Office 2016: Not your Grandpa’s workplace

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Culture is king in the 2016 workplace as millennials become the majority of workers in the U.S. and abroad. As of May 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that Millennials (those born after 1980) became the largest group of workers in the United States. Beyond the United States, in 2016 millennials will comprise nearly 80 percent of the global workforce, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

What does this mean for the working world? Simply put, the office in 2016 is not your Grandpa’s – or even your parents’ – workplace.

Although every generation brings a unique worldview to work, the millennial generation brings more than a new viewpoint. Millennials bring a new paradigm – a new cognitive framework of independent thinking, global connections, creating with teams, and innovation.

The HOT Plan solution

The old paradigm of the industrial revolution was built on hierarchical big business leadership and compliant employees, according to author Seth Godin in his book Linchpin and elsewhere on his blog.  This set-up was essential for industrial revolution factories.

“This notion that it is up to each person to innovate in some way flies in the face of the industrial age,” Godin says.  “But you know what, the industrial age is over.”

Millennials grew up differently; they have been innovating online since they were children, barely old enough to move a mouse and click. In addition, Millennials were deeply affected by the recession of 2008. They learned to distrust the promises of big corporations to provide financial security in return for a lifetime of work. Instead, millennials expect to trust their own ingenuity, their relationships, their networks, and of course, their ability to innovate.

But what does all of this mean for your business and mine?

Those of us who plan for our businesses to be profitable in the future must put systems in place today that work with this new paradigm. We must open doors for our employees’ input, let them work in teams, encourage them to innovate and make it easy to align their personal values with the values of our workplace. Tested and tweaked for nearly 20 years, The HOT Plan can set these things in motion for your organization. Next month, we will talk more specifically about just how to do that.

But specifically, what is it that millennials want? Next week, we’ll piece together the results of focus groups on this topic from around the globe. Be prepared for some surprises!

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