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.

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The Multidimensional Workforce Pt. 1

As we continue to enter to a new technological age, we are faced with many different challenges. Although it may not get as much attention in the media because it is a tough puzzle to solve, businesses have to focus on solving their approach to the multidimensional workforce.

The multidimensional workforce welcomes the addition of Gen Y and already consists of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, and Gen X. Unfortunately, there is discord between generations because Gen Y workers come off as being rash, informal, and selfish. Few companies are starting to rub off the “stereotypical” dirt to uncover the fact that Gen Y is actually ambitious, efficient, and self-driven.

Who is Gen Y? No exact years are given, but those born in between 1979-1997 are considered to be a part of Gen Y. Gen Y embodies the love and sense of entitlement they received from their Baby Boomer parents who worked hard to give the best to their children. Below is a complete profile of Gen Y:

  • Values: meritocracy, camaraderie, non-traditionalism, work-life balance, self-expression and meaning
  • Self-Perception: unique, proud, confident, entitled, frustrated, impatient
  • Skills: technology-related tasks

Gen Y believes that the strongest survive. Valuing meritocracy, good work should be rewarded properly. A sense of teamwork for collaboration or competition and flexibility in work procedures are sought after in this generation. The normal 9-5 schedule doesn’t work, as there should be a great work/life balance. Strongly results driven, people of this generation want to see life move in double time. They can’t wait to be at the top of the ladder and will work hard to find ways to be recognized. As the work-life perception is more balance, the work will get done, doesn’t matter what time it gets done. With the immersion in the Internet and amount of information, people are able to express themselves in ways that are very unique. Social media has given this generation a new way to express who they are, what they like, and so forth. Gen Y is proud of this and highly values self-expression.

Most of Gen Y was given constant positive feedback from parents, and therefore have a high level of confidence. It may come off as arrogance, but the multidimensional workforce should recognize that this “arrogance” is actually a strong level of confidence and ambition. Although Gen Y is not typically loyal to the company, they are loyal to their work. The rise of social responsibility and technology has given the majority of Gen Y to participate in meaningful work. This work is defined uniquely for each employee, and this is the key to tapping Gen Y’s potential.

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