New Mindsets for the NextGen

Posted on: 06/30/20
Written by: Kristi Weierbach, Ph.D, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Managing Director, Workforce Advisory at Stambaugh Ness

As we look to the future, how we attract, retain, and develop our employees will look much different than it does today. Is it critical that we start preparing now and consider completely reimagining how we approach talent.

Today, it is easy to ask a prospective employee about the skills they have accumulated through education and experience. It is also easy to assess someone’s personality, as there are a variety of tools available to help with understanding each other better. From there a decision is made on who appears to be the best fit to join the company. Very similar, a significant number of training efforts for current employees are focused on building technical skills.

And while we’ve relied on these approaches for years and years, they will no longer be enough to sustain a competitive advantage, attract the best talent, and retain the employees who have the biggest impact in an organization. Our ability to pull together a group of people with similar mindsets, turn ideas into action, and navigate through transformational change will be the key differentiator.

Adopting A New Mindset

In our experience, we have found that being anticipatory is a necessity. It has helped us sharpen our focus on the areas that are the best use of our time rather than just those activities that keep us busy. We have invested significant time and energy to transition from being unconsciously unskilled to unconsciously skilled at implementing anticipatory techniques. We have shifted our decision-making process to be based on things we know will happen versus what might happen. In turn, we have minimized the level of risk associated with these decisions. This unique mindset is not something you will learn in a traditional classroom or collegiate pathway, but rather a model and competency that are taught innovatively and then entrenched into the fabric of an organization. We focus on the strengths of our people and align their natural passions to the work that they do. This is a mindset that has propelled our ability to take our ideas and put them in action.

Take Action

Every day new ideas are born individually and/or collectively. Far too often daily urgencies take priority over developing and implementing these ideas. However, with the right mindset, behaviors can be adjusted so that ideas turn into actionable items driving the company towards its desired results. It’s much more than shifting from reactive to proactive, it takes you from being disrupted to being the disruptor and it pushes you ahead of the competition. Again, these aren’t concepts taught in school and with change happening at a faster and faster pace, now is the time to streamline this learning curve for our younger generation of leaders. Failure to do so leaves your company doing what it has always done and eventually you will lose one or more of the following – talented people, revenue, ability to gain market share, etc. It’s a high price to pay and one that few would willingly volunteer for.

Having an anticipatory mindset, creating certainty during uncertain times, and being able to make better decisions based on what will happen are at the core of successfully navigating transformational change. There are many examples to draw from of how disruptions have impacted people and businesses, don’t let another pandemic or unforeseen emergency catch you off guard. I hope you will join me at the upcoming PeopleMax conference where I’ll dig deeper into these very concepts allowing you to prioritize your leadership develop plans for 2021 and beyond.

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