Coming soon to a workplace near you . . . .
Generation 2020: This highly educated generation, born around or shortly before the year 2000, will enter the workforce by the end of the present decade, during a period when many Traditionalists will likely still be quite active. Analysts are still working out the common characteristics of this group. Words that are being used now to describe their values include:
- Connected. Expect this group to be even more “wired” than the Millennials, because their entire lives have been spent under the powerful influence of the World Wide Web, on-line video games, social media, and virtual worlds like Second Life. As you read these words, they are updating their Facebook status.
- Concerned. Members of Generation 2020 appear to be the most sensitive of all the five groups to environmental problems and related social issues.
- Careful. The recommendations of peers will carry enormous weight with this group. Expect these workers to think twice before making big purchase decisions. Unlike the Millennials, they are coming of age during a time of economic austerity. They are likely to seek value and be much more cautious with economic and career decisions, and thus share some important values with Traditionalists.
- Collaborative. Like the Millennials, they are likely to be comfortable with collaborative endeavors, either face-to-face or virtual.
KEY TAKEAWAY: To work effectively with these young workers, you will have to be prepared to understand, and become part of, their network.