Business leaders have been advised to regularly assess their workforce to identify the potential future leaders of their organisation. Alistair Cox, CEO of Hays says succession planning is essential to the future success of an organisation and business leaders should plan ahead by identifying who will run the company after they have departed.
As technology continues to transform the workplace, Alistair states traditional leadership skills will remain as relevant as ever. Among the traditional skills that will continue to be essential to any prospective leader is the ability to communicate and inspire, which is now as important as ever with the growing number of digital communication channels available.
Alistair says, “It’s never been more important for leaders to be able to connect with their people, in a way they can relate to and be motivated by – whether face-to-face, around the boardroom table or online.”
Alistair states it is important that the leaders of tomorrow are not just chasing their monthly or quarterly targets but that they also have an eye on the bigger picture – such as how to grow revenue over the next decade, harnessing the latest technology and building their own winning teams. Therefore an entrepreneurial attitude is needed to be successful in the long-term.
Alistair explains that despite common misconceptions that budding entrepreneurs will only flourish in a start-up or by setting up on their own, he has seen first-hand that a global business can nurture entrepreneurial spirit as well as any start-up and it is essential to them succeeding in the future.
Businesses need to adapt to the evolving environments around them in order to innovate and stay competitive. Alistair says the types of employees who will add value in this journey are those with the ability to anticipate change and adapt their roles accordingly. These sorts of employees are passionate about change, are willing to step outside of their comfort zone and will often have an impact as to how successful it is.
Alistair explains: “These people believe that the status quo can always be improved and that change isn’t something to be feared, and they mould their roles to fit where the business needs to be headed and where their skills lie.”
Explaining the impact these employees can have Alistair adds: “You can build a critical mass of such agents, your organisation can reach a tipping point where natural evolution becomes self-fulfilling as opposed to forced. That’s a powerful and exciting place to be.”
Collaboration is key to business success and organisations must look to foster a collaborative attitude among their staff – whether within their own teams or with a partnering organisation. It helps to have everyone pulling in the same direction and being aligned on any issues, even if sometimes it doesn’t work to their personal interest.
Alistair concludes: “Identifying and pulling in all the strengths of your team can only benefit your bottom line, but it’s also engaging and empowering to recognise your employees’ individual skillsets – and the difference this can make to results.”