‘Leaders don’t own their employees careers anymore’

Employees are now driving their own careers – and that demands a different kind of leadership

‘Leaders don’t own their employees careers anymore’

Gone are the days when companies can employ someone and assume they will be around for a long time, according to Stephanie Christopher, CEO, The Executive Connection.

Christopher told HRD that one quote in particular stands out from the new report The Future is Now: The Agile Workforce: “Leaders don’t own their employees careers anymore.”

“Indeed, there has been a major shift where the employer is no longer driving an employee’s career, the employee is driving it - and that demands a different kind of leadership.” 

Christopher’s comments come following the findings of The Executive Connection’s report which details all of the disruptive forces currently impacting Australian businesses. 

The report brings together comments and insights from C-suite officers from companies such as Coca-Cola, Optus and Kennards Hire, as well as external research from some of the world’s biggest organisations to create a holistic view of the disruptive forces driving change in the business world.

Identified in the report, the three key drivers influencing the ‘Future of Work’ are:
o    The (r)evolution of business – Disruptive forces are challenging traditional business models, as the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres blur
o    Technology as a liberator – New and emerging technology will, and already is, changing the way people work. It is automating the repetitive, as well as unlocking and evolving the skills of the human workforce
o    The future worker is already here – The rise of the gig economy, part time and flexible work, alongside industry and business demand for more transferrable skills, means the future worker has already arrived; and they are driving productivity and business results

Christopher added that a major challenge for employers is delivering growth. 

“Moreover, it’s particularly challenging to find the right talent to deliver that growth. So 38% of CEOs surveyed have said that they have experienced hiring challenges - finding qualified candidates - and it is actually more difficult than it was a year ago.” 

So what would Christopher’s advice for HR professionals be in light of the findings of the report?

“I think a key thing for HR professionals is to challenge your own paradigm,” said Christopher.

“It’s important to understand different models of what the organisation could potentially look like going forward.

“If you are a HR director - a leader of what could be a significant business unit and a contributor to strategy – think carefully about flexible work, about diversity in the workplace, and about what it means for employees to be able to really deliver the best they can.” 


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