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Leadership in the Era of the Diverse Workplace

Published: Thursday, September 29, 2016 @ 12:16 PM

Leadership in the Era of the Diverse Workplace

The 21st century workforce continues to evolve at a breakneck pace

Henry Ford famously said: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” This quote is especially applicable to leadership in the 21st century American workplace.

Successful leaders today are challenged with finding a way to unify a melting pot of employees towards common goals while simultaneously supporting individual needs.

As the workplace evolves and becomes more diverse, leaders need to have a strong understanding of what resonates with different life groups within that workforce to create successful teams for the long haul. At CoxReps, a division of Cox Media Group, almost half of the current workforce falls into the millennial generation or next generation. Research shows that members of this generation move quickly from one employer to the next and turnover is expensive and exhausting for most companies. The leadership team at CoxReps wanted to be proactive about how to address the needs of this important life group and subsequently reduce turnover.

To achieve this balance, the company went directly to the source, seeking feedback from all employees. The data from the under 35 workforce was isolated to see if there were any unique differences in what they needed and wanted. To take this feedback and make it actionable, the company created initiatives based on employee feedback. In a relatively short period of time, these actions proved wildly successful at promoting employee engagement and reducing turnover. Many of the employee ideas required little to no additional costs, which any business could easily replicate. Through the entire process, CoxReps learned that, with a bit of ingenuity and attention, simple techniques can be honed into powerful leadership tools intended to inspire and engage all employees.