Employer Branding, Generation Y & New Leadership: 10 Challenges Industry 4.0

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Company Now, executives and employees need to prepare for the 4.0 industry. The best way is who takes initiative. What is needed are new forms of leadership, strong employer branding and intergenerational cooperation. business and leisure

Here writes for you: Oliver Hofmann (Dipl.-Betriebswirt) is Managing Director and entrepreneur. Profile

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What is the working world of tomorrow?

Labor market experts are still discordant as the working world of tomorrow looks, but one thing is definitely certain: unlike today. Technical innovations and a fast, mobile Internet enable new forms of work.

In the future, employees will be more involved in cross-company projects involving employees of one company and service providers from another Company work together decentrally in teams. There arise new forms of communication; Less is communicated via traditional e-mail programs and more via cross-company messengers, eg Skype, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger.

These are the 10 challenges in the working world 4.0

The future work environment is characterized by flexibility, mobility and access to all enterprise applications, regardless of which device. After mechanization, electrification and computerization, the fourth step - digitization - has already begun. What are the 10 challenges that companies and employees face?

1. Focusing on the needs of employees

The vision of work 4.0 is a stronger focus of companies on the human needs of their workers. This is not an end in itself, but indirectly implies that the newly acquired freerooms increase the creativity and productivity of employees.

This is the only way to keep up the pace of innovation in international competition. Demographic change is also taken into account.

2. Employer Branding: Recruitment and retention of highly qualified employees

An important factor for the company's success is the acquisition and retention of highly qualified workers. Here, the generation Y is strongly in the focus of the companies.

The vintages from 1980 to 1995 are also referred to as "digital natives". They handle the new, digital media quite naturally. They have a value system that companies have to take into account.

3. Accept new values

The Generation Y can be lured with lush career prospects, high salaries or a large company car. Rather, their own car loses importance for the generation living in the city. You go by train to work and you need to borrow a car at one of the many carharing portals.

The compatibility of work and family life, the possibility to work in the workplace itself, a sense of the activity and effectiveness of one's own person are, on the other hand, clear demands on the companies who want to be involved in the struggle for Generation Y in the front.

4. Leadership: trust rather than presence culture

Working in the digital age requires a lot of trust - from both employees and employers. Employees must trust their superiors so that the culture of "always-on" does not lead to executives demanding excessive work and continuous accessibility. Likewise, executives need to trust their employees because they no longer do their work around the corner in the office, but from the home office or sitting on the park bench, or even in the evening, when the children lie in bed.

But how can executives inform their employees in the future, how do they ensure timely completion of the activities, how do you assess employees who work in decentralized projects or in the home office?

5. The hierachies become flatter

To understand this, it is worth taking a look from the satellite perspective for the currently major changes in the global economy. These can be captured by the enormous increase of three factors: speed, transparency and complexity. And these factors force a radical rethink. Why? Previously, few people in a company had power and decision-making power.

These "creators" could control everything with their abilities. Anyone who was competent in matters of "steel" could plan well in the long term. But this concentration of power on a few "omnipresent" does not work anymore. Because the increase of speed, transparency and complexity forces the powerful to distribute their power. Not because they want it, but because they need it because of competitive pressure. This means that the hierarchies are flattening, and the influence of each employee is greater.

6. More responsibility for employees

It used to be that there were many "ex-workers" among a small circle of responsible and decision-makers. In the extreme: one patriarch, many lemmings. Leadership at the time was rather a mild form of dictatorship.

And today? The entrepreneur must recognize, acknowledge and respect the increasing power of the led. He has to learn more and more to lead beyond hierarchies. The future responsibility lies fifty-fifty in management and employees and no longer to 100 percent of the "superiors".

7. Way with the status striving

This change in the distribution of power between the executive and the executive has also left the winter grain principle behind. At VW there were too much status striving and therefore too much power in the hands of less. This led to far too many decision-makers having their mouths shut.

Of course, if you stick your head out in the field of equilibrated mushrooms, the head will be easily peeled off. The learning process for Matthias Müller should result in the fact that he has to equip more intelligent people with decision-making power and demands this responsibility in the form of results. Guidance today needs many sensors, which in the fog banks of the fast market sense trends and forward inwards. Few people alone can do it anymore. This is a huge change.

8. More flexibility

It follows that more flexibility is required in every respect, for example in the choice of the place of work and the individual division of time. The young people, on the other hand, have the condition that flexibility is not a label for total collection. Previously, work was everything. The lifeblood.

This tendency to sacrifice for work is now gone. The desire for something meaningful increases. And what makes sense before and now has also changed. In the age of Gen Y, life and work merge. Both sides are justified, and the private is often the case. That is why the companies must also be flexible and offer the boy individual offers that fit into their life planning.

9. The role of leadership

The leadership of today and tomorrow has an essential task: it must develop itself and at the same time the employees. It must promote people, lead them very individually and enable them to take on real responsibility. And to be allowed.

That's often the sticking point. Responsibility is demanded, but employees are not empowered to decide on budgets and innovation. This responsibility to the company's resources demands a new direction - away from a job description that says what to do to a result orientation that dictates what to deliver.

10. More understanding & cooperation between the generations

First, some prejudices have to be filed. The Generation Y representatives basically have a not so different value system. Still, loyalty, integrity, responsibility, and desire for work count. But the definition of a successful life has changed. Crucial is for both sides, always to look, from where the other pecks. The Gen Y is very changing and wants to move something. It accepts that work-life balance no longer functions after the clock, but that work and life are interlinked.

The boys should understand that the older colleague does not want to change much before retirement. This understanding improves the cooperation already immensely. Conversely, the elders must accept that their familiar Command and Control is an outgoing model. That younger people know and articulate what they want deserves respect, so that it becomes constructively effective.


The most important feature of leadership is and will remain flexibility. It must recognize the style in which the human being has to be guided. It is an art to get the permission of the Guilds that they want to be developed. Only in this way can companies be successful today. Only so will everyone be the best that he can be.

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