They are passion driven, they have innovative bend of minds, and they are always connected. These are top most traits of millennia workforce, and the tribe is growing.
The evolving workforce of millennial generation is standing at the crossroads of high level digital growth in India. Some of the visible growth story from various research reports are mentioned below which would impact the workforce of 2020 and beyond. Access to internet and increasing digital adoption impact the characteristic of workforce. This would lead to demographic shifts – change in size, distribution, and profile of workforce population in India.
As per various reports, it is indicative that increase in adoption to digital would spike the demand of workforce to tackle the technology infrastructure for vision new India (Fig 1: Digital Resource and Opportunity).
Source: Ministry reports, KPMG, PwC, DAN-E4M
One of the defining characteristics of the millennial generation is their affinity with the digital world. They have grown up with broadband, smartphones, laptops, and social media being the norm and expect instant access to information. Availability of affordable technology is driving many to work as freelancer. Demand for digital transformation in small and medium companies is engaging youthful cohort as freelance consultant. The new dynamic would see temporary workforce model adopted by companies of all sizes.
Technology investments impacting workforce 2020
Top strategic technology trends such as Artificial intelligence, Intelligent App and Analytics, Intelligent Things, Digital payment, Cloud, Conversational Platforms, Immersive Experience, Blockchain will impact economic activity. These technologies will have direct and indirect effect on spending in organizational model – thus impacting the future workforce adoption.
The future waits for those organization which are driven by Innovation and Sustainability. Innovation is not capital investment, it is per capita invested. The aspiration for innovation led growth could be achieved by few enablers. Organization must re-imagine, alter and facilitate new framework to bring diversity and inclusion in 2020.
Following trends should align with blueprint and frameworks of organization which aspire to maximize the power of diversity and inclusion in the 2020 workforce ecosystem.
Open ecosystems to enable greater collaboration
Organization should embrace change in workforce policy as a way of life, and not as policy change per say. Company must be open to change both at project and functional level. This is possible when employees are connected functionally as well as project wise. Open yet Connected should be the mantra for 2020 workforce.
Project based workforce structure
As per Accenture research 79 percent of executives agree that the workforce of the future will be structured more by projects than by job functions.
Hierarchy, Bureaucracy, Functional silos - All are vestiges of the division of labor from the earliest writings (centuries ago) of Adam Smith and Alexis de Tocqueville. Their observation holds true to this day, and organization should take strategic actions to break the innovation-less hierarchy. The way to digital transformation should be approached as a long and short-term project-in-progress. Thus, job roles should be designed with help of project leads, mangers, or person in charge. It would help to get the Modular approach of workforce management (FIG 2).
As per Accenture research, horizontal leadership is a critical element of management in the digital age, but it is not the only one. Around 58 percent of executives felt technology improved communications by allowing them to connect with a team, or the broader organization, easily and quickly.
Future workforce would be driven by innovation and by new idea on the go - general workforce trait in Millennials. With fast and connected knowledge economy, Millennial workforce will look for companies which are inspiring, leaders who are influencers and experts. India is ongoing a cultural shift of entrepreneurship and startup work culture. Millennial workforce is motivated by ideas and like to discuss disruptive solutions. Hence companies which have diverse workforce policy innovation and design thinking culture will attract the 2020 workforce.
Organization should adapt its workforce policy according to the gig culture. Traditionally we have white and blue collared workforce, however there is an emergence of independent class of workers - call them no-collared worker. Workforce analyst should note that ‘job’ is no longer can be consider as an indicator to employment index but it should include ‘work’ as new index in the Gig Model. People are enticed into work per say and not mere jobs! and that’s the change in the ecosystem.
The Workforce Maturity Model (Fig 3) is the theoretical model that can be used as assessment tool for companies which have Innovation led engagement model vis-a-vis the Diversity and Inclusion growth stage. The premise of the model is based on three main components - people, process, and technology. These are very much related to each other and would be driving force to impact 2020 Workforce.
Companies which are ahead of the game are the disruptors and high on ranking in diversity and inclusion policy. These companies are called Mavericks. A Maverick company would unleash the potential of diversity and inclusive workforce in 2020 and beyond by un-structuring of workforce model best suited to company’s strategy.
Second there are organizations which have identified the new engagement models but are testing in small pockets or project based. They are volatile in nature and are ready to change the business models or pivot into new segment. They are Aspirants. Early stage startups also fall into this category.
The first and initial stage in Workforce Maturity Model is Functional / Commuter. Companies which have traditional engagement structures and do not have a defined innovation model in place are categorized as Functional / Commuters. Although they have diversity and Inclusion policy but still lack innovative management models. They might not be ready to change the engagement models, and that could be due to other external factors such as nature of industry, sector policies, skill availability, etc.