The Changing Nature Of Work [SLIDESHARE]

Michael Brenner

millennialsGeneration Y is taking over the workplace and it’s happening sooner than you think. By 2025, they will comprise 75% of the workforce.

Due to demographic shifts, including more experienced Baby Boomer workers retiring, it is essential to engage Generation Y now so they are able to fulfill expected talent shortages in the near future. Developing a strong leadership pipeline and expertise are key to business continuity.

Unfortunately, many organizations are not prepared to attract, engage, and retain Generation Y employees because they continue to use management practices that are off target.

Only one in three employees is engaged in their role, costing organizations billions of dollars in productivity. Neglecting to engage Generation Y will result in talent shortages, turnover expenses, and a damaged reputation.

Generation Y had a different upbringing than the Baby Boomers and Generation X; however, much of what they demand in the workplace will engage the entire workforce, not just their demographic.

Engaging Generation Y is as much about modernizing your workplace as it is about creating an environment to capture the best new talent; the ROI is far-reaching.

Three forces are shaping the future of work: Globalization (Global access to markets and talent will reshape business), Demographics (5 generations will be working side by side in organizations) & Social Web (social media will connect employees, customers & partners for immediate connection)


Many people have conducted research and written about this topic, especially if you’ve read the work of Thomas Friedman.  We all need to recognize that talent markets are global.


There are 5 generations to consider: Traditionalists (born before ‘46), Baby Boomers (born before ‘64), Generation X (born before ‘76), Millennials (born before ‘97) and Generation C or Z (born 97-?).

In 2011 the first wave of Baby Boomers turned 65 and 10,000 will retire a day for the next 19 years.  This is the largest exodus from the workplace of any generation in history

There are nearly twice as many Baby Boomers as there are Generation X and more Millennials than Baby Boomers

So even if every Gen X’er were to take a job vacated by a Baby Boomer, there simply aren’t enough Gen X’ers to fill all the open jobs, so a Millennial with very little work experience will end up taking big jobs vacated by Baby Boomers with 40 years of experience

By 2020, when the crest of the Baby Boomers turn 65, the Millennials will be the dominant generation in our workforce.

As Millennials will soon be the most influential group in our companies – we should know what’s important to them: 1) help me develop my skills, 2) has strong values, 3) offers customizable options in my benefits and rewards package, 4) allows me to blend work with the rest of their lives, 5) offers a clear career path.
The #1 way they want to learn is through mentoring and coaching.

The social web

Research shows that people from across the globe are more similar to others in their generation, than to people across generations in the same country.  A teenager from India is more similar to a teenager in the US than to a Baby Boomer from India.

World wide, no matter how rich you are, if you’re old, you think a smartphone is optional and if you’re a Millennial, no matter how poor you are, a smartphone is a necessity of life

The older you are, the more you’re sending email, and the younger you are, the more you’re not reading it (but getting news, updates & information from other social web sources)

In 2010, 10 trillions emails were sent and 89% of them were spam. We send 8 billion texts a day, and the average Millennial sends 3,200 texts a month.

In March 2012, 2 Billion YouTube videos watched a day. And when Facebook allowed videos to be launched from their site, the number doubled overnight.

Of the 7 Billion people on the planet, 2 Billion own an internet accessible device. So for people who own devices they’re watching 400 YouTube videos a month.  Who is doing this?  Retired people?  No, Millennials.

There is a shift happening in how people are consuming information. And if the Millennials are connected, the next Generation C or Z, will be even more so – 92% of US children have an online presence.

The Millennial generation expects that their social experiences and tools they use in their personal lives are equivalent to what they use in their work lives.

This generation is very comfortable rating and tagging their experiences and this is no different from how they want to engage at work. and  Not too much of a stretch to have  There is a strong trend of employees choosing their managers, putting managers on performance improvement plans.

10 years ago Google had just moved out of the garage and Facebook didn’t exist, we can only expect the same rate of change in the next 10 years.

Most Gen Y workers are forgoing the biggest companies in favor of smaller companies. The highest concentration of Gen Y workers (47%) are at small companies with fewer than 100 employees, followed by midsize companies that have no more than 1,500 employees (30%). Just 23% of Gen Y-ers work at large firms with more than 1,500 employees.

There are many myths about Gen Y:

  • They lack organizational loyalty. But in fact, Gen Y has about as much loyalty as other groups. And statistics about frequent job changes match the same rates of change of other generations when they were younger.
  • They don’t respect authority. But in fact, they just define loyalty a little differently from other generations.
  • They are only motivated by perks and money. But in fact they are more motivated by development opportunities. Older generations value money almost twice as much as Gen Y. Their goal is to find work and life that has meaning.

But Millennials are different. They think and act differently from the generations before them due to their considerably different upbringing:

  • They are the first generation to grow up with computer technology.
  • Millennials employees just entering the workforce will barely remember film cameras. They’ve had daily Internet use since early in grade school and a mobile phone in their pocket before they could drive.
  • Their parents were more hands-on. – Their Boomer parents recognized the competition, and wanted to do what they could to give them help. They were more involved by encouraging their children, helping them with homework, helping to find part-time jobs, and enrolling them in extracurricular activities.
  • They have been trained to be involved and contribute their ideas. – Participation in University and College classes is often mandatory and evaluated as a percentage of their grade. Group work is woven into every course evaluation.
  • They are more educated. – On average, Millennials is twice as educated as the generations before them.

What can businesses do to prepare?

  1. Deliver employee experiences that strengthen knowledge of and appreciation for the customer value chain
  1. Values in action and transparency facilitated through social media/collaboration, open financial books, full disclosure on pay
  1. Nurture employee relationships that align with needs of every generation at each life stage
  1. Offer innovative practices aligned to organizational strategy
  1. Provide fun, engaging work environments (virtual or physical)
  1. Encourage use of social media tools/techniques that allow employees to enable workplace performance and support life interests


About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, Head of Strategy at NewsCred, and the former VP of Global Content Marketing at SAP. Michael is also the co-author of the upcoming book The Content Formula, a contributor to leading publications like The Economist, Inc Magazine, The Guardian, and Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to the Marketing Insider.

Recommended for you:

13 Scary Statistics On Employee Engagement [INFOGRAPHIC]

Jacob Shriar

There is a serious problem with the way we work.

Most employees are disengaged and not passionate about the work they do. This is costing companies a ton of money in lost productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. It’s also harmful to employees, because they’re more stressed out than ever.

The thing that bothers me the most about it, is that it’s all so easy to fix. I can’t figure out why managers aren’t more proactive about this. Besides the human element of caring for our employees, it’s costing them money, so they should care more about fixing it. Something as simple as saying thank you to your employees can have a huge effect on their engagement, not to mention it’s good for your level of happiness.

The infographic that we put together has some pretty shocking statistics in it, but there are a few common themes. Employees feel overworked, overwhelmed, and they don’t like what they do. Companies are noticing it, with 75% of them saying they can’t attract the right talent, and 83% of them feeling that their employer brand isn’t compelling. Companies that want to fix this need to be smart, and patient. This doesn’t happen overnight, but like I mentioned, it’s easy to do. Being patient might be the hardest thing for companies, and I understand how frustrating it can be not to see results right away, but it’s important that you invest in this, because the ROI of employee engagement is huge.

Here are 4 simple (and free) things you can do to get that passion back into employees. These are all based on research from Deloitte.

1.  Encourage side projects

Employees feel overworked and underappreciated, so as leaders, we need to stop overloading them to the point where they can’t handle the workload. Let them explore their own passions and interests, and work on side projects. Ideally, they wouldn’t have to be related to the company, but if you’re worried about them wasting time, you can set that boundary that it has to be related to the company. What this does, is give them autonomy, and let them improve on their skills (mastery), two of the biggest motivators for work.

Employees feel overworked and underappreciated, so as leaders, we need to stop overloading them to the point where they can’t handle the workload.

2.  Encourage workers to engage with customers

At Wistia, a video hosting company, they make everyone in the company do customer support during their onboarding, and they often rotate people into customer support. When I asked Chris, their CEO, why they do this, he mentioned to me that it’s so every single person in the company understands how their customers are using their product. What pains they’re having, what they like about it, it gets everyone on the same page. It keeps all employees in the loop, and can really motivate you to work when you’re talking directly with customers.

3.  Encourage workers to work cross-functionally

Both Apple and Google have created common areas in their offices, specifically and strategically located, so that different workers that don’t normally interact with each other can have a chance to chat.

This isn’t a coincidence. It’s meant for that collaborative learning, and building those relationships with your colleagues.

4.  Encourage networking in their industry

This is similar to number 2 on the list, but it’s important for employees to grow and learn more about what they do. It helps them build that passion for their industry. It’s important to go to networking events, and encourage your employees to participate in these things. Websites like Eventbrite or Meetup have lots of great resources, and most of the events on there are free.

13 Disturbing Facts About Employee Engagement [Infographic]

What do you do to increase employee engagement? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Did you like today’s post? If so you’ll love our frequent newsletter! Sign up here and receive The Switch and Shift Change Playbook, by Shawn Murphy, as our thanks to you!

This infographic was crafted with love by Officevibe, the employee survey tool that helps companies improve their corporate wellness, and have a better organizational culture.


Recommended for you:

Supply Chain Fraud: The Threat from Within

Lindsey LaManna

Supply chain fraud – whether perpetrated by suppliers, subcontractors, employees, or some combination of those – can take many forms. Among the most common are:

  • Falsified labor
  • Inflated bills or expense accounts
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Phantom vendor accounts or invoices
  • Bid rigging
  • Grey markets (counterfeit or knockoff products)
  • Failure to meet specifications (resulting in substandard or dangerous goods)
  • Unauthorized disbursements

LSAP_Smart Supply Chains_graphics_briefook inside

Perhaps the most damaging sources of supply chain fraud are internal, especially collusion between an employee and a supplier. Such partnerships help fraudsters evade independent checks and other controls, enabling them to steal larger amounts. The median loss from fraud committed
by a single thief was US$80,000, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Costs increase along with the number of perpetrators involved. Fraud involving two thieves had a median loss of US$200,000; fraud involving three people had a median loss of US$355,000; and fraud with four or more had a median loss of more than US$500,000, according to ACFE.

Build a culture to fight fraud

The most effective method to fight internal supply chain theft is to create a culture dedicated to fighting it. Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Make sure the board and C-level executives understand the critical nature of the supply chain and the risk of fraud throughout the procurement lifecycle.
  • Market the organization’s supply chain policies internally and among contractors.
  • Institute policies that prohibit conflicts of interest, and cross-check employee and supplier data to uncover potential conflicts.
  • Define the rules for accepting gifts from suppliers and insist that all gifts be documented.
  • Require two employees to sign off on any proposed changes to suppliers.
  • Watch for staff defections to suppliers, and pay close attention to any supplier that has recently poached an employee.

About Lindsey LaManna

Lindsey LaManna is Social and Reporting Manager for the Digitalist Magazine by SAP Global Marketing. Follow @LindseyLaManna on Twitter, on LinkedIn or Google+.


Recommended for you:

What Gen Z’s Arrival In The Workforce Means For Recruiters

Meghan M. Biro

Generation Z’s arrival in the workforce means some changes are on the horizon for recruiters. This cohort, born roughly from the mid-90s to approximately 2010, will be entering the workforce in four Hiring Generation Z words in 3d letters on an organization chart to illustrate finding young employees for your company or businessshort years, and you can bet recruiters and employers are already paying close attention to them.

This past fall, the first group of Gen Z youth began entering university. As Boomers continue to work well past traditional retirement age, four or five years from now, we’ll have an American workplace comprised of five generations.

Marketers and researchers have been obsessed with Millennials for over a decade; they are the most studied generation in history, and at 80 million strong they are an economic force to be reckoned with. HR pros have also been focused on all things related to attracting, motivating, mentoring, and retaining Millennials and now, once Gen Z is part of the workforce, recruiters will have to shift gears and also learn to work with this new, lesser-known generation. What are the important points they’ll need to know?

Northeastern University led the way with an extensive survey on Gen Z in late 2014 that included 16- through 19-year-olds and shed some light on key traits. Here are a few points from that study that recruiters should pay special attention to:

  • In general, the Generation Z cohort tends to be comprised of self-starters who have a strong desire to be autonomous. 63% of them report that they want colleges to teach them about being an entrepreneur.
  • 42% expect to be self-employed later in life, and this percentage was higher among minorities.
  • Despite the high cost of higher education, 81% of Generation Z members surveyed believe going to college is extremely important.
  • Generation Z has a lot of anxiety around debt, not only student loan debt, and they report they are very interested in being well-educated about finances.
  • Interpersonal interaction is highly important to Gen Z; just as Millennials before them, communicating via technology, including social media, is far less valuable to them than face-to-face communication.

Of course Gen Z is still very young, and their opinions as they relate to future employment may well change. For example, reality is that only 6.6% of the American workforce is self-employed, making it likely that only a small percentage of those expecting to be self-employed will be as well. The future in that respect is uncertain, and this group has a lot of learning to do and experiences yet ahead of them. However, when it comes to recruiting them, here are some things that might be helpful.

Generation Z is constantly connected

Like Millennials, Gen Z is a cohort of digital natives; they have had technology and the many forms of communication that affords since birth. They are used to instant access to information and, like their older Gen Y counterparts, they are continually processing information. Like Millennials, they prefer to solve their own problems, and will turn to YouTube or other video platforms for tutorials and to troubleshoot before asking for help. They also place great value on the reviews of their peers.

For recruiters, that means being ready to communicate on a wide variety of platforms on a continual basis. In order to recruit the top talent, you will have to be as connected as they are. You’ll need to keep up with their preferred networks, which will likely always be changing, and you’ll need to be transparent about what you want, as this generation is just as skeptical of marketing as the previous one.

Flexible schedules will continue to grow in importance

With the growth of part-time and contract workers, Gen Z will more than likely assume the same attitude their Millennial predecessors did when it comes to career expectations; they will not expect to remain with the same company for more than a few years. Flexible schedules will be a big part of their world as they move farther away from the traditional 9-to-5 job structure as work becomes more about life and less about work, and they’ll likely take on a variety of part time roles.

This preference for flexible work schedules means that business will happen outside of traditional work hours, and recruiters’ own work hours will, therefore, have to be just as flexible as their Gen Z targets’ schedule are. Companies will also have to examine what are in many cases decades old policies on acceptable work hours and business norms as they seek to not only attract, but to hire and retain this workforce with wholly different preferences than the ones that came before them. In many instances this is already happening, but I believe we will see this continue to evolve in the coming years.

Echoing the silent generation

Unlike Millennials, Gen Z came of age during difficult economic times; older Millennials were raised in the boom years. As Alex Williams points out in his recent New York Times piece, there’s an argument to be made that Generation Z is similar in attitude to the Silent Generation, growing up in a time of recession means they are more pragmatic and skeptical than their slightly older peers.

So how will this impact their behavior and desires as job candidates? Most of them are the product of Gen X parents, and stability will likely be very important to them. They may be both hard-working and fiscally savvy.

Sparks & Honey, in their much quoted slideshare on Gen Z, puts the number of high-schooler students who felt pressured by their parents to get jobs at 55 percent. Income and earning your keep are likely to be a big motivation for GenZ. Due to the recession, they also share the experience of living in multi-generational households, which may help considerably as they navigate a workplace comprised of several generations.

We don’t have all the answers

With its youngest members not yet in double digits, Gen Z is still maturing. There is obviously still a lot that we don’t know. This generation may have the opposite experience from the Millennials before them, where the older members experienced the booming economy, with some even getting a career foothold, before the collapse in 2008. Gen Z’s younger members may get to see a resurgent economy as they make their way out of college. Those younger members are still forming their personalities and views of the world; we would be presumptuous to think we have all of the answers already.

Generational analysis is part research, but also part theory testing. What we do know is that this second generation of digital natives, with its adaption of technology and comfort with the fast-paced changing world, will leave its mark on the American workforce as it makes its way in. As a result, everything about HR will change, in a big way. I wrote a post for my Forbes column recently where I said, “To recruit in this environment is like being part wizard, part astronaut, part diplomat, part guidance counselor,” and that’s very true.

As someone who loves change, I believe there has never been a more exciting time to be immersed in both the HR and the technology space. How do you feel about what’s on the horizon as it relates to the future of work and the impending arrival of Generation Z? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Social tools are playing an increasingly important role in the workplace, especially for younger workers. Learn more: Adopting Social Software For Workforce Collaboration [Video].

The post What Gen Z’s Arrival In The Workforce Means For Recruiters appeared first on TalentCulture.

Image: Bigstock


Recommended for you:

The Importance Of Leadership On Employee Engagement [INFOGRAPHIC]

Charmian Solter

Here at Switch & Shift we strive to illuminate effective leadership practices. We pride ourselves on creating cutting-edge solutions for employee engagement, communication, and creating company culture, to name a few.

Why are these topics so important? Well, according to The Importance of Employee Engagement infographic by NBRI, courtesy of Brandon Gaille, if leadership doesn’t step up and affect change and build trust and engagement, their employees will be busy doing anything but work while on the job! This infographic says it all.


For more on developing more engaged, loyal, and productive workers, see How Empowering Employees Creates a More Engaged Workforce.


Recommended for you: