What does all of this mean for the modern workplace? Here are my predictions for some of the biggest changes the next-next generation will catalyze at businesses across the country and world — and some ideas for how to be sure your companies are ahead of that change and not relegated to the past tense.
Social Media, UGC And Hiring
Today, it’s a standard operating procedure to set your Facebook to private or strategically clear out your Instagram feed while on the job market, and the majority of Gen Xers and older millennials have undoubtedly spent no small amount of time managing their social media footprint in one way or another.
Will employers still be looking through all that? And more importantly, should they be?
Prediction: This content will be an asset, not a liability.
Companies will have to find advanced ways to weed through social media for truly problematic red flags, perhaps using artificial intelligence and machine learning. But smart employers (and applicants) will find that they can learn a lot about a prospect, their personality and their skills from online personas. It will add an interesting vector to the talent search, and savvy job-seekers will realize that the social media of the future can effectively be a portfolio or showcase of their talents, skills and previous work. The article above also notes that Gen Z overwhelmingly says they consider creative exploration and expression important. I suspect employers will increasingly value this, as well.
Compensation And Benefits
In a relatively short period of time, Gen Z has begun to usher in a completely different level of comfort with what’s private or public in their personal lives — and their professional ones.
Conversely, for most traditional companies and corporations, openness around pay and benefits has not been a priority. In fact, obfuscation is often part of the strategy. But increasingly, younger generations may not accept that.
Prediction: Stark transparency around compensation and benefits will become an employee expectation.
Companies will have to get “real” about compensation. The prevailing pressure for companies to find actionable, tangible solutions for diversity and inclusion also plays into this prediction: hiding inequality in the fine print of bonus structures will no longer be an acceptable practice. This future will also demand deep reexaminations of pay structures and benefits at all levels of the company.
Payroll And Payment Expectations
Prediction: The rise of the gig economy will change the nature of work and payment.
Combine the expectation of instantaneous gratification with the ubiquity of smart devices — and throw in an enormous change in the way people find, keep and switch jobs. The result is an irreversible shift in the way we work, and that’s before reconciling the effects automation and artificial intelligence will have on the entire landscape of work.
So, we’re looking at a new world of content, increasing demand for transparency and a completely novel expectation around how work — and payment — works. Change is going to come, and quick. Are you ready?