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“You manage things; you lead people.” ~ Grace Murray Hopper
People are not apps. They are not schedules. They are not AI programs that spit out deliverables. They are people 24/7; they only work for you part of that time.
We hear that a lot of established professionals are dismayed that many younger staffers redefine the “work/life balance” as the “life/work balance.” They have the… audacity to see their lives as more important than their work.
As leaders, we can do the “these kids today…” lamentations, or we can seize the opportunity. We can attract and retain teams of talented professionals by—and stay with me here—treating them as human beings.
Respect that work is not the most important thing in your people’s lives. Find ways to boost their on-the-job productivity during the hours you have them on the clock. Consider how you can use hybrid and remote options effectively, even when YOU just want everyone to be in the same room with you. Motivate, coach, and mentor your people to grow their skills and take on more responsibilities because of the interesting challenges they can learn to tackle or the engaging activities they will be able to join if they grow.
A larger cohort of the younger generations is not motivated to climb the corporate ladder just for its own sake. You can either complain about that and deal with the retention issues, or you can become the kind of boss that finds what each of them needs to get them engaged and productive during their workdays.
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