He's the challenger, after all, the baby brother by 13 years. Coming up in the shadow of a legend drove him to find his own voice, conquer his own sport, be his own Buffer.
For the first time in history, five different generations are in the American workforce. Their expectations vary when defining what work is — and how one conducts it — at a time of tremendous upheaval in traditional workplace paradigms.
While these trends are beginning to reshape how companies operate, and how people work, an even more profound shift is underway that will have a lasting effect on the workforce of the future. What do I mean by individualization?
The answer is simple: Our complex nature as human beings makes each one of us a singular person.
This seismic cultural shift in how people define themselves can be seen as an extension of the movement toward self-definition and nonconformity that began after the s, yet it has reached a point where people can now choose to reject classification entirely. Today the individual is more fluid, wears many hats, and, increasingly, blurs the lines between definitions of profession, work, and even identity.
It also includes the reality that every person — each team member — is a uniquely original human being, to whom care and respect must be accorded to ensure their individualism is not diminished, intentionally or unintentionally. These issues are not new in themselves.
However, the interaction of these forces — individualization, job, and organizational fluidity — becomes a formidable phenomenon. The elements of fluidity cannot be understood in isolation because each alone only partially constitutes the issue and magnitude of true workforce fluidity.
Those of us in the HR arena are bearing witness to these profound societal changes, perhaps more so than others, as they begin to enter the workplace. Certainly, this is disruptive, as all sociocultural shifts are.
As people challenge the traditional classifications of their lives outside of work, they will increasingly expect their work colleagues across five generations to understand and appreciate their individuality. It is our responsibility as a people-first organization to advance the discussion around this evolving topic and its implications for the workforce at large, and to explore concrete implementations.
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It is clear that not all companies will reach full workforce fluidity, nor would it be authentic for every organization to do so. Contact Support Blogs Careers. Download Report. Workforce Trends.