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This breed of workers have mindsets, attitudes, expectations, needs, desires and behavioral patterns that are very different from those of earlier generations. This group is a large one and growing larger with every passing minute. They have to be understood, appreciated and nurtured if employers wish to harness their capabilities for the success of their organizations.
Employees of the earlier times
Employees of the earlier times had very simple and understated expectations of the company that employed them. They thought of themselves as employees, and not as customers of the company. As long as they received their monthly salaries and were treated with respect and a basic level of fairness, they were content in their jobs. They stayed in the same company for years, maybe till retirement and had no major complaints about this system.
The new workers in the future of work have are a different animal altogether. They perceive themselves as customers of the organizations and not as employees in total contrast to their predecessors. They have pretty strong expectations from the company – this starts at the time of initial job interview and recruitment and continues for as long as they are associated with the company. If their expectations are not fulfilled, they look for and move on to other jobs.
Desire an entire value proposition
The new workers do not look for just a paycheck from their employers – they desire an entire value proposition. They are not happy with a standard-one-size-fits-all experience and career path, they want every experience, every growth opportunity, every progress to be personalized and unique to them.
They want to make a difference to the organization, they want to contribute and add value, they see themselves as innovators and entrepreneurs and would like their efforts to be acknowledged and appreciated. They place great emphasis on transparency and responsible choices. They will stay loyal as long as they feel engaged and part of the company.
The HR department thus has to reorient its practices to create meaningful experiences for workers at all times just as Marketing does for external customers. It needs to attract and retain the best talent possible by creating a motivating and inspiring work environment through the use of advanced technology.
Prolific users of social media
The new workers are prolific users of social media, mobiles, internet, cloud etc to connect socially. HR would be well advised to use the same tools to recruit, train and communicate. The new workers would welcome the use of apps to make work easier to handle just as they use apps in their personal lives. They are willing to put in odd hours and be “virtually” round the clock – in return they expect flexibility and the technological wherewithal to balance their personal and professional lives.
If organizations have to successfully integrate the new breed of workers into their culture, they need to realign themselves and provide a supportive, engaging, all-encompassing, inspiring work environment via the use of high level technology that this segment of the population is comfortable with.