Friday, July 30, 2010

Net-Generation: the workforce of the future is here

Net GenerationImage by jovike via Flickr
The Chief Information Officers Council issued a report that you should read if you are a supervisor, a manager or a senior executive or want to be one.

The report, "Net Generation: Preparing for Change in the Federal Information Technology Workforce," is not only relevant to IT employees but to the large, incoming generation of federal new hires who will bring new dynamics to the entire federal workplace. And to their managers who will face this challenge: "to reconcile the distinct, and sometimes conflicting, expectations, needs, and experiences of their workforce and to establish a context for success that allows the strengths of each generation to shine."

The Norms of the Net-Gen World.

They don’t want to be labeled.
They want continuous feedback and recognition.
They value genuine mentoring.
They want autonomy, responsibility, and challenges.
They need structured accountability.
They’re not interested in “paying their dues.”
They’re used to having their opinions heard.
They’re used to group/team problem solving.
They expect high tech/constant stimulation.
They’re used to living in a 24/7 environment.

Read more here.

Curious about what contributes to their engagement?

Pride in One’s Work or Workplace
Satisfaction with Leadership
Opportunity to Perform Well at Work
Satisfaction with the Recognition Received
Prospect for Future Personal and Professional Growth
Positive Work Environment with Some Focus on Teamwork

Read more here.


   1. Show that the organization understands their world.
   2. Rethink authority and hierarchy within the organization.
   3. Include Net-Geners in re-designing work practices.
   4. Design jobs and work spaces to support collaboration.
   5. Become social media savvy
   6. Invest in technology to power high performance, creativity, and collaboration.
   7. Examine how new technology is deployed within the organization.
   8. Refresh organization websites and their capabilities.
   9. Re-examine career paths for all generations.
  10. Customize training programs for individual workers.
  11. Encourage and incentivize Boomer and Net-Gen mentors.
  12. Examine current and future supervisory bench strength.
  13. Measure performance by productivity, not physical presence.
  14. Retool performance recognition programs and provide more continuous feedback.
  15. Create dynamic recruiting programs that employ a cross section of media.
  16. Be authentic when recruiting; emphasize organization values and strengths.
  17. Create a dynamic onboarding program.
  18. Fund and use hiring flexibilities strategically.
  19. Create a more flexible and fun working environment.
  20. Craft lasting networking relationships with employees who leave the organization.

Read the whole thing here.

1 comment:

hannah said...

Urrrgh, I'm so sick of these generational "analyses." The one that got passed around at FSI last fall was truly abhorrent - labelling the Gen-Yers as lazy attention hogs who can't function without constantly lavished praise, whereas the Baby Boomers can do no wrong and only want to save the world. We can talk about African-American or Jewish-American culture(s) in the United States, but no one would dream of creating such a list as this about those groups. Why are generations any different?

I'm looking at this list, and I fail to see how "building future supervisory bench strength" and "examining the use of new technology" are things that only the under-30 set cares about. Unless we want to take HROnline as our sole evidence that the Baby Boomers in the Department don't care about technology, how does this make sense?

I have had DoS coworkers and supervisors, DoD colleagues, and contacts overseas all make jocular remarks about my age - "Are you even old enough to drink?" "When did they start hiring junior high students?" "My daughter's the same age as you, and I'd NEVER want her in this job!" Again, why is this considered even remotely appropriate?

/rant. Sorry, but this is really frustrating.