For Ted Corley, founder of The TAPO Institute, a consulting firm that focuses on the generationally-driven shift in beliefs and values that has redefined the meaning of “inclusive” leadership, his first introduction to workers known as Millennials was during his time at Abercrombie & Fitch.
In his position of overseeing settlements against the company for discrimination totaling $50 million, he was fascinated with the differences between his Gen X perspectives and that of the Millennials. These young people approached everything differently by being more open about friendships, beliefs, and priorities and they fully embraced the emerging technologies whatever they were. While others of his own generation and before it, Corley noticed that there was very little he could see of alleged laziness, a sense of entitlement or a lack of work ethics.
In his book, FITCH PATH: A Cautionary Tale About A Moose, Millennials, Leadership & Transparency (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015), Corley goes over how Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Z or iGens, now were demanding a world that had more in terms of authentic leadership that is both trusted and transparent in what it seeks to achieve. Able to make use of social media and other platforms in order to achieve this, they are completely changing the face of leadership within companies and pushing for the complete overhaul of those practices that many of us have come to accept as how the world of work operates.
Woe to those who would resist such changes. According to Corley asserts that by year 2020 Millennials and iGens will make up nearly 60 percent of the U.S. workforce. Transparency is no longer an option. It is a requirement as far as they’re concerned.
The book gives solutions to help companies and especially HR professionals prepare for this workforce ahead of time. Corley cites present research and his own personal observations that underscore the current shift in the paradigm of the workforce.
He further asserts that this overall focus on values in the workplace ultimately will create workers and teams that are engaged Millennials are not afraid to take current issues such as equality, diversity, inclusivity, transparency and authenticity head on.
In order to prepare for this, Corley suggests that HR professionals diversify the kinds of people that they associate with. Having a wide range of cultures, genders, ethnicities, age groups and other social groups will make for increased dialogue and understanding for the overall workforce within the organization.
Corley suggests that HR professionals engage with the idea that being in the moment as far as performance or engaging employees rather than waiting for a review that happens once or twice a year is preferable. During those times, it is better to coach and focus on actions rather than personality or behavior.
Encouraging workers to engage with each other in mutually held community service projects for example and focusing on ethics and personal responsibility can go a long way to prepare for the workforce of the future.
For some, facing the future can be filled with apprehension. It doesn’t have to be. Even with the changes in how companies are organized and conduct business, there is a great deal to be said for the changes that Ted Corley discusses in his book.
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