Customizable Workplaces Will Win

Customizable Workplaces Will Win image DATE: August 7, 2020

It used to be really easy to spot the difference between the wants and needs of employees among different generations. However, the more I study the five generations in today’s American workforce, I am even more convinced of all generation’s commonalities versus differences. Because of this, here’s why customizable workplaces will win in the future.

Customizable Workplaces Will Win

70% of organizations say leading multigenerational workforces is important for their success over the next 12-18 months, but only 10% say they are ready to address this trend.

-Deloitte Insights 2020

Adapting workplace processes now, in order to meet the wants and needs of both existing and future employees, will lead to higher success in recruiting and retaining high performing employees — of all generations — going forward.

You might be thinking, how in the world could I adapt to so many different people with such different wants, needs, and motivations?!

Ah, I have good news! While there are clear differences between generations, there are also a few very important similarities. This leads to today’s conversation — customizable workplaces will win.

Customizable workplaces are defined by the organization’s ability to offer multiple options to satisfy the same desire among employees. Here are examples of three desires that remain largely true for all generations in today’s workplace.


Flexibility to Fulfill Personal Purpose

As American culture has evolved over the years, people of all generations are putting a higher level of importance on their need to fulfill their personal purpose. Very few people are taking a hiatus from work in order to fulfill that need. Instead, employees want to be able to both work and fulfill their personal purpose. I’m seeing more and more organizations help to make that happen, and those organizations are a top employment choice for high performers.

What can your organization do to meet this common desire? Here are some questions to consider during your next strategic planning discussion:

  1. Which departments in our business that can operate successfully with more flexible hours and office space?
  2. Are there specific organizations (potentially non-profit) in our community that we could partner with to give employees an option to serve others while fulfilling our mission as a company?
  3. Do I know my direct reports’ personal purposes they desire to fulfill? If not, when can I schedule time to get to know them better?

Work with Good Leadership

Notice that I didn’t say great leadership, I said good leadership. Gone are the days where most people would stay in a job, regardless of poor leadership, simply because they felt they had no other option. Even during the recent crisis our nation has faced, opportunity still exists. If employees aren’t being served by good leaders, many will leave to find good leaders to work with.

What defines good leadership? Respectful. Honest. Ethical — Those are the basics expected from leaders! The leaders who communicate well, empower others, build strong teams, etc. – those are the leaders who’ve gone from good to great!

What can your organization do to meet this common desire? Here are some questions to consider during your next strategic planning discussion:

  1. Do I know for certain if employees view me as a respectful, honest, ethical leader? If not, what’s the next step in gaining that understanding?
  2. If our leadership team is not where we should be from a respectful, honest, and ethical relationship with employees, what’s the best development plan to move our leadership team in the right direction?


Personal and/or Professional Growth Opportunity

Many different factors play into people of all generations desiring growth opportunities. Depending on the stage of life, the growth opportunity most important to your individual employees may change.

We know that:

  • The majority of Gen Z want to improve their soft skills
  • Many Millennials want opportunities to advance their career monetarily
  • Increasingly more Gen X and Boomer’s want increased responsibility
  • People from all generations want more influence with those around them

The fundamental desire remains the same – growth. Some organizations excel at creating and offering individual growth opportunities, most don’t. Those that do, see increased employee engagement, performance, and loyalty. Over time, increased engagement, performance, and loyalty likely lead to increased profitability…something all organizations desire!

  1. What can your organization do to meet this common desire? Here are some questions to consider during your next strategic planning discussion:
  2. What are the specific growth opportunities your individual employees want?
  3. Additionally, what are the specific growth opportunities your individual employees need?
  4. What do  you currently offering in the way of growth opportunities that do not line up with your individual employee’s wants and needs? Can you reallocate resources in order to create opportunities that better align with individual and organization wants and needs?


Customizable Workplaces will Win

Today’s workforce makeup = Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.

Additionally, have you heard of Perennials? And I’m not talking about flowers!

In 2016, Gina Pell first described Perennials as an ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who live in the present time, know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology, and have friends of all ages.

Do you know any Perennials? Maybe you are one?

Ultimately, my point here is that we are seeing more common fundamental desires among generations today than we did before. With that being said, knowledge is worthless without action. So, will you take the first step in leading your organization toward greater success by having a strategic conversation around creating a more customizable workplace? I sure hope so. I’m wishing you huge success!

Need soft skills training to successfully implement strategic initiatives? We can help!

#generationsatwork #softskills #leadershipdevelopment #leadershiptraining #strategicplanning #customizableworkplaces

About The Author:

Alyson Van Hooser, Leadership Keynote Speaker, Trainer on Millennials, Gen Z & Women in Business With the grit that only comes from tough experiences, Alyson has learned a thing or two about personal and professional success. From her management experience with Walmart, as an elected city council member, bank manager — all before the age of 30 — Alyson has wisdom well beyond her years! Her podcast, Stake: The Leadership Podcast, offers a fresh perspective on leadership and helps multiple generations successfully work together! Connect with Alyson on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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