The Team Members of the Future: Expectations
What expectations do younger members of the workforce have of the organizations they join? In this excerpt from The Shift from Me to Team, we discuss some of the elements they seek.
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In the search for safety and security, today’s younger workforce seeks to understand the long-term implications of their organization’s decisions. Whether it be for their own welfare, their team members, or the environment, they seek the long-term impact to be positive.
This new generation has been exposed to diverse opinions and perspectives that provide a better understanding of what they may be creating. Today’s students have learned from team or group decision experiences like no previous generation. No longer are they asked to come up with answers on their own; they are challenged to be a part of a team that comes up with the best solutions. They’ve learned to appreciate the benefit of diverse perspectives in their decision-making. Diversity of thinking is an operational expectation.
Flexible Work Hours, Four-Day Workweek
We find that living the rewarding, meaningful, and thriving life of contribution means much more than the work we accomplish. Our work life may always be our primary driver because it is the economic engine that provides safety and security for our lives. However, people are expecting more from life as they seek time for personal fitness, family activities, and community involvement.
Team members are asking to have the outside-of-work demands respected and to be trusted to accomplish their work. Family demands are real and have always been there, but today the expectation they will be respected and accommodated is greater. At the same time, organizational goals and objectives must be met, but perhaps in new and more unconventional and creative ways.
Unlike in the past, we now see physicians, coaches, and leaders of all kinds taking their children to school in the morning. The number of leaders prioritizing family is unprecedented, and it looks like a movement that will continue. Leaders need to ask, if this caring for family is good for them, should the same opportunity be extended to their team members?
A shortened workweek makes this thriving life of contribution more attainable for many. The challenges of the COVID pandemic opened the door to successful trials of the four-day workweek. In many cases, it is working, and it seems this popular movement will continue.
Team members understand commitment to the team, but they are not mono-focused. They have many interests and gifts they desire to express and improve. They seek time to broaden their horizon on what the world has to offer them outside of work. We are finding that respect for the outside interests of team members often leads to greater commitment and fulfillment at work. Their life is fuller and more meaningful, and the job has made this broadened perspective possible. They are grateful to have the income from their job while having time to pursue outside interests that increase fulfillment in their lives.
As a leader, how are you adapting to your team members’ new and innovative needs so they feel respected and, in turn, may provide you with greater engagement and commitment?