TORONTO – A new study says most organizations are poorly prepared to usher in a new generation of leaders as the silver tsunami of baby boomers heads for retirement.
About 41 per cent of the 100 global executives surveyed by Odgers Berndtson said their organizations are ready for the cultural changes that will take place as current leaders are replaced by employees from Generation X and Y.
“There’s going to be a significant culture clash between the baby boom generation, which is leaving the stage, and the Generation X and Generation Y group that’s coming onto the stage,” said Carl Lovas, Canadian chair of Odgers Berndtson.
Organizations will have to undergo structural changes in order to attract and keep new talent because younger generations prefer personal development, flexible hours and work-life balance to the monetary rewards favoured by their predecessors, said Lovas.
“You’ve got to be able to respond to those requirements if you’re going to attract and retain the top talent,” said Lovas.
“Those (organizations) who don’t understand that are going to be on the outside of those trends. They’ll be disadvantaged because they don’t get it.”
Lauren Friese, owner of the job site TalentEgg, said it’s not surprising that the younger generations are looking for jobs that provide more opportunities for personal growth and fulfilment.
“It’s what you would expect from a generation who was told to follow your passion and not settle for a career that doesn’t meet your expectations to find meaningful work,” said Friese.
It’s also in line with the demands of the economy, which is creating a workforce increasingly comprised of temporary and contract workers.
“People see themselves as a company,” said Friese.
“‘You Inc.’ — It’s this idea that you are making your own career and that your career isn’t defined by your employer. It’s defined by you and the skills you have, which you can transfer to various organizations, maybe even your own, throughout your career.”
The changing landscape also requires managers to be more culturally diverse and to employ a style of management that’s traditionally considered to be more feminine, according to the Odgers Berndtson report.
People skills, emotional intelligence and seeking consensus will become increasingly important for managers, the report said. Of those surveyed, 82 per cent agreed that these skills will be required to motivate people in the new work world.