Next gen is the net gen: Meena Surie Wilson
The next gen is growing up in a sophisticated media and computer environment and is Internet savvy. From the moment they are born, they experience technology-based connectivity - via mobile phones, satellite television, and airline transport. These natives of a digitized world are comfortable with lives that are mediated by Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, and other social networks. And this impacts their behaviors, attitudes and expectations, especially their expectations from their workplace. The next gen is the net gen.
The privileged segment of the ‘net generation’ workforce will revolutionize the way companies manage their employees. Social media use is rocketing - on home and work computers. Virtual networks are woven into the fabric of life for the net gens. Their colleagues, friends and family meet and greet each other in virtual and personal clubs that can be easily accessed from a work station. Some companies may try and ban the use of social media, but this is unrealistic. Employees’ professional identity and projected image is becoming firmly linked with their posts about themselves.
Demographic and technology trend watchers project that in the next 5 years, about a third of the Indian workforce will belong to the ‘net generation’. This growing population of tech-savvy youngsters is shifting the culture of the workplace. The influx of younger workers means that companies are introducing programs they had not considered before. But, such programs need to address the needs of all workers, not just net gen talent. Organizations need multi-pronged strategies so that their best employees from every generation do not start looking at greener grass elsewhere. Some common-sense tactics to consider are offering fair and comparable pay structures and other attractive benefit packages; providing continual opportunities for development, learning, and advancement; and sequencing assignments to provide a variety of challenges combined with sufficient autonomy for the employee to plan and execute.