“Work 4.0”, “Disruption” and “VUCA” – hardly a day goes by without a newspaper headline with these buzzwords. The digital Transformation is in full swing. What does this development mean for Executives?

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The changing world of work

The fact is: ours Welt is in continuous change, concepts of Guide and work as we have known it verlieren their validity. who also in Future successfully wants to be must act now and classic concepts of work involving time, space and Organization concern, reconsider. Also on the part of Employees Is there a klare change:

The Executivewho says where to go and employees who cuddle without questioning instructions? This is unthinkable for Generation Y. They want to be involved and less and less accept rigid guidelines. Classic hierarchical leadership has had its day: In the age of digital transformation, employees are given a new status.

Leadership changes

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Traditional work contexts and processes are dissolving, the classic "9-to-5 job" may be a relic of days gone by in just a few years. In order to remain competitive, the focus today is on flexible and needs-based awarding of orders, detached from fixed work locations and times. The result of this development: ours Working world is changing from a culture of presence to a culture of results. For employees, this results in individual design potential, which, among other things, enables a better compatibility of Family and Job entail.

Managers, on the other hand, have to learn that they will motivate more than control in the future. When employees work in different locations, from home or on a completely different continent, everything can and must not go over the boss's table first. In addition, the decision-makers will face a completely different challenge: “Management by Walking Around” must also be digitized! Employees can only develop a sense of belonging and team spirit if they succeed in building and maintaining a personal bond through impersonal technical channels - even if they are scattered across the country or even around the world.

From the employee to the entrepreneur

What managers should not overlook, however, is that not all employees want the increasing responsibility for their own actions, which is accompanied by the digitization process. It is necessary to find a compromise in order to give them enough freedom on the one hand, but also the necessary security. However, a stronger takeover of responsibility can not be achieved by pressure. Here you are asked as boss: inspire, encourage and empower your employees! It is no longer a question of precisely dictating concrete guidelines and procedures.

Your task is, in a sense, to the Training To become part of your team and to moderate and accompany the process of finding a solution - without prescribing the solution. That doesn't mean, however, that you let your employees run free and sit back and relax. The stronger the self-organization, the more it must become your task to show the employees a clear, common orientation framework - especially if you work with cross-location or virtual teams. This requires the Definition connecting guiding principles and target images or superordinate Strategies, the pursuit of which individuals useful appears. In addition, however, it is also important to establish the rules of the game that make clear the possibilities, but also the limits of individual action.

Jobhopping and Cherry-Picking instead of long-term employees

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However, flexible forms of work and cooperation also mean that employees are no longer as closely involved as they used to be Company tie. The job opportunities are diverse today, and not only for very well trained employees. As a result, especially younger ones People no longer so interested in long-term relationships.

Instead of permanent employment, many of them are more interested in trying different things for themselves. They also test very carefully whether the employer really suits them. Unlike their previous generation, many Gen Yers don't have a hard time looking for a new job once they have their individual... needs not sufficiently satisfied. Companies have to adapt to this development - because valuable know-how is lost with every employee!

Sense and self-responsibility instead of control!

Especially for Gen Y, who are now entering the labor market, the aspect of meaning is decisive. The boys don't put up with it anymore satisfied, to follow instructions, but want to see the “big picture” and their own ideas contribute to that Objective to realize. Make use of this attitude:

  1. Trust instead of rigid work paths: Transfer your employees responsibility for complex task processes. This signals that you trust them and are convinced of their abilities. The more tricky the tasks are and the more independent thinking is required, the better.
  2. Even if it is difficult for you: Leave it up to them how they get there. "We have always done this!" is the beginning of the end! Let your employees have a lot of room for maneuver so that they can make independent, responsible decisions.
  3. Continuous communication: Signal that you are interested in the progress of the tasks. Make regular feedback calls to get a picture of the current interim status of the project and, if necessary, to help with advice and action.
  4. Free space: Check the working time and work model models established in your company. Offer your employees the opportunity to mobile working in order to give them more freedom in the design of their professional and private life. Of course there are sectors where this is not possible, because the work has to be done in a fixed place, eg in the hospital. But here, too, you can meet your employees by introducing different part-time models, individual time-flexibility and overtime accounts.
  5. What you should not forget: Working together in the workplace - as far as it is good to work together - is an important binding factor for people in companies. Many employees stay in a company and feel tied up there because they enjoy working with their peers and the mere loss of that relationship keeps them from changing employers.
  6. Creating commonality: Of course, it is harder to create this sense of community if not all employees are full-time in the company, but some work half-day while others remain in the home office. Here it is the task of the management to promote the contact and exchange among the employees, so that not everyone looks only at his tasks and works stubbornly.
  7. Use technical possibilities: Good opportunities are, for example, a weekly Skype conference starting in the week, fixed attendance days or even regular teambuilding events such as a monthly afterwork meeting or joint workshops. The future of work lies before us - now it is up to us to shape it.


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