Why leaders need to learn to love technology

[caption id="attachment_12100" align="alignright" width="300"] Bridging the technology gap[/caption]

Students, recent graduates and those new to the workplace have grown up in the digital age, and as a result think nothing of spending around two hours on their smartphones, using an average of six apps a day.

This ‘Generation Y’ doesn’t have to adapt to new ways of working or learning, they do it instinctively.

But just because this generation are way ahead in their appreciation of technology, they still very much need leading in the traditional sense.

This could be an issue when you consider that at present, not all leaders are going to be able to communicate on the same level, if the void in their appreciation for technology remains.

Business leaders of today need to take note – especially before this generational gap gets too big to close.

Otherwise, when this generation advances through the workforce in the next few years, they will have to adjust to a very different, less instinctive way of working.

Mutual appreciation

Technology doesn’t substitute for experienced leadership, but a leader’s ability to influence might well be limited if they continue to ignore the new ways of working that the majority of young people now embrace.

Therefore, the new challenge for business leaders is how to drive change forward by using technology, and in doing so attract the best new talent.

It is more about facilitating change, by listening to what the younger generation of employees can tell you about how they are already using technology.

By paying attention now to how this generation approach their work/life balance, businesses will be able to harness these technological solutions, and thereby increase productivity and efficiency.

Mobile working

The right mobile technology can really improve and enhance ways of working - as well as the quality of life for employees – if you let it.

Similar to the idea behind bite size learning, managing work in chunks of time is the key. The good news is that in almost all cases, technology has been developed to perform in a way that is simple, efficient and easy to use.

Devices for smartphones and tablets are already enabling employees to collaborate, share knowledge and tap into valuable resources like mentoring.

You can’t halt progress, and you certainly wouldn’t want to restrict it – but as a leader there are things you still need to do to ensure that technology is accessible, used in an appropriate manner, meets its potential and keeps data safe and secure.

There will continue to be challenges – but by facing them head on rather than ignoring them and hoping they go away, employers and leaders can continue to influence change for the better.

By setting up new regulations and becoming expert facilitators, leaders will continue to do what they are good at - enabling their business and employees to grow and flourish.

Technological advances will only continue to find ways to enhance a businesses’ potential, something the ‘mobile generation’ undoubtedly already knows.

So go straight to the horse’s mouth, ask Generation Ys what you need to know and find out for yourselves – as well as for your company.