Feeling uncertain about the future of your workforce? Anxious about the mass retirement of baby boomer professionals and the impending sea change in employee demographics? Concerned about whether millennials and members of Generation Z have what it takes to step up and do the hard work of their parents and grandparents?
I have two words for you:
Jk, boomers and non-boomer-aged organizational leaders. Tbh, it’s totally understandable to feel shook, salty, or even high-key nervous about the next generation. Their slang is weird (see the previous sentence)! They spend a lot of time on their phones! They’re idealistic and perhaps somewhat naïve!
But wouldn’t that describe all of us at some point? The truth is that young people aren’t so different from older folks. They still care about getting that bread (pursuing their goals), chilling with the fam (spending time with their loved ones), and spilling the tea (telling the truth). Look beyond the clout and you’ll find the next generation of smart, driven workers.
That said, there is some adapting today’s organizations have to do to keep up. No, you don’t have to learn what “yeet” means. But you do need to embrace technology and create a more amenable environment for younger employees. Rather than hoping that twentysomethings will come to their senses and adopt the old ways of doing things, smart organizations are embracing a Gen Z ethos and going ham on ideas such as automation, transparency, and gamification.
To understand how the newest generation of employees is changing the workplace, EHSToday spoke to Keith Barr, CEO of Leading2Lean, a manufacturing operations management platform. Here’s what Barr had to say about how leaders can meet Gen Z’s expectations of openness and transparency, for instance:
“Everything has got to be visible and everything’s got to be transparent and we’ve got to give the workforce access to the information that’s going to help them in the task, to empower them in a task. It’s much different than enterprise software today. Enterprise software historically has been a way of managing or defining a process to provide information for decision support for leadership. That has to flip. We have to empower the decision-making capability and the person down at the work level and in the task by arming them with all that information and the trends and the kinds of things that correlate to the task that they’re working; so, they’re empowered to solve problems and drive to innovation.”
At KPA, we’ve designed our workforce management and training solutions to effectively engage employees of all ages. We help employers of all kinds automate time-consuming processes, empower their employees, and cultivate more positive and transparent organizational cultures. As a result, these employers find that their workers tend to stick around longer and get more done. In other words, our clients create jobs that are lit af.