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Approaching casualisation and generational challenges in the modern workplace

Approaching casualisation and generational challenges in the modern workplace

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In today’s modern workplace, there are a few trends that show no signs of changing any time soon. A result of globalisation and an aging population, let’s investigate two trends that can have a lasting effect on the workforce, and how employees and businesses can approach them.

Casualisation – for better and worse

The casualisation of the workplace is a contentious topic, with benefits and disadvantages for both employers and employees alike. Often, the difference is a matter of personal values and perspective. For instance, for some, a part-time role is a flexibility perk that allows them to pursue side-projects or creative endeavours or share parenting responsibilities more evenly. Others, on the other hand, may accept a part-time position in a competitive job market – when in fact a full-time position would suit their situation better.

Project, or campaign-specific contract roles often suit employers on face value – it may make sense to bring in specialists to work only when required, rather than on salary – but the costs of recruitment, onboarding and maintaining culture and morale must not be neglected.

Finding a good balance for managers and employees alike depends on strong business and project management skills.

Mind the generation gap

As the average retirement age continues to rise – older leadership members in traditional businesses and larger corporations are staying in their management roles for longer periods than ever – Gen Xers are finding themselves stuck on middle rungs of the career ladder for longer. As a result, when senior management positions are available, it is a competitive race, and applicants need an edge – such as a varied range of proven skills, or postgraduate business qualifications ­– to stand out from the pack.

Meanwhile, in the tech and innovation-focused startup world, professionals with 25+ years of practical experience underneath their belts are routinely passed over for younger hires. There is a misconception that their practical knowledge – though vast – is out of date, and they are not willing to keep up with the latest industry trends and innovations. A commitment to ongoing education is a must for these employees – as is a commitment to educating others, by positioning themselves as a thought-leader in their industry by publishing or broadcasting industry-related media or speaking at conferences.

Experienced professionals who have been “on the tools” their entire career are likely to have picked up at least some management responsibilities during their career, but formalising these complementary skills through an MBA is still looked on favourably by employers.

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Approaching casualisation and generational challenges in the modern workplace
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