The digital natives in today’s workforce are primarily millennials. They are motivated by purpose, self-mastery, and autonomy. These values drive their reward system more than the allure of money, fancy titles, and expensive offices. If you want to begin a digital transformation journey, you’ll need these digital savants on your team.
But realizing the importance of these knowledge workers is only one step in the process. Here’s the $64,000 question: how do you attract, motivate, and empower them? Organizations that undertake to transform their digital infrastructure need to recruit and retain the necessary personnel.
Incentivizing digitally savvy employees requires a different approach from how companies traditionally have operated in the past. Big paychecks and generous 401k’s aren’t enough. Millennials will often opt to work for companies that pay less if their employers give them greater autonomy in the workplace such as the freedom to work remotely, the freedom to wear what they want in the workspace, and the freedom to perform work that personally enriches their lives.
Policies that allow your employees to work from home or from a coffee shop demonstrate that you respect their autonomy and trust them enough to get the job done without you having to look over their shoulders. Thanks to programs like Slack, you can do a lot of work outside of the office. Furthermore, we are not far from a time when you will be able to hold boardroom meetings in a virtual workspace (i.e., virtual and augmented reality). You are going to need workers on your team who are comfortable communicating and collaborating through these digital channels.
You have to design learning experiences that are flexible and agile for your team. By investing in educational tools, you’ll help ensure that they have cutting edge knowledge. Tara O’Sullivan, the chief creative officer of Skillsoft, says that, “companies need to think carefully about how they design learning experiences so that they are creating a learning experience for the ‘modern learner’.”
Empower your employees to engage in work that is meaningful. Let them feel like they are growing and feeling emotionally fulfilled. If you do that, they won’t be checking the clock to see when the small hand hits 5 PM. They will be pushing themselves until they feel like they have completed the day’s work.
By effecting policies that cater to the value system of millennials you will attract the knowledge workforce that understands how emerging platforms like cloud-based services, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence (to name a few) can be applied to your business.
The workforce of the future will increasingly rely on knowledge workers. The digitally connected workplace will require that your organization knows how to effectively leverage the talent and skill sets of a digital native workforce. If you have your sights set on a digital transformation, start thinking about creating a team of digital experts.
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