Forward Thinking: Planning for Future Generations

accountability achievement business planning business strategy business success generation z planning ahead Feb 20, 2024
Jody Holland Training & Speaking | Leadership
Forward Thinking: Planning for Future Generations

Planning ahead not only encourages you to be intentional in your actions, it can also alleviate some general stressors and anxieties, help you manage time more effectively, and lead to you accomplishing more overall. By outlining what needs to be done and by when, you can map out specific checkpoints and deadlines to keep yourself on track.

Creating a course of action is especially important for younger generations as they enter the workforce. People are now less likely to tolerate working for businesses that do not train them and do not provide a clear sense of direction. There are currently more jobs than there are workers to fill them, so if someone is unhappy with their current position, they can seek out another one without much fear. As leaders, it is crucial to develop formal training programs, check in with your people regularly, provide feedback when necessary, and promote a culture of positivity and productivity.

Generation Z has been labeled the “most stressed out generation,” with many people reporting negative emotions and poor mental health. Members of Gen Z do not like to be put in situations where they have to question what comes next. They want a solid plan and the resources to follow it effectively. They work well with agendas, and they tend to question meetings and tasks that lack clear meaning. They embody the phrase, “This could have been an email.” This generation is often considered high maintenance and challenging, but many generations before them were also labeled that.

The key to transitioning between generations in the workplace is to be open to change and accept the need to adapt one’s leadership style. Looking down on another generation is not a new concept. It happens every time a generation brings new ideals along with them as they enter society. Instead of complaining about younger employees, we should be thinking about how we can raise the next generation of leaders. What can we do to help others thrive and excel within their roles? How can we encourage their growth and development?

The first step is to actively listen to them. Leaders can learn from their employees just as much, if not more, as employees learn from leaders. You also want to continuously plan ahead. Think of potential challenges you may face as a team, outline specific areas of accountability, and take directed action at all times. Never underestimate the power of planning ahead, especially when it comes to raising younger generations into effective workers and leaders. People tend to produce at a much higher level when they are not stressed about what comes next and when they understand what is expected of them. It is your responsibility as a leader to set your people up for success.

It is easy to plan ahead for things when you set time aside specifically for just that. Maybe you want to start each week with a team meeting to discuss current and future projects. You might also want a private planning session at the end of each week that looks ahead at the next week. In addition to the weekly planning, you could have monthly, quarterly, and yearly planning sessions that each look at different aspects of the business. However often you choose to address future courses of action, just be sure that you are thinking ahead. It will benefit you as a leader, your employees and their work output, and the business as a whole. Don’t wait to get started. Start planning ahead now.


-Meghan Slaughter

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