May 8, 2009

8 ways the workplace has changed

1. There seems to be an increased interest in career breaks as no one knows when they'll retire anymore.

2. Workers are having career ‘turning points’ at ages like 25, 40, 50 or 65.

3. Values driven work (i.e. with charities) is being mixed in to their career portfolio.

4. The demands of top talent are:

- to be treated like a member not an employee
- to have values lived not laminated
- that there is direction beyond the top end of a learning curve
- that the employer brand promises are fulfilled

5. There is a lot of talk about the differences between the generations. Some people believe that it is a case of a new ‘career mindset’ rather than it being a generation thing. The argument is that people of all ages have worked in companies that don’t understand them. The new career mindset involves a belief that the past generations paid too high a price for success. Lots of workers these days, regardless of generation are trying to work smarter not harder.

6. Years ago people were quite passive about career planning. They would trust their employer to manage their career and just work hard keeping their head down. They would take opportunities as they presented themselves without a real plan. When such people get made redundant, it is often the first time they've had to think about what they love and what they want in a career.

7. Job sculpting is important. People need to change their thinking from 'I hate my job' into 'this is how I want my job to be' – then get fixing it.

8. Bosses need to focus on different things. Rather than watching people who leave, bosses should watch high performers who are still motivated after a long time, if they start to lose motivation, bosses should focus on fixing whatever changed.


Erica said...

Great post Allison. Particularly like the idea of the new "career mindset", which emphasizes the commonality between the generations. Let's hope the top talent keeps letting companies know what they want, so that corporate cultures will continue to evolve to reflect their "demands". Make for a better workplace for everyone.

Allison O'Neill said...

Thanks Erica, its certainly a different way to look at the whole "Gen Y/Gen X" thing. I just hope companies are open to listening to their top talent!