The New Workforce . . . It Ain't What It Used to Be!

At a meeting recently I had a conversation with a friend about how things have changed with today's younger workforce. While I consult to executives and managers, he is one. My friend, who is in his late 40s, says he can't believe how different they are than he is. The differences involve motivation, work ethic (values), and goals.

The majority of managers in established organizations tend to be my friend's age and older which means they are wired differently than today's younger workers. In all fairness, I think my father might have said the said the same about the differences between his generation and mine . . . and now I act a lot like his generation in terms of motivation and work ethic.

Gallup Research

Gallup recently asked 13,085 U.S. employees what was most important to them in deciding whether to accept a new job offered by a new employer.

Here's the summary list of responses reported in a Gallup article. They want:

  1. A significant increase in income or benefits (64% said "very important")
  2. Greater work-life balance and better personal wellbeing (61%)
  3. The ability to do what they do best (58%)
  4. Greater stability and job security (53%)
  5. COVID-19 vaccination policies that align with my beliefs (43%)
  6. An organization that is diverse and inclusive of all kinds of people (42%)

Why do these things matter?

Gallup says: "Understanding what current employees seek from their next job is key to optimizing an organization's talent attraction strategies and retaining top talent."

Today, thousands of jobs go unfilled. In many organizations, attrition rates are higher than ever. There are bidding wars for hiring people to fill empty slots.

All of these things are signs of the times and indications that doing what we always did may not work anymore.

The good news is that we get to choose our path forward. If we're losing talent at a higher rate and are challenged to get equivalent or better talent on board, then we're free to consider (a) trying to understand the new landscape of America's workforce and (b) to act intelligently on that new understanding.

Business owners and hiring managers are challenged to keep existing and to recruit new talent. How we understand and respond to the current context and our employees as well as how we recruit, screen, and on-board new talent could determine not only the success of our respective enterprise, but also the viability of our country as a whole.

The Article

We only wanted to pique your interest here. If you'd like to read the full article with Gallup's explanations of the respective items on the list, here's the link:

In the future, we'll attempt to provide what organizations and people are learning about both the context and the current American workforce.