Tags: workplace | millenials | economy | labor

5 Ways to Prepare for 'Plurals' in the Workplace

By Monday, 20 June 2016 10:13 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Employers are in for a rude awakening when post-Millennials enter the workforce.

Technology is part of the problem.

“It will be harder and harder to get Gen Z employees to FOCUS because they are comfortable with multiple forms of technology operating at the same time,” said Lenann McGookey Gardner, a New Mexico based MBA, executive coach and founder of acoachforyourkid.com.

Born after 1997, Generation Z, also known as Plurals, the Obama Generation and Edgers, are growing up completely connected technologywise where their Millennial siblings and Gen X parents were only partially exposed as children to technology trends such as Selfies, iPads, embedded videos, unending Facebook feeds and video capabilities on their smart phones.

“By the time Generation Z enters the workforce, instant messaging and other interactive real time tools will have replaced email entirely,” said Diya Obeid, founder and CEO of JobDiva, a Software as a Service (SaaS) staffing solution in New York. “That’s because the value of information and data diminishes over time and email is slow compared to real time messaging.”

Some 42% of "Plurals" want to start their own business and 38% want to invent something, according to a study by generational consulting company BridgeWorks.

“We’ll continue to see trends that began with Millennials, such as expecting to get work done when they feel inspired to work, and eschewing the traditional work schedule that has long been associated with corporate America,” said Kendra Van Nostran, director of research & insights with CKR Interactive, a global recruitment marketing and employee communications firm.

This could potentially wreak havoc on the stodgy ways of the workforce.

“They’ll be more interested in contract positions or possibly working schedules that allow them to generate income while they focus on launching their own businesses,” Van Nostran told Newsmax Finance.

As a result, the job market will become even more fluid and flexible than it is today with fewer and fewer people working in traditional arrangements, such as full time and Monday through Friday.

“There will be no mundane, administrative or procedure type positions because they will be automated if they haven’t been already,” Obeid told Newsmax Finance. “Gen Z will be focused on multiple goal oriented projects that have a beginning, middle and end even if employed at the same company long term.”

Because they are so tech savvy, employers are expected to struggle with the Plurals' mentality of not reaching out to management when they make a mistake, having learned self-reliance from Youtube videos, Google and the like.

“Their competitive spirit and craving to be the best will likely equate to a strong and impressive applicant pool for employers,” said Molly DeZurik, content curator with BridgeWorks in Minnesota. “They’ll come to work as a cohort of self-starters, eager to learn and adapt to their roles with no problem diving into projects unknown.”

Plurals are showing themselves to be more independent than collaborative-minded Millennials who have been cultivating the sharing economy.

“The workforce of the future will place more importance on the asset that the individual brings and, as a result, Generation Z will be more interested in personal development on the job rather than focused on the employer-employee relationship,” Obeid said.

As members of America's last generation with a Caucasian majority, Prurals are expected to have little tolerance for discrimination based on race, gender, culture or sexual orientation.

“They are the most ethnically diverse generation to date,” DeZurik said. “Not only did they grow up with the first African American President but also when gay marriage was legalized.”

Extremely socially aware, Gen Edgers will seek out and expect diversity in the workplace as well as to work for organizations that share their values publicly.

5 Ways to Prepare For Plurals in the Workplace
  • Management teams will need to be more focused on what their Plural employees want to learn, what skills they want to develop and their degree of job satisfaction. “If they’re dissatisfied, they’re not likely to stay around,” Gardner told Newsmax Finance.
  • Stay on top of new research. “In all things, adjust accordingly so that all generations feel represented and heard,” said DeZurik.
  • Identify positioning that is authentic to who the company is and how the organization is engaged in social good. “This type of assessment is crucial to determining the most effective strategies for communicating about the social good an organization does in a way that is meaningful to Gen Z,” said Van Nostran.
  • Set up telecommuting positions wherever possible. Gen Edgers are true digital natives with do it yourself in their DNA,” said DeZurik. “They’ll bring an independence to their roles. A key to engagement will be to set this generation on ad-hoc projects where they can use their skills or self-taught new ones.”
  • Starting grooming Millennials for management positions now. “It’s likely that employers will be faced with a lack of management-level candidates due to the small size of Gen X and the mass exodus of retiring Baby Boomers,” Van Nostran said.
Juliette Fairley is an author, lecturer and TV host based in New York. To read more of her work, Click Here Now.

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Employers are in for a rude awakening when post-Millennials enter the workforce. Technology is part of the problem.
workplace, millenials, economy, labor
Monday, 20 June 2016 10:13 PM
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