Navigating Leadership in the Age of a Younger Workforce

There are around 11.9 million people employed in Australia. More than two thirds are employed full time, while 46 per cent are female. Around 39 per cent of workers are aged 45 years and over, with young jobseekers — those aged 15 to 24 — accounting for a further 16 per cent. Almost a third work in regional areas (Credit: Australian Careers Service).

In short, in the average Australian workforce, up to two in 10 of your staff will be aged under 24. There are some workforces and even work types, where this will be way higher. For the older workers among us, this poses a challenge. As leaders, we need to adapt and ensure our approach resonates with a younger, more diverse, and tech-savvy workforce.

As you read this article, please keep in mind that as a leader, I don’t feel like this should be all one way traffic. The younger workers need to buy in, too, and they need to carry some of the burden of their own motivation, their career development, and their professional development. More on that next week, but for today, as a leader, what are some ideas that might help you lead younger workers?

Here are three essential tips to thrive as a leader of younger team members:

1. Embrace Technology and Digital Fluency

Today’s younger workforce has grown up in a digital world. They’re comfortable with technology, and they expect their leaders to be as well. Invest in your digital fluency.

Understand the tools and platforms your team uses. This not only helps in communication but also demonstrates that you’re willing to learn and adapt. Encourage your team to share their tech insights and foster a culture of continuous learning.

2. Mentorship and Personal Development

Younger employees are often keen to learn, grow, and advance their careers (sometimes, too much so). As a leader, it’s crucial to provide opportunities for mentorship and personal development. Understand their career goals and help create a path for them within your organisation.

Be a source of guidance and support. Invest in training and development programs to keep your team’s skills up to date (particularly in the areas of communication and emotional intelligence – as these are important work skills), whilst fostering a culture of growth and improvement.

3. Adapt to Flexible Work Arrangements

The younger workforce often values flexibility in their work arrangements. This could be in the form of remote work options, flexible hours, or a results-oriented work environment.

Recognize that productivity doesn’t always happen within the traditional 9-to-5 structure. Embrace flexibility and encourage a work-life balance that suits your team’s needs while maintaining a focus on outcomes.

Leadership is about empowering your team, regardless of age. By embracing technology, offering mentorship, and adapting to flexible work arrangements, you’ll create an environment where everyone can thrive.

Stay adaptable, stay open-minded, and keep the dialogue with your younger workforce flowing. Leadership is a journey of continuous improvement.

What are your thoughts on leading a younger workforce?

I’d love to hear your insights and experiences in the comments below.

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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