It’s the year twenty thousand and twelve. It’s 62 years since 1950 and 22 years since 1990. Get with the program! Technology has exploded and advanced and so have mindsets. My generation and those who come after me are not ok with working conditions like previous generations were. We are skilled and talented and when you let us be, we’re highly productive too! But as employers, especially those of you who are big corporations that have been around since forever, have yet to realize that you are holding yourselves back by trying to put boundaries around us and treat us like employees of yesteryear.
What the heck am I talking about? Change, man! Technology grows at unprecedented speeds and it isn’t just some fancy word that will be gone tomorrow. It’s here and it’s how you will compete and survive. Learn to use it! Learn to use it properly! Spend the money where it needs to be spent, don’t cheap out! This includes getting (and keeping) good talent. Once you get the skill sets you need, let them do their job! Stay out of the damn way and don’t let the bureaucracy hinder progress and productivity.
Now, you must also understand that once you get your talented people and they are all working happily, that you must try to keep them. It isn’t like it used to be where lower employees kissed up to management to make sure they kept their jobs. We have skills that are sought after and the roles are reversed. We treat employment like the stock market and your company is simply something we hold as long as it suits our goals. When it starts to go sour, we’ll dump it and pickup another one that looks promising. We’ll keep doing this until we find the one that will take us where we want to go. We’re ambitious and we don’t want to spend 40 years doing the same thing over and over again. We don’t want to pay dues to earn a retirement.
We want to work for fast moving start ups and we want to work hard to help it succeed. Want to know why? Because there’s usually freedom, growth and excitement! They want talent and they find it, use it appropriately and reward it accordingly. What are your employees excited about?
Now, I know you’re still confused. So I’ll sum it up: You should do everything you can to make sure your employees are happy and their needs are met. You think that you can throw money at us and we’ll settle down. That doesn’t work anymore. If it does work, it’s only a band-aid. We want to work from home (or Starbucks), we want to be comfortable while we work (clothes, music, work space), we want flexible work schedules. There’s no reason why we can’t have any of these. It doesn’t hurt productivity at all.
Realize that we’re all different in our own ways and you can’t force us into changing just because you have a CEO that’s 80 years old and he still thinks it’s the 50’s. Learn to utilize us in the way you need without restricting us to a point where you get nothing.
Do I speak for everyone? Nope. There are those who want to do the bare minimum and not make waves. There are those who will do what ever you want to make sure they get their pay check. Is that what you really want though? Something to think about.