The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today
The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today by Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd. HarperCollins. 2011. 294 pages. $26.99.
The Millennial generation—all those born between 1977 and 1997—will constitute nearly half the world’s workforce by 2014, according to workplace consultant Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd, Sun Microsystems’ vice president and chief learning officer, in The 2020 Workplace. They call on employers to plan now for a new paradigm in which how people work, where they work, the skills they offer, and the technologies they use to communicate will all be very different.
Workforces will exhibit greater diversity in age, gender, and ethnicity, the authors forecast. Also, due to the proliferation of virtual communications, more offices will consist of employees who are dispersed across remote corners of the globe. Professionals everywhere will have far more options as to how, where, when, and for whom they work—provided that they produce results. Leadership will have to be more global, culturally aware, and more skilled at building alliances and sharing authority.
The authors describe the unique values that will set the Millennial workforce apart—such as freedom, personal choice, collaboration, corporate integrity, and innovation—and how it will influence their professional lives. They advise employers on how to best engage this new generation while still keeping their senior employees satisfied.
They also show how employers are now beginning to meet the challenge. For example, some are learning to use social media to attract job applicants and interact with employees. The authors share additional practices that workplaces can use to draw and retain top talent, as well as facilitate on-the-job learning; plus a new model for more distributed organizational leadership.
Workplace managers and leaders in practically any industry or sector may find The 2020 Workplace to be a helpful guide to how they can prepare their workplaces to be successful in the world of 2020.