I think that in many ways we get too comfortable in our lives and environment. When we haven’t been challenged or exposed to risk for a long while, we often get complacent. But beware, when we let down our guard there is always the risk or chance that we will miss something critical that can have lasting impact or serious financial ramifications on our business, our reputation and our wallet if we don’t
pay attention.

As managers in today’s society we have to be more aware and alert to our workplace and our workforce. That means that we need to keep informed and educated on the issues that impact our nation, our organization and our employees. Those issues seem to center around the new employees need for personal space, freedoms and flexibility. 

What exactly am I talking about? Well, I believe more than ever before, people today are pretty selfish and self absorbed. I don’t suggest that this is a good or bad thing, I just think it is our reality at this time and we need to embrace it. As managers today we need to develop an understanding and personal style or method for dealing with these special needs, behaviors and perspectives. 

So, as leaders what behaviors can we expect to experience with today’s workforce?

Today’s workforce wants the freedom to express their personal opinions about work, their beliefs and personal feelings, without being judged or having repercussions for
those opinions.

Individuals expect to be accepted for any life choices and decisions that they make and to be embraced wholeheartedly.

Your employees want flexible schedules and plenty of time to enjoy themselves, relax and live life.

No one wants to be their Baby Boomer parents because they don’t understand how anyone can thrive as a workaholic and sacrifice the best parts of life and living.

Everyone expects to be paid well, especially if they bring a college degree or higher education, and will not tolerate low and unequal pay policies or practices.

Individuals do not want work where they feel unappreciated, stagnant or disrespected. They will jump ship quickly and often until they find the workplace that fits their personality and their expectations.

If you operate an organization with outdated concepts, philosophies and cultures, you are more likely to have poor and ineffective methods or means for managing employees and you will quickly become obsolete. The word will also get out—because these new members of our future workforce are tech savvy—and they won’t speak well of you, honor your business with their presence and support your business product because it isn’t cohesive with their beliefs and values. 

So you see, the liabilities are endless and extensive, and they aren’t always tangible in the way that we think. As we know, perception is our reality, and each of us is free to voice our opinions, share our perspectives and live our reality as we see it. If we don’t or can’t comprehend that concept then we just might be doomed to repeat the past, experience failure or become obsolete. I for one think that a change in our thinking is past due and having a new perspective opens us up to many new possibilities and futures. So, I’m ready—are you? You’d better buckle your seatbelt and hang on; here we go no-holds-barred into our future, ready or not. 

HR Question of the month: Please send your HR questions and concerns, or share your thoughts on your human resources challenges via email to the following address. Send input to vegaslinda89129@yahoo.com. Your comments, questions or concerns will help determine the direction for my next month’s column and earn you a copy of my book. Include your mailing address when sending your responses.