How Have the Skills of our Workforce Changed and Continues to Change

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With each generation, skills and personality traits change. There has been a lot of discussion about the differences for instance in Baby Boomers verses Millenials. For instance, the Boomers are usually willing to work long hours verses the Millenials prefer working their specific work hours and clock out. In addition, Boomers take pride in their work, where Millenials expect and want prompt feedback on how they are doing.

Psychologists have also noted that the younger generations are so accustomed to continually keeping their eyes on computer screens and other electronic tools. Therefore, they are very poor eye-contact when talking with others. Boomers and others in their 40’s, etc. rate eye contact as critically important as an indicator of honesty and high integrity.

In recent studies some of those skills which are declining include manual dexterity, endurance, memory and verbal/auditory abilities, management of finances, reading, writing, math and active listening, quality control and safety awareness, coordination and time management, speech abilities, etc.

On the other hand, some skills that are growing include analytical thinking, active learning and strategies, creativity, technology design and programming, critical thinking and analysis, complex problem-solving, leadership, emotional intelligence, reasoning, and system analysis.

As you might imagine, the shift in skills will reflect in the outcomes. Companies and organizations will note, in time, how this younger workforce will approach their work differently. It will be very important for expectations to be made very clear and that the employees will need to understand what are their goals. As the younger generation develops and becomes more experienced, their skills and talents will become more enriched and add its own dimensions. Still, it will be different.

It will be up to the management team to observe and utilize these new skills/talents to their organization’s advantage. Change is not bad or good — but “different”. Learn to use this as an advantage.

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