If there’s one constant in business, it’s the fact that everything changes, including the workforce. If you’ve been hiring for a while, you’ve probably seen some of the differences between the generations regarding how they think and work. You can’t expect that the workforce of tomorrow will be exactly like the people you’ve hired in the past.
How can you keep your new and future employees happy and productive when they’re very different from the employees you’ve had in the past? Surprisingly, it’s not that difficult. You just need to understand the differences between the up-and-coming generation of employees and their predecessors.
Here’s what you need to know about managing the workforce of tomorrow so your business can continue to grow and thrive.
Understand the New Generation
It can be easy to dismiss the next generation of employees as lazy, less passionate, or even less driven than their older counterparts. But none of these things are true, and if you don’t take the time to understand to the extent that what drives the next generation of employees, it could be detrimental to your business.
The workforce of the future looks and thinks a lot differently than the Boomers who are leaving the workforce. They’re young, creative, and crave the freedom of personal expression. They’re also values-driven employees who will work hard, but not at the expense of their work-life balance. They’re not workaholics, but they could be devoted team members if you treat them right.
Focus on Flexibility, Inclusivity, and Technology
Once you understand what drives the workforce of tomorrow, you can focus on the things that will help your employees and your business thrive.
Remote working, hybrid office settings, and flexible PTO plans should all be on your radar because your future employees will be looking for these things. They want to know that their job can fit with the rest of their life, and they won’t balk at walking away if your business isn’t meeting their needs.
Give your employees the freedom to make decisions and to work on projects that they care about. If possible, be flexible about scheduling, and you might want to reconsider old, outdated policies that don’t impact how your employees do their jobs, like dress codes.
The future workforce is diverse, which is excellent news if you’re looking for innovation and new ideas. But managing them can’t be done using the same methods you used to manage their parents or grandparents.
Embrace inclusivity by making your workplace a welcoming space for women, minorities, and those with disabilities. Make your business a place that welcomes everyone, and you’ll attract a broader, more diverse range of employees that can help your company thrive.
Technology has been changing at a breathtaking speed in the past few decades, and this isn’t likely to change soon. It’s easy to be afraid or overwhelmed by these changes, but tomorrow’s workforce will be the ones bringing them into your business, so embrace them.
The next generation of employees has grown up with technology to the extent that their predecessors didn’t, and they are tech-savvy problem-solvers because of it. Don’t be afraid to lean on technology, especially when it helps make your employees more productive and happy. After all, virtual meetings are still meetings, right?
Think About the Future
People are outliving their 401K Plans and Pensions. As a result, more people are either delaying retirement or taking on part-time jobs after retirement. How does this affect the workforce of tomorrow? Well, some of that workforce is likely to include these older employees.
Flexibility isn’t just for full-time employees. Consider creating roles for employees who reach retirement age but who don’t want to (or can’t afford to) fully retire. This will allow you to retain skilled, experienced workers who can help mentor new employees.
More in Common Than You Think
Of course, the workforce of tomorrow won’t be completely different from the employees you have in your office right now. They all crave praise and reassurance, and they want to succeed in their jobs as much as they want your business to succeed.
Your future employees will want the opportunity to shine, and they’ll value every opportunity to train and grow within your company. Ultimately, the workforce of tomorrow has more in common with today’s employees than you might think. Treat them well, meet their needs, and they’ll help your business thrive.
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