Training programmes designed to help managers and leaders in a cross-generational environment are all too often falling short of expectation. Also, a significant proportion of organisations do not have a specific programme in place to help leaders in this critical area. It is essential to make sure that training programmes for managing or leading a cross-generational workforce focus firmly on the challenges that lie ahead and are not too ‘now-centric’ or driven by past events and experiences. 24 © CEGOS 2013
  • 26. Top five actions organisations can take today: 1. Invest in L&D initiatives from the top-down 2. Ensure you offer plenty of career development opportunities 3. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate 4. Use learning technologies to support business and learning strategies, not for technology’s sake 5. Cross-generational training programmes need to be future focused 25 © CEGOS 2013 [1] International Monetary Fund (IMF) http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/reo/2013/apd/eng/areo0413.htm [2] Talent Shortage Survey, Manpower Group, 2013 [3] The major learning trends and indicators towards 2013 within the Asia Pacific region, Cegos 2013 [4] Getting the best out of your talent – whatever the generation – Cegos, 2013 [5] After the Baby Boomers – The Next Generation of Leadership - Cass Business School and Odgers Berndtson, 2012 [6] Harnessing the Potential of Singapore’s Multi-generational Workforce – Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP), 2010 13. References
  • 27. Cegos, Europe’s largest training organisation, is one of the major International players across the Asia Pacific region, based at its Regional HQ in Singapore, and with operations in China and Hong Kong. A network of region-wide Most Valued Partners, and Collaborators, ensures Cegos can support Client training and development anywhere, in any language, consistently and with a truly “Think Global, Learn Local” approach – meaning Cegos is experienced at driving training in the Asian context, not just in the context of the origin country / company. Cegos provide a multi-mode approach to training and development through delivery mechanisms ranging from all forms of Face to Face development, to Blended Learning as is core focus, and eLearning. The content for all delivery methods comes off the shelf (ready-made) across a range of professional and personal development topics for Managers and their teams, can be customised to suit a Client’s environment or can be 100% tailor- made – built to exacting client specifications. The Cegos Group was founded in 1926 in France, and is one of the world leaders in professional training for managers and their teams. In 2012, the Cegos Group achieved a turnover of over $275 Million SGD and trained more than 200,000 managers internationally. www.cegos.com.sg www.elearning-cegos.com www.cegos.com.cn For more details, debate or discussion, please contact: jeremy.blain@cegos.com.sg or + 65 9069 3291 Ms Low Lai Peng, Administration Executive, Cegos Asia Pacific Pte Ltd Ms Meng Vuki, Business Operations Controller, Cegos Asia Pacific Pte Ltd Mr Fua Kia Liang, Regional Director, Business Development, Cegos Asia Pacific Pte Ltd Singapore Polytechnic cadre of Interns responsible for telephone based research completions and marketing – Loic, Ellabelle, Zhong Wei, Eunice & Agnes Centre for TransCultural Studies This academic centre of excellence at Temasek Polytechnic was set up in 2009. Its prime areas of focus are the Arts, Culture and Earth Stewardship, achieved through its Academic, Corporate Training & Consulting Services and Research arms. TP-THT Asia TransCultural Research Centre Set up as a collaboration between Temasek Polytechnic and Trompenaars Hampden-Turner Asia, the research centre pursues research initiatives, relevant for academia, industry and the public sector in the field of cross cultural management and global leadership. Valuable findings generate key strategies to advance, both, academic pedagogy and corporate training. 14. About Cegos Group 14a. Acknowledging the efforts of those involved in this joint research project from Cegos Asia Pacific: 15. About Temasek Polytechnic - Centre for TransCultural Studies and TP-THT Asia TransCultural Research Centre 26 © CEGOS 2013
  • 28. Mrs Sally Chew Director, Centre for TransCultural Studies Director, International Relations & Industry Services Mrs Kathy Heng Senior Lecturer & Manager, TP-THT Asia Research Centre & Student Development, Centre for TransCultural Studies Ms Amy Daga Senior Lecturer & Section Head, Corporate Services & Research, Centre for TransCultural Studies Ms Norani Lecturer, Centre for TransCultural Studies Ms Mindy Nguyen Lecturer, Centre for TransCultural Studies Mr Riccardo Zecchin Lecturer, Centre for TransCultural Studies Me Emil Cheong Lecturer, Diploma in Psychology, School of Humanities & Social Sciences Mr Albert Toh Senior Officer, International Relations & Industry Services Ms Sim Hwee Peng Senior Officer, International Relations & Industry Services Ms Loi En Qi Janine Student, Diploma in Psychology, School of Humanities & Social Sciences Ms Yang Yingjia Student, Diploma in Psychology, School of Humanities & Social Sciences The Singapore Training and Development Association (STADA) was established in 1972 by a group of training professionals from diverse industries who are passionate to learn and share best practices. STADA is committed to act as a conduit to facilitate the transfer of skills and technology of human capital capabilities to enhance the growth of individual human capital development (HCD) practitioners, corporations and our international networks. STADA fulfils this role through community of practice in different HCD domains, offering professional development opportunities and networking activities. Mr Robert Yeo, Executive Director & CEO, STADA Mr Anton Widodo, Marketing Manager, STADA 15a. Acknowledging the efforts of those involved in this joint research project from Temasek Polytechnic: 16a. Acknowledging the efforts of those involved in this joint research project from STADA: 16. About STADA 27 © CEGOS 2013
  • 29. Jeremy Blain is a Partner of Cegos Group and Regional Managing Director for Cegos, Asia Pacific, where he heads up Cegos’s operations and activities from the company’s Singapore hub, covering India in the West to the Pacific countries in the East. Prior to this, Jeremy was responsible for Cegos’ strategy for international expansion through a value adding Global Distribution Partners Network and before that as Managing Director of Cegos U.K. A commercially minded L&D entrepreneur responsible for growing Cegos’ business worldwide through his various roles within the company, Jeremy has 12 years’ experience in the industry as a managing director, partner, trainer, coach and program author. In previous roles at Procter and Gamble, PepsiCo and as Managing Partner of his own point-of-sale software business. Jeremy’s background includes marketing, sales, operations and general management. As one of Cegos’ senior executives, Jeremy is a frequent international conference speaker and media commentator on topics related to the global L&D market. Themes include: the integration of emerging and informal learning technologies; the importance of performance measurement and proving ROI; developing ‘core’ leadership, management and commercial skills to achieve competitive business advantage; and change management and how to implement successful international training strategies. For more details, debate or discussion, you can find Jeremy on LinkedIn http://sg.linkedin.com/in/jeremyblain and also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ learntheplanet Jeremy has also published a series of white papers on issues relevant to L&D. These are still current and available and can be viewed on Jeremy’s SlideShare portal http://www.slideshare.net/JeremyBlain and include: - Blended Learning – Truths, Mistakes and Vast Potential of Multi-Modal Learning, May 2013 (a joint paper with TP3 Australia) - Getting the Best out of Your Talent – Whatever the Generation, March 2013 - Major Learning Trends & Indicators towards 2013 within the Asia Pacific Region, September 2012 - Communities of Practice – A Guide to the Business Benefits for Asian Companies, May 2012 - Blended Learning and its Applications for Asian Companies Today, March 2012 - Developing Multicultural Leadership and Management Skills in Today’s Increasingly Globalised Workplace, November 2011 - Global Themes & Trends – European, US and Brazilian Comparisons on the Key Drivers and Issues in L&D Today, October 2011 - Learning in the Cloud – Opportunities & Threats, September 2011 - Cegos/ASTD global learning trends research: A comparison between what is happening among learners today and the perceptions of learning professionals, July 2011 - ‘Training Today, Training Tomorrow - An Analysis of Learning Trends Across Europe and Global Comparisons’, May 2011. - ‘Corporate Philanthropy: How Strategies are Changing and How Cegos is Helping to Make an Impact’, May 2011 - ‘The Rise of Virtual Learning’, April 2011 - ‘What has L&D Learned from the Economic Slowdown’, March 2011 - ‘Informal Networks – How They Are Changing the World of Work’, December 2010- ‘Exploring and Interpreting the Most Important Learning Trends across the Globe’, May 2010 14. About Jeremy Blain 28 © CEGOS 2013
  • 30. Copyright © Cegos Asia Pacific, Singapore Training and Development Association, Temasek Polytechnic, 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be emailed to: learn@cegos.com.sg Cegos Asia Pacific presents the material in this report for informational and future planning purposes only. 29 © CEGOS 2013
  • 31. Cegos subsidiaries Partners Cegos Asia Pacific Pte Ltd 460 Alexandra Road, Level 26, PSA Building, Singapore 119963 Tel: + 65 6809 3097 | Email: learn@cegos.com.sg | website: www.cegos.com.sg

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