I’m on O’ahu right now, madly dashing from one place to another doing my biz-thing.
When I’m here I stay with my daughter, who at twenty is taking on the world in the “big city,” amazing me with her intelligence, bravery and independence with each choice, each action. Her friends and peers are those in this new generation that Doug talked about in his Ho’ohana comment. Every time I’m here with her, living briefly in her world, I am grateful for the chance I have to be reeducated – perhaps I should say enlightened – on the expectations she and her friends have.
I couldn’t agree with Doug’s words more, that these young people are “well educated, ambitious, and have a decent work ethic.” I’ve found that they have a terrific work ethic – when they are given the opportunity to engage wholeheartedly in the jobs they take, jobs they think of as partnerships, as career builders, and as investments in their future.
To Doug’s list of attributes I would add impatience, as a good and positive thing. They value their time and don’t like wasting it. They know what they want (they have watched us very carefully, and they have reached some definite conclusions!) and they see no reason why they can’t have those things much sooner if they work for them.
And they’re right.
Now here’s the rub: for now, they are stuck with us, an older generation that may be stuck in some old ways, at the helm of places that will hire them. What else did Doug say?
Additionally, the generational differences in terms of values, behaviors, expectations, etc. are significant and employers need to recognize and plan for that in the way they manage the generational diversity.
This suggests to me huge opportunities to make positive changes in our workplaces to take advantage of the emerging diversity.
I couldn’t say it better, but I had to highlight Doug’s words with the evidence of my own experience – not past experience, but what I’m seeing daily – because folks, we have to pay attention! We have to respond. We have to grab this chance we have to reinvent the workplace.
We won’t just be doing it for them, we’ll be doing it for ourselves too. They want us to be efficient, they want us to be smarter, they want us to offer work value which equates to building their intellectual and emotional capacity, they want to be successful — aren’t these the same things we want?
So weigh in my friends: there are many of you out there reading this who are responding, doing great things in today’s marketplace. Share what you know: as Doug says, today’s workforce needs “to be managed differently.” What does that mean to you?
Comment lines are open …