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New World of Work

How Millennials Are Changing the Way We Work and What Organisation Needs to Do About It – Part 3

By 13 July 2020No Comments

Culture, leadership and management style

Organisations will need to investigate how to change their leadership training to reflect the style of Gen Y, as well as work out how baby boomer knowledge can be transferred to Gen Y/Z.

“There is widespread agreement that the generation entering the workforce is different in key ways – but our research shows that executives do not really understand what these differences are.” – Phillip Szilagyi

“Alternatives to the traditional relationships between employer and employee grow in popularity.”

This “requires companies to manage workers in new ways.”

“While more than half of executives say workforce, development is a key differentiator for their firms, they do not have the technology and organisation to back it up.”

“Diversity is another pressing issue. The 2020 workforce will be made up of a wider group of ages and nationalities than ever before, so companies will need to have a broad understanding of their people and the markets in which they operate.”

“These changes are very much on the minds of executives, who cite globalisation and millennials entering the workforce as their top business concerns.” – Oxford Economics

“At least three generations working together in the modern workplace bringing with it some challenges but also many advantages.”

Most (millennials) are intensely ambitious and are looking for rapid career progression – 56% of those questioned said they felt they could rise to the top with their current employer. But with so many aiming for the top it’s inevitable that many will eventually be disappointed and employers should be careful to manage expectations and identify and reward the young talent that they are keen to keep and develop.

The most valued opportunity was the chance to work with strong coaches and mentors. Millennials relish the opportunity to engage, interact and learn from senior management. Mentoring programmes can be particularly effective and also help to relieve tensions between generations. Employers need to be aware of unconscious bias from older workers and take care that they judge millennials on results rather than preconceptions – PwC, Millennials at Work.

Technology and your organisation: Digital device and assets

The 2020+workforce will become increasingly flexible. BYOT and BYOD (Bring Your Own Technology/Device) is normal in schools and will become the standard in the workplace. Similarly, artificial intelligence will become increasingly widespread.

Already the legal world is exploring the new world of work, with a 2016 poll of more than 300 attendees at the Law Society’s Robots and Lawyers conference found that 48% of respondent’s firms already use some form artificial intelligence (AI) – though only 4% agreed that lawyers will eventually be replaced by rotos.

Will the 4% be challenged by ROSS, a ‘new hire’ at the law firm Baker & Hostetler, which handles bankruptcy cases?

Based on ROSS Intelligence’s artificial intelligence legal research product, lawyers ask ROSS their research question in natural language, as they would a person, then ROSS reads through the law, gathers evidence, draws inferences and returns highly relevant, evidence-based candidate answers. ROSS also monitors the law around the clock to notify users of new court decisions that can affect a case. The program continually learns from the lawyers who use it to bring back better results each time.

Yet as the new world of work embraces even greater levels of technology and supplements teams with artificial intelligence, the workforce cannot afford to become so IT-focused it forgets the other side of the human brain.

“A millennial-friendly environment may be fully digital, but it also needs to be comfortable and creative.” – PwC, Millennials at Work

The Pendragon Position:

  • Understand this millennial generation and their skills and values.
  • Get the ‘deal’ right:
    • It is important for employees to explain what they are offering a potential employee, but also what they expect in return.
    • Think creatively about reward strategies and what motivates millennials.
  • Help millennials grow. Managers need to really understand the personal and professional goals of millennials:
    • Give them assignments that make them feel like they are moving ahead in their career.
    • Take every opportunity to mix them in teams with other generations.
  • Feedback:
    • Give honest feedback in real-time – and highlight positive contributions or improvements on key competencies.
  • Set them free – Millennials want flexibility:
    • Set deadlines and if they meet them don’t worry so much about their tactics and the time they clock in and out.
  • Encourage learning – Millennials want to experience as much training as possible:
    • Let them connect, collaborate, build their networks – and most of all, innovate.
  • Allow faster advancement:
    • They want career advancement much quicker than older generations are accustomed to.
    • A relatively simple solution, such as adding more levels, grades or other ‘badges’ could be enough to meet their expectations.
  • Expect millennials to go:
    • It’s inevitable that the rate of churn among millennials will be higher than among other generations. This should be built into your plans.

Next week I will share with you some thoughts on how Millennials would like to attract brand self with employer branding… Meanwhile, please have a look at The New World of Work book… Do you think it’s still true? I would love to know your thoughts…

If you would like to discuss further, please don’t hesitate to contact us…

John Glover, Managing Director, Pendragon

Purnima Kabra