Younger Workers Are the Future of the Workplace.
Younger generations comprise the largest segment of the workforce and will include an even larger cohort in the future as baby boomers retire.
As Priorities continue to change among new generations of talent, leaders need to understand how to build a workforce for the future and what changes are required in anticipation of the road ahead.
As organizations set more ambitious Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals, particularly the social aspect, they risk reputational harm if they take their workers for granted. Organizations must recognize the contributions of younger workers as tremendous resources in providing innovation, creativity, and energy. Also, organizations that transparently engage them can more effectively achieve business objectives, adapt to a fast-moving business environment, and outperform the competition.
Gen Z and millennial workers are quicker to quit than their older counterparts were at the same age, and they often resist summonses to return to the office. Organizations must consider external and internal factors like market forces and the younger people representing the future workforce. Understanding the wants and needs of younger workers can give companies a clear talent advantage.
What do young workers want today? Younger workers represent a unique generation whose norms, values, and experiences are significantly informed by global climate change and COVID-19, resulting in heightened sustainability and human welfare concerns. Their priorities encompass training and development, flexibility, autonomy, and transparency on social issues. They need to feel like their interests, values, talents, and abilities are being expressed within the scope of their day-to-day responsibilities.
Organizations must look at measures to tempt younger workers with jobs that align with their values and offer opportunities to grow professionals and organizations who know who they are and what they stand for, aligning programs and practices around more than the bottom line. On the individual level, this allows each employee to experience a connection between what they do and care about.
Training and Development: Younger workers are sending a clear signal to leaders that they want more training and development. In our current environment, with a shift to hybrid work, there is a greater need for career guidance, coaching, and mentoring, and organizations must develop strategies to support this current culture of work. While technical skills are teachable, softer skills like collaboration, communication and conflict resolution often need to be improved, so interaction with colleagues will be required.
Flexibility and Autonomy: When, Where and How younger workers work are crucial as they have significantly higher expectations on workplace issues. Organizations must know that many younger workers are less willing to work long hours or give up their nights and weekends for a career. Therefore, leaders should establish clear boundaries regarding working hours and project deadlines.
Social Transparency: Social issues are critical to younger workers, which can lead to positive outcomes. Issues like climate change and diversity, equity, and inclusion are issues that more youthful workers expect company transparency.
In conclusion, organizations must treat their employees as their key stakeholders, emphasizing the younger workers, as their priorities differ from previous generations, leading to a more successful workforce for the road ahead.