The Multidimensional Workforce Pt. 2

In Part 1 of the Multidimensional Workforce, we analyzed how Gen Y is stereotyped and why these stereotypes are actually hiding the true potential of today’s generation. Rash behavior should be channeled into ambition. Informality should be channeled into efficiency. Selfishness should be converted to a self-motivated drive. How can these transformations happen? Since companies have a multidimensional workforce, how can various generational interactions mentor today’s generation to succeed in the rapidly changing professional world?

The venn diagram explains how the current work atmosphere shouldn’t just focus on accommodating future Gen Y employees. Rather, the increase of Gen Y in the workforce affects the entire demographic within a company. In the book The 2020 Workplace, written by Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd, it vividly shows through examples and case studies that the year 2020 will be fundamentally different than today’s work culture. Three major shifts they claim are globalization, demographics, and social web.

Globalization is seen by the fact that technology has broken down geographical barriers (ex. Airplanes and social media). Social media channel Twitter proves an example of globalization in the workplace. In 140 characters or less, you are expected to compress complex verbiage in a short, concise message. With a plethora of tweets being sent per second all around the world, Twitter has given the world a chance to communicate with each other in real time. Twitter is a great example of how business doesn’t end even though it may be nighttime in a certain area. Twitter’s ability to continue a conversation regardless of time zone gives way to fact that today’s generations love a great work/life balance. Demograhics in 2020 will shift the various generation populations in the workplace, similar to the Multidimensional Workforce. By 2020, Jeanne and Karie believe Gen Z will take up 7% of the entire company atmosphere, Gen X/Y 50%, Baby Boomers 22%, and Silent Generation 1%. Lastly, the Social Web refers to the upcoming collaboration revolution. With various blogs, wikis, and content management systems, knowledge sharing and collaboration is the future.

From The 2020 Workplace, what insight is created? There are two things that clearly underlie a powerful message about current and future generations. First, future works entering a workplace value feedback coupled with speed and autonomy of knowledge gathering, creation, and sharing. Second, future generations are blank slates. In a related post on Generation Y, we should realize that today’s and tomorrow’s generations are living in a world that is constantly throwing informational and sensory stimuli at them in a rapidly increasing rate. As digital natives, our attention span and focus is placed less on remembering these stimuli and more on acting upon them. This has carried over to the educational and learning pedagogies of today’s generation

Today’s generations are blank slates.

As digital natives living in a world with massive amounts of information, we have learned how to use technology as a crutch to help us gather, process, and act upon insights derived from raw information. Although many amazing things are happening, we need to be mindful of designing to convert blank slates into productive employees. This design calls for gamification.

I was supposed to cover the gamification aspects of the Multidimensional Workforce Venn diagram in Part 2. However, I recently read The 2020 Workplace and felt is was necessary to relate it to the Multidimensional Workforce. I encourage everyone to read the book as it provides an illuminating view on how serious of a topic this is. As every second passes, businesses need to stress the importance of reassessing the philosophy of corporate citizenship because a new generation is getting ready to trade textbooks, student loans, and exams in college for feedback, autonomy, and mentorship in the professional world.

In the third and final part of the Multidimensional Workforce, we will examine what exactly does it mean to be a corporate citizen. On top of that, we will discover clever gamification techniques to help create a tight-knit working community that will succeed in tomorrow’s markets

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