Much has been written with regards to the changing face of the workplace. With the replacement of Boomers by Gen Y’s and Millenials, new challenges are being presented as to how best manage and lead this seemingly more complex collective. Part of the challenge is the fact that many of the leaders and managers are in fact Boomers and so there is an apparent disconnect between “old and new”. To better understand this it might be helpful to trace back a little into the past and assess these characteristics chronologically under these changing circumstances.
1920 – 1970
This was an era characterized by motivation through money and/or fear and because it was primarily during the industrial age when any advancement in productivity was a plus, it worked pretty effectively. It also fed off the basis that you left your brain at the door as it was more about a physical contribution.
1970 – 2000
As the landscape of business began to shift from industrial to informational so too did the need to move from physical to intellectual labor. People were now expected to use their brain as the need for more educated workers emerged. With that the old carrot and stick became much less effective and leadership had to adapt to a system of involvement, support and truly understanding what motivated people.
1990 – Today
Most recently, a newer workforce has emerged that not alone is intellectually based but is also influenced by technology and a very different world view. These are the later Gen Y’s and Millenials. These people want engagement and challenge within a creative process and consequently leadership has had to redefine itself once again. Leaders have had to become coaches and have the ability to skillfully guide people and help facilitate an outcome.
How things have changed?