Inspiring the job creators of tomorrow
Are we placing tomorrow’s leaders at the heart of our business decisions today?
Are we listening to what they want in terms of transport, culture, skills and education? I do wonder when I listen to certain discussions.
We must inspire our young people about business, to give them the skills and knowledge to become the innovators and job creators of the future.
We also need to consider if the new generation entering work, the so-called millennials, are having their needs addressed on a psychological level. The old blanket approach to employment needs to change quickly.
I often find myself revisiting the classic psychological theory of Abraham Maslow, whose hierarchy of needs might be familiar to students of management and human resources.
Maslow's theory uses terms including ‘safety’ and ‘belonging’ to describe human behaviour and motivation. Yet how often do we consider if our employees feel safe and motivated? Are we providing them with rewarding work or simply a place to turn up for an agreed wage?
Millennials, more than any previous generation, will not accept the status quo. Values are far more important. Enterprising becomes energising and commercial becomes community. For some, the workplace environment and other employee benefits are more important than salary.
Many managers forget these basic needs and that we need to spend more time and effort engaging with our leaders of tomorrow.
I was fascinated to come across a study by engagingworks.com, which created the Happiness Survey to evaluate the engaging hierarchy in the world of business. Mike Price takes the five levels of Maslow’s pyramid and maps these across managerial and non-managerial levels against a multitude of sectors. Take the survey if you get chance.
The findings instantly resonated with my many happy years in the luxury hotel sector and helped me to identify how I pretty much had a complete pyramid throughout.
We need to ensure that directors have the right skills to lead and ensure that people’s needs are being met.
That’s why I’m delighted the IoD has partnered with Leeds Beckett University for the launch of a new members’ business hub at Piece Mill, Halifax, which officially launched last week.
Piece Mill is situated next door to the spectacular Piece Hall. Both buildings have been regenerated to perfection and reflect our rich heritage which is not only something to boast about locally but globally. If you have not visited, I urge to you do so – it is breath-taking.
We also partner with Leeds Beckett at our regional headquarters, Cloth Hall Court in Leeds. On 10 October we’ll be marking Leeds Business Week and Mental Health Awareness Day with an Open House from 5-7pm featuring brilliant speakers including Zainah Khan of Chakra Corporate Mental Strength.
I’m a firm believer in lifelong learning. If we want to engage and retain the next generation of business leaders, we need to take a step back and explore new styles of management and ways of working.
Natalie Sykes regional director Institute of Directors