The world as we know it has undergone unprecedented change in the past few years. New business landscapes have been evident during the Covid years, not least when looking at the modern workforce. Their evolution has been even faster
While the pandemic can be viewed as a great accelerator, it is far from the only contributing factor. A generational shift has been equally influential in creating a new workforce. As baby boomers edge closer to retirement, we now have the most tech-savvy and progressive workforce of all time. And its presence can be felt across all industries.
But what exactly does the new workforce look like and how should business owners respond? Let’s find out more by analyzing some of the most important issues.
A Generation Of Conscientious Workers
For many years, most workers were focused solely on one goal: money. Not anymore.
Feeling underpaid remains the primary reason why the Great Resignation is still not over. In fact, 20% of workers still intend to quit their job in 2022 despite the fact that millions have already done this over the past 12-18 months. While important, money isn’t the only driving force.
Studies show that over 70% of workers want to work for sustainable companies. Research also shows that workers prefer employers that are committed to supporting the causes they care about. Likewise, employees often demand acceptance while employers are advised to embrace diversity. Aside from supporting the workforce, it helps customers resonate with the brand.
In short, workers are now more aware of social and environmental challenges. They also realize that businesses are central to reversing the damage caused to nature. It can range from actively working in data science careers that make a difference to just working for responsible firms. Either way, SMEs must try to cultivate a culture that encourages this. Otherwise, they will not attract the best talent.
The Demand For Flexible Working
While modern workers are perhaps more caring about global issues, it doesn’t mean that they overlook their needs. Especially when it comes to the demand for versatile workspaces.
The pandemic opened millions of eyes to the benefits of working from home. In fact, one in three workers threatened to quit rather than return to the office back in 2021. Many of them followed through on that promise. Meanwhile, the global workforce as a whole now actively seeks WFH and hybrid working opportunities.
Furthermore, many workers now seek flexibility with their schedules, paid vacations, and more. People have realized that a work-life balance is essential. And will now actively prioritize the chance to spend quality time with their loved ones. However, happy workers are shown to be 13% more productive. So, business owners will be rewarded for providing the perfect backdrop for their teams.
Without flexibility, many employees will quit or even look to become digital nomads. This portion of the workforce has grown significantly, with the average worker spending six months in each location. It is perhaps the biggest indicator that workforces now crave work positions that facilitate a better quality of life.
A Workforce Focused On Upskilling Rather Than Experience
The experience was once the catalyst for climbing the corporate ladder. It is another aspect of business that has witnessed a significant change in recent times.
Computers, automation, and emerging technologies continue to play an increasingly key role. Consequently, employees are tasked with showing creativity and innovation. However, their critical thinking can only translate to productivity if they have the technical skills to match. As such, continued development is the only way to retain relevance.
Experience does still count for a lot in some circles. Still, the fact that everything from manufacturing to order fulfillment has changed cannot be ignored. Every aspect of collaboration and using Smart tech has evolved, which is why digital dexterity is king. Upskilling is now the priority for 60% of leadership and development teams. Workers are understandably eager to capitalize.
Incorporating modern tech features is now often the fastest and most efficient way to get results. Ultimately, that boosts a company’s bottom line. When push comes to shove, most employers will now favor an inexperienced pro that can get results. It’s better than someone who still uses an outdated concept or strategy. Not least because 90% of startups fail. Owners have to protect their ventures and themselves.
A Growing Expectation For Employers To Understand Their Needs
Great employees are the best asset at any employer’s disposal. That hasn’t changed.
What has changed, however, is the fact that employees expect respect as well as mutually beneficial agreements. For example, 93% of employees want easy-to-complete staff training and will happily invest in upskilling. However, they will only sacrifice their time if it supports their hopes of climbing the career ladder or earning a salary increase.
Similarly, most people are happy for employers to track more data than ever before. Studies show that 16%of companies use advanced tech to monitor their employees for productivity purposes. Most workers are OK with this but will expect employers to take responsibility with issues like workplace bullying. Likewise, staff perks and break room facilities are on the list of expectations for most companies.
Employees also need to feel that their employers ‘get them’. Reported mental health cases have soared in recent years. As such, investing in mental health first aid can be considered a major priority. A host of additional steps can be taken by employers, such as introducing feedback sessions to show workers that they care. It creates a more open and transparent atmosphere across the company.
And it will only keep growing
The level of change seen over the past three years has been unprecedented. But the shift had started before then and it will continue over the years to come. A younger generation of workers has a different mindset compared to those of previous eras. Meanwhile, the growing reliance on tech will only move in one direction.
For employers and employees alike, it is a very exciting time indeed. But only if you embrace the change.