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Leading the Multi-generational Workforce at Workplace

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Leading the Multi-generational Workforce at Workplace

  1. 1. ALL THINGS TALENT42 May 2018 iimjobs.com | hirist.com 43May 2018 Manoeuvring a Multigenerational Workforce W hile questions in inter- views haven’t changed drastically, the kind of an- swers they elicit have been changing over generations. The following is an extract from an interview done by a generation X manager for an open position in his team. HR Head: Where do you see yourself, five years from now? Management Fresher: I want to be sitting on your chair, to be the HR Head of this company or some other company. For people who come from Gen X and some part of Gen Y, they may find this response to be impractical and may even label the candidate with having an attitude and unreal- istic aspiration. But when one looks at this from the current generation’s perspective, they find it normal as they are pretty confident about themselves. They believe in them- selves and have bigger aspirations. For them, the job does not mean a monthly paycheck, it is the means to fulfill and live their purpose. Very recently I had met a young fresher who had quit his company within few months of his joining, as he could not find the alignment of purpose with the job he was offered. This was a big loss for the company. After digging deeper into this issue, it was discovered that his functional leader who belongs to Generation X was not able to appreciate his aspira- tional need and wanted him to learn and contribute in what was offered to him. This difference of thinking and mental functioning among gener- ations requires a good amount of orientation and sensitization. India has over 65% of its population as either Generation Y/Millennials or Generation Z. What does it mean for the workforce? It means that this generation will be commanding the future. They are redrawing the rules of society, the corporate world, and indeed poli- tics. Generation Z is about to enter the corporate world. With this new generation entering organizations, the rules of organizations need to be redefined as well. Some of the sug- gestive changes are listed below – 1. Purpose-based Job: With the enhanced employability focus on the academia and exposure to ‘learn by doing’ and ‘e-learning opportunities from across the world’, Millennials and Gen Z have become more aware and clear of their needs and aspirations. Unlike their par- ents, the job does not mean a source of monthly income to them; Instead, they look at the alignment of their purpose with the job being offered. RAJIV NAITHANI There is a need for organizations to understand and appreciate the different thinking and thought a process of the new generation and offer them alternatives where they may find alignment to their aspirations. 2. Empowerment on Job: Micromanagement will not excite or engage the new generation. They will soon become disengaged and the price organizations will pay for this would be huge. Managers need to be orientated and trained to become empowering managers. Account- ability shift with responsibility is imminent. The new generation does not appreciate Bossy terms, they need somebody who can coach them, empower them and mentor them so that they are successful. 3. Regular Performance Dialogues: Regular performance dialogues are essential today. This means, no surprise feedback conversation at the end of the year. New generation appreciates constant conversations on their performance. They need instant feedback. 4. Feedback vs. Feed forward: Most of the times, performance dis- cussions are based on what went well or bad in the past which is feeding the ‘back’ and it rarely moves to feeding the ‘forward’. The new generation requires developmental discussion where the discussions are happening around how to enable them to reach their aspiration. What are the key and critical expectations of their job and role in the future? How can their strengths be further leveraged and what developmental support is to be provided to enable them to overcome their improvement opportunities? 5. Promotion vs. Growth: Mere career progression/promotions would not make an individual feel happy or satisfied. Growth means continuous learning and hence com- panies need to detach title progres- sion with growth alone. Limiting people to the same job for long will not help, providing opportunities to people to rotate their jobs, providing newer assignments, attending ca- reer-focused learning programs and conferences will rather be looked as Growth by them. 6. Listening vs. Active Listen- ing: Sound listening through engage- ment surveys once in a year is not sufficient. They are a vocal lot, with enormous opinions, hence would prefer an environment where their voice matters and is heard. So com- panies need to become creative in lending their ear out to them through various platforms and initiatives which would definitely make them feel wanted. Rajiv Naithani is a seasoned HR Leader who leads the R&D and Services business of Dassault Systems in India. Rajiv has also received multiple HR Excellence awards including “Outstanding HR Leader” Award at Conference Asia and the “Young HR Professional of the Year 2014” Award at the 5th Asia’s Best Employer Brands Awards in Singapore. About the Author: With the new generation entering organizations, the rules of organiza- tions need to be redefined as well. Organizations must gear up, to make changes in order to make the workforce future ready for its own benefit and advantage. “The new generation requires developmen- tal discussion where the discussions are happening around how to enable them to reach their aspiration” CoverStory CoverStory

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