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It’s Crunch Time for the Future of Work


Posted by on August 26, 2013

Millennials

Within the next 2 years millennials (ages 18-35) will make up the majority of the workforce.  As I mentioned on Facebook page, these (myself included) are people who don’t know what it’s like to not have social and collaborative tools to get work done. We search on Google, share comments on Twitter, post pictures on Instagram, connect with friends on Facebook, share our location on Foursquare, write our ideas in blogs, post reviews on Yelp, and build our resumes on Linkedin. We don’t know what it’s like to use a legacy intranet, to get 150 emails a day, work in a cubicle, and to not be able to easily connect with and engage with people and information. Yet for some reason this is exactly how organizations are set up today.

Most organizations are “pointing” 180 degrees away from the future workforce, and it’s a scary thing.  In other words it’s as if someone is telling all these companies what they need to do to prepare for the future and they are literally saying, “nah we’ll do the exact opposite and see what happens.”

Some companies have already been working on adapting their organizations for the past few years, but many have not.  Those companies should really be feeling a sense of urgency right about now.

If your organization is still stuck using legacy technologies and approaches to getting work done what do you think will happen when millennials join your organization? In fact, why would they want to join your organization at all?  They wouldn’t.  This means that as the baby boomers retire and as knowledge and experience literally walks out your front that you don’t have an attractive enough proposition to replace those employees with new top talent.

Most organizations today are still working the same way they did 20, 30, and 50 years ago. It’s time to adapt quickly, or you can leave things the way they are and see what happens…

  • Cheryl Burgess

    Hi Jacob,
    Great insights for the future workplace. According to a 2013 Forbes study: Over 40% of employees don’t respect their superiors; Over 60% don’t feel their goals align with their current job trajectories; and 70% don’t feel appreciated or valued by their employer according to a Forbes 2013 article. These stats are also in my new book, The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) Success Lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, Domo and Acxiom on building a social culture. Thank you also for your blurb endorsing my book. I look forward to meeting you in the next few months at upcoming social business, social branding and/or HR conferences.

    Cheers,
    Cheryl

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com/ jacobmorgan

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for adding these stats here, I find them to be consistent with many other stats I’m seeing around these issues as well. Congrats on the book!

  • Jeannette Gonzalez

    Don’t forget about Generation X, which is in between the Millennials and the Boomers. We are the generation that remembers what it was like not to have cell phones, but we also grew up as computers became mainstream and many of our generation made the Internet what it is today. It is well documented that Boomers are waiting longer to retire, which has limited the usual career path of advancement for Gen X. Gen-Xers in the workforce need to step-up and guide the transition between Boomer legacy systems and Millennial idealism.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com/ jacobmorgan

      Hi Jeanette,

      Thanks for the comment. Agree, Gen X is also crucial to consider here.

  • janeleonard

    Interesting post, I find it amazing how many people are still clinging to the old way of working. They are reluctant to make changes in the workplace. It is almost as though when they come into work, they pretend Google or Youtube etc do not exist.

    There are changes happening in the workplace but I believe that the people most resistant to this new way of working are the workers themselves.