Managing the Next-Generation Workforce

Development and learning opportunities may have been used to prepare for movement into management or to increase the depth of expertise in a core discipline. Does your organization have enough upward movement to justify making this a high return investment? Are core disciplines still critical to the business, or is the situation changing with new technology or outsourcing?

Once you have examined the assumptions behind the programs, consider the characteristics of the next generation in greater depth. The next generation has an extremely low boredom threshold. Multitasking is a symptom of the short attention span typical among incoming talent. Organizations will need to offer a wide variety of challenges early in career. Promoting the humanitarian values and philanthropic endeavors of the organization will help to attract and retain talent. Recognition, which can be shared with family, has more retention value than mere money, although money serves to quantify the value of their accomplishments.

Consider that this next generation uses data from the Internet to calibrate the fairness of their “deal” versus competition. Most sources provide very bad data. We will need to provide competitive data more openly, or the reality will be whatever the bad data says it is. Keep in mind that as parents, we encouraged this openness and explained everything in whatever detail the next generation requested.

The differences in the next generation are not insurmountable, and they offer significant benefits. A workforce that loves change, embraces new technologies and lacks the guile to participate in corporate politics has the potential to improve corporate life.



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