If you trace the employment patterns over the last several decades, you’d realize that we are today at the cusp of a generational shift. The baby boomers, who effectively created the enterprise culture, are rapidly retiring and perhaps for the first time are outnumbered by millennial employees in any enterprise. But we aren’t here interested in mere demographic shifts; let’s leave that to sociologists. What’s more interesting is the impact of this shift and the corresponding enterprise response.
But before we discuss the changes and strategies for businesses to handle them, let’s first try and understand why these changes are happening in the first place.
The Generation Gap
Baby Boomers are roughly categorized as the people born between 1946 and 1964. Currently aged around 60, this is the generation that grew up with television and computers and as they started entering the workforce, brought the digital revolution.
They are known to prefer strict hierarchy and have immense work dedication.
Millennials, born roughly during the 80s and early 90s, are marked by their increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. The information revolution, as we call it, is a product of this generation. Inherently, they are known to prefer:
- Flat corporate culture
- Work-life balance
- Team-oriented environment
- Frequent feedback from supervisors
Now if you take all that into account, it is evident that the next-gen employees won’t be contained within the current rigid enterprise framework.
A Pew survey, almost 90% of the business managers accepted that their industry is being disrupted by digital technologies and mobility solutions or expect to be disrupted in the coming years. Of all the disruptions and structural shifts, these are some of the most immediate changes.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
This policy has gained quite a traction in recent years that allows employees to use their own devices for professional purposes. While this poses many compatibility and security issues during the enterprise application development, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
CYOD (Choose Your Own Device)
This is a rather diluted version of BYOD policy where instead of allowing their own devices, employees are given a set of options to choose from. These are generally basic adjustments like choosing between a PC or Mac, or a desktop or laptop.
With the rise of mobility and improved broadband connectivity, the barriers to office space have long collapsed. The next-gen employees prefer to work offsite- be it from home or when on the move.
All hands meetings
In terms of organizational structure, this has been perhaps the most remarkable shift that’s happened in recent years. While enterprises are generally known to be managed centrally with all decisions taken by a single person or a board, enterprises are now increasingly pushing to include employees in the decision making process. For large enterprises, however, such exercise needs its own enterprise solution.
Now you might be wondering what do businesses have to gain from this transition? After all, be it the cost of enterprise app development or the disruptions due to such structural changes, why should enterprises go through all the trouble? The answer is simple- productivity. Numerous surveys have indicated that employees feel a lot more comfortable with tools and environment of their preference and thus have higher productivity. And in the end, it’s all that matters for the enterprises as well.
So, the writing on the wall is clear- if you wish to effectively manage next-gen employees, move ahead with enterprise mobility solutions now.