Originally published by Trade Show Executive

The spirit of “newness” is in the air this time of year, which to executive leaders partly translates into how we will go about attracting, developing and retaining new talent to our organizations in the coming year. As I have touched upon recently, the current low unemployment rate makes competition for talent more intense. The call to action for top executives is to create a workforce acquisition and development plan that will carry over into long-term benefits for the organization.

To fine-tune our 2020 strategies, we must first understand the 2020 workforce. According to Forbes, the overall workforce will consist mostly of millennials within the next 10 years. That comes as no surprise at this point, as we have already seen the shift in corporate culture infused by the younger perspective that the majority brings. The front runner of change being the implementation of technology into everything we do.

Today’s talent approaches their professional lives as they do every other aspect of their lives – they want convenience, speed, connectivity and an element of entertainment. Functionality and efficiency also play a big role in how they operate, and if you want them to meet your expectations then you need to meet theirs.

The rise of technology goes beyond any type of “gadgetry” that comes to mind (for us non-millennials, anyway). Artificial intelligence, or AI, is permeating the education and training process. Organizations must keep up with the demand of the modern workforce by offering continuing education and investing in the development of their teams’ ability to produce the results wanted using the most relevant tools.

This transition to a “learning culture” is in full force because the 2020 workforce is accustomed to living in a constant state of learning. Does this come in the form of formal training certifications? Online supplemental learning? In-house “lunch and learn” style sessions? Consultants who specialize in certain focus areas? I would say this is a yes/maybe on all of the above. One of the best ways to determine the answers is to go straight to the source because that’s exactly what the 2020 workforce expects!

The younger workforce is eager to share their thoughts and factor into how they can best fulfill their roles within the organization. And, despite the “OK Boomer” jokes, the more seasoned professionals are not opposed to hearing them out. In some ways, organizations have to look to their younger employees to stay current. One could argue that this has always been the case to a certain extent, the difference being that technology moves us at a much faster pace than ever before.

Another advantage to opening the lines of communication leads to the non-technology related benefits the 2020 workforce seeks, and that is corporate culture. The research team at Fast Company found that the most common key words found in reviews left by Gen Z users of Glassdoor included “work environment,” “flexible hours” and “good pay.” Benefits such as personal time and remote working opportunities are also increasingly becoming part of the “must have” column for younger workers. A recent survey by Jobvite found that career growth opportunities ranked number one on the list of most important factors for job seekers, especially among younger workers.

The good news for organization leaders is that the younger workforce seems to be slowing down on the rate at which it changes jobs. Jobvite’s survey also shows that job satisfaction has increased by almost 10 percent with less respondents stating they were looking to make a change. This is music to organizations leaders’ ears as we strive to maintain a balance between our younger hires and our experienced team members. Which, by the way, have not retired just yet and deserve just as much consideration! And that’s the beauty of investing in the professional development of your employees – it benefits the entire team. Which, in turn, benefits the organization.

As for the coming year, may it bring many benefits to your organization and to the exhibitions and events industry as we strive together for continued growth.

Happy New Year!

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO

Posted by Editorial Staff

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