I could not have imagined the workplace of today as I soon my first job after graduating back in 1998. Back then we still had fax machines, fixed hours and we had our own desk. Working from home was not even a concept and email? Well that wasn’t for the masses. Everything was filed using paper, and the photocopier was your best friend and your biggest enemy at times. Paper jams and ink cartridge problems could hold your work up for hours.
This was a time before mobile phones were common place, before Wi-Fi, tablets, laptops and broadband. Group memos and psychical team meetings were the way to communicate and telephone conferences, Skype, hangouts and webinars were still in the realms of SCI-FI. To use the internet, we still had to dial-up, and that was cutting edge.
Job security was still a thing to aspire for, and we were only just beginning to understand people development, engagement, performance management, coaching and feedback. Our boss was the one in command, and leadership wasn’t something we all did, and many on the board didn’t really do either. In fact, brainstorming and blue sky thinking were still a bit way out there.
What we expected from our bosses back in the 1990’s seems old-fashioned and literally from another century.
The new generation, look for true leadership, inspiring, authentic and with integrity. They expect to have a contribution to discussions and strategy, and will not be told how it is. They are a product of liberal, aspirational and holistic parenting and education. They don’t aspire to grow up, get a job and then be defined by the work they do. They think about life, opportunity and success, in terms of their whole life, and they won’t settle for anything less. Leaders that engage, inspire, feedback and coach their talent to reach their peak performance are the leaders and employers of choice. Does that sound like you?
The recessions of the last 10 years have shaped how we view the workplace in terms of security, ethics, values and reputation. Globalisation of talent means that employers are competing on a global basis. The world is a small place to the new emerging workforce. Diversity of the workforce’s experience, thoughts, beliefs and cultures is adding richness to the talent pool, and makes traditional structures and hierarchies seem outdated and stifling. Women already make up 40% of the workforce in 2015, and the millennial women are outperforming their male peers in education and earnings (although fractionally). And the influence of women means that the men also aspire for flexibility, balance, nurturing, meaningful conversations, and collaboration. We are human after all.
The Towers Watson survey shows us what the new workforce is expecting from its employers, and they are now influencing the global workplace to adapt or die.
20-35 year olds want feedback, coaching, opportunities and diversity. They look for companies with ethics and social responsibility and to feel like they make a difference.
They want work and life to be integrated and holistic, and to be passionate about.
So as you look to retain your talent and attract the workforce of the future ask yourself are you ready as a leader?
Do you lead with flexibility, innovation, creativity and opportunity?
Because if you don’t create that for your workforce, someone else will?
The new workforce is not loyal. They don’t believe in job security. Staying at a company long-term is seen as a negative. They will stay with you for as long as you give them what they need.
Are you ready?
To discuss how to develop and retain your talent, and adapt and grow as a leader in the new workplace, email Lucy@3wh.uk.com