Generational Redesign of Work
In 2024, there will be a paradigm shift in employee-employer power and trust dynamics. It’s part of a generational redesign of work from being like a game of Tetris to becoming like a game of Roblox. The design of work used to be hierarchical and top-down, with clear boundaries set by the employer. However, the younger generation, particularly Gen Z, is more interested in a way of working that allows for flexibility and self-authorship.
From Tetris to Roblox: The Changing Work Dynamics
While older generations may be used to the hierarchical structure of work, the younger generation sees work as a game of Roblox, where they can create their own rules and roles. By 2025, 27 percent of the workforce in OECD countries will be Gen Z, and by 2030, over 58 percent of the workforce will be made up of Gen Z and millennials. Younger workers are looking for flexibility and a job that aligns with their values.
The Power Shift in Work Dynamics
The relationship between employees and organizations has shifted, with employees seeking more self-authorship and autonomy. The design of work used to reflect a “power over” way of thinking about leadership, but now the trend is shifting towards a “power with” dynamic. Employee engagement has been found to have a significant influence on stress levels, with how people experience their work being more important than where they are doing their work.
The Impact on Leadership and Organizations
In 2024, leaders will need to accept that they can no longer operate in a hierarchical, top-down manner in a world where employees are seeking more autonomy and self-authorship. The shift towards a more collaborative, personalized, and peer-driven work dynamic is becoming increasingly important, and organizations will need to adapt to this change in order to attract and retain younger talent.
The changing work dynamics driven by generational shifts are reshaping the way organizations and leaders need to approach work and employee engagement. The traditional model of work, akin to a game of Tetris, is no longer appealing to the younger generation entering the workforce. The game of Roblox, representing autonomy, self-authorship, and collaboration, is becoming the norm. Organizations and leaders will need to adapt to this shift in order to meet the evolving needs of the workforce.
In conclusion, it is essential for companies to recognize and understand the values, preferences, and expectations of Gen Z in order to attract and retain this emerging workforce. By embracing inclusivity, sustainability, and technological advancements, companies can better connect with Gen Z and create a work environment that fosters growth and innovation. As the largest generation in the workforce, Gen Z will continue to shape the future of work, and companies that prioritize their needs and aspirations will ultimately thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape.