“What do I want to be when I grow up”; an expression that rings true with today’s workforce, whether just starting out in the business world or someone with many years of experience. The business communities, the economic landscape, are calling for employees who are better educated, experienced and have excellent interpersonal skills.
The educational, cultural transition is alive a well and a real concern for employers. Generational shift from the Boomers to the Millennials, and the Z’s coming up quick are changing the motivational concepts. What was once important about security, loyalty, and power has shifted to life- balance, fair and equitable, trust, and the environment.
Motivational content concepts from what many of us have studied in school, Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Theory, Aldermen’s ERG Theory, Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory or Process Theories such as Expectancy, Goal, and Equity Theories are in need of a more in-depth review. Thinking innovatively about what is important to our workforce and applying the strategies to motivate and improve self-worth.
Having the opportunity to instruct and train hundreds of people in private business, and formal education there is a disparity on what individuals want to accomplish. With that said, and with an unscientific bias view, the trend for job seekers, is first to follow his or her passion, and then secure a job. A career comes last due to the rapid changes in our business segments.
The importance of a career has taken a step back, and personal rewards have taken center stage. The, “What’s in it for ME” has taken a revised meaning. Education also needs to take a revised approach. Teaching process, critical thinking, managing a diverse workforce and problem solving are required elements for success. Narratives, case studies, role plays, and the understanding of finances outcomes are required learning.
With the lack of longevity within an organization, transferable skills are a requirement. That is why people whether starting out or with a year of experience need to constantly think of the next opportunity, and what skills are in his or her proverbial toolkit, and what skills need to be added. Setting a career path is like writing a business plan which needs to contain and executive summary, mission and value statement, marketing strategy, product description, SWOT analysis, and financial summary. To many this is difficult but when complete it could become your a ha moment.
I would like to think that a people-centric approach will prevail in our current business environment. However, the challenge of retaining quality staff now faces new challenges, and that is to satisfy the passion in people.
Andrew is an Adjunct Professor at CUNY, The Institute of Culinary Education, and the Long Island Business Institute. Andrew is a certified instructor with the National Restaurant Association, and the American Lodging Association. Currently is the principle of Strategic Management Consultants, offering fresh eye reviews for service operator, financial review, performance management evaluations, labor optimization studies, marketing strategies, food safety, and employee training for both front line and management staff.