Consider this: Early in 2005, the workforce scale tipped once and for all. Generation X and Generation Y worker now make up the majority of the workforce. As a result, two experienced workers are leaving the workforce for every one who enters it.
Further, 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 55 years old every day. As this workforce shift continues, so will the shift away from yesterday’s workplace norms and expectations.
This new “X/Y” workforce has different expectations about work. Today’s X/Y workers:
- want to know "what the deal is"– exactly what you want from them and what you have to offer them.
- have a need to be fully engaged at work to help them find a sense of meaning in their jobs and to remain satisfied.
- feel less connected to the company, and as a result, rely on their supervisors more than any other individual for information, goal clarity, policy interpretation, training, etc.
- expect their input to really matter and will leave if they see it doesn’t.
Coupled with this demographic shift is the projected shortage of more than 10 million workers in just five years.
These new workforce dynamics and shrinking talent pool create a new leadership challenge. If this challenge is ignored it will leave leaders behind the curve of success. Those who embrace it will boost their team’s competitive advantage and be the leaders of tomorrow.
The X/Y workforce will require powerful leadership. Unlike yesterday’s leaders, today’s leaders must exchange their power for employee performance.