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Andre Lavoie

Management

The Future’s Looking Technological

Data and technology can be effective tools for leaders

Published: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 12:03

“Alexa, what does the future of leadership look like?”

Whether at home, on the road, or in the office, fascinating technology is altering our world every day. And it isn’t just simplifying our daily tasks or making our cars safer; it’s changing the future of our company leaders.

Those working their way up to leadership positions are quickly learning the meaning and importance of automated tasks, chatbots, and the ability to communicate and work from anywhere in the world.

Thanks to evolving tech and AI, leadership will have the ability to empower employees beyond anything our leaders of just 10 years ago could’ve imagined.

From Slack and Microsoft teams to automated machine processes in recruiting and performance management, technology and data are now driving business decisions. This means leaders will be forced to take a more hands-off approach to leading companies.

Although I don’t believe the human aspect should be taken out of the workplace, the right balance of tech and leadership skills will equip our future leaders to create teams full of A players.

Here’s how you can grow with changing tech to become a great leader today and tomorrow.

Leverage data

Data and analytics are one of the most useful but often overlooked advantages of evolving technology. Even though we have the technology to understand our employees of the past, present, and future, our leadership remains unsure of how to put it into play.

In fact, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, 71 percent of companies see people analytics as a high priority in their organizations. However, only 9 percent believe they have a good understanding of which talent dimensions drive performance in their organizations.

Tip: Rather than focusing on which talent dimensions drive performance throughout your entire organization, take a step back and look at the data from a smaller scale. Look at each employee’s or team’s goals and set a reasonable timeline for them to achieve those goals.

Then, use your data to determine how they can improve. Remember to use performance metrics to guide employees, not dictate. Look into whether they hit their goals within the deadline, what tools or systems they used to get there, and what improvements are needed to make the process better.

Teach self-leadership

With the help of technology, you can communicate with and guide your team from anywhere in the world. And in today’s business world of remote offices and flexible schedules, leadership skills are something every employee needs. However, it isn’t a natural trait many people possess.

You may have a team full of highly talented, skilled, and experienced employees, but if they rely on leadership too much, they’ll lack the ability to reach both independent and companywide success.

Tip: The future of leadership points to needing a balance between being an effective leader, while still giving your team space to manage themselves. Start by creating a culture that centers on independence but keeps communication, recognition, and honesty open.

Teach all employees how to achieve goals by coaching first. Walk them through your own steps, expectations, and goals. As they become comfortable with those tasks, slowly let go and allow them to take over. Check in every now and then to offer support, recognition, and any additional help to remind them you’re always one call away if they begin feeling overwhelmed or confused.

Connect on a human level

All this talk of technology and robots makes it easy to forget the most valuable resource in the workplace: the employee. Using technology to improve leadership qualities is critical for future success, but employees still need a strong connection to their team in order to feel motivated and determined to succeed.

Unfortunately, only two in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work, according to Gallup’s recent poll, “Improve Performance Management.”

Tip: Improving employees’ performances goes beyond daily tasks and goals. Your team’s performance is just one aspect of their success, and they need reminding of that, routinely. Whether you see your team every day or only interact with them through the computer screen, it’s time to help them break out of their shells.

Hold weekly inspirational meetings where leadership and employees come together to share a photo, quote, or even customer feedback to get motivated and ready to tackle the work week. These meetings are the perfect time to get everyone involved in group brainstorms or have employees team up on a difficult project.

This will not only help leadership connect with everyone personally, but also bring the team together and motivate everyone to reach individual and company performance goals.

First published on the SmartBrief blog.

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About The Author

Andre Lavoie’s picture

Andre Lavoie

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.