Sunday, January 4, 2009

X and Y Generation Workers Exerting Their Substantial Influence

Younger generations are altering the face of the workplace, exercising their right to choose and often times using different priorities to make their decisions. Where older workers may have opted for a career path based on title, compensation, and prestige, younger workers are much more concerned with a prospective employer’s social responsibility index, openness to alternative workplace strategies, and the opportunity to contribute to meaningful change.

New workers tend to be more diverse in most areas that we typically think about to categorize the workforce. They are multi-taskers, multi-cultural, multi-skilled, and multi-faithed. Each of these has import to how organizations must change themselves to align with what will soon be the dominant workforce generations. They have the power to choose and they are using it.

What characteristics are these generations likely to exhibit that will have an impact on the workplace? For starters, they will have more options and may have a higher turnover rate than previous generations. Location is important. They want to work close to home and work in green cities. On a mass scale, they are interested in brain exchange more than their predecessors. They believe that the flow of information and ideas should be seamless around the globe and that technology, access, and standardization should support that reality. They are much more connected and social than older generations, but also more transitory.

The competition for talent is intense. To be successful FM’s will need to develop and deploy real time information systems that standardize how the world talks about and manages the workplace. OSCRE and PISCES are doing exemplary work in this area, helping to standardize occupancy definitions, metrics, and workflow management systems. That standardization is key to the seamless transfer of information globally in the shared information business model.

These are merely examples of the multitude of trends which are emerging and influencing workplace infrastructure and dynamics. To be successful in this era FM’s must be comfortable with change, have the ability to embrace and support new technologies, and be capable of and willing to provide energy and leadership in a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural business environment.

If you are like me then you believe that this is one of the most exciting and energizing times in human history. We ‘have issues,’ of course. But we also have creativity, intellect, desire, and opportunity. As humans always have, we are in the process of changing our world and very existence. It is hard work, and it is fun. Most of all, it is important.

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