The workforce of the future is inspiring the workforce of now to change – and Covid-19 is helping to spur that evolution on.  


Generation alpha are the babies being born right now – anyone born from 2020 will belong to this group. By the time they reach the workforce, they will have simple needs, but in order to fulfil these it will be complex.


They will expect the best forms of delivery, and will have no previous experience of any other models. Even today, most people are used to the easy experiences of online shopping and social media – they can buy items for same-day delivery through their smartphone and return things seamlessly. But at work, some processes still involve paper, take days if not weeks to complete and are run on systems which don’t match up with the same needs and technology. This can be frustrating for people now, but Generation Alpha, will have a completely different set of needs and expectations.


Quicker evolution


The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to work differently and evolve far more quickly in the way we’re dealing with people in the workplace.


Organisations would be wise to accelerate that evolution and improve the way they manage their employees. In 15 years’ time, we are then less likely to be attempting to bridge a huge gap in dealing with the next generation of the workforce.


Generation Alpha will want the best technology, good communication, simple social interaction with people, transparent communication, clean ethics, sustainability and equality in the workforce. Many companies are just starting the journey towards these things now, but will need to move forward at a faster pace.


Turning a negative into a positive


2020 has not worked out the way anyone thought it would, but the acceleration of workforce change could be a positive outcome from a difficult year. Businesses should continue the momentum gained to enable people to work better and quicker together, and to aim for that consumer-grade, future-based approach for people. Much of this work is likely to benefit employees’ health – whether physical, financial or mental – which will also help to deliver better business results.


There is, however, a long way to go. Many of us, for instance, have gone from having multiple channels of communication methods to just two: video calls or email. Many have lost phone calls and are missing face to face interactions with people.


That’s something we need to adapt to and perhaps change in the short term in order to get better outcomes for our people initially. But in the longer term, this isn’t going to go away any time soon. We need to be more proactive and deliver better messages to people in better ways, so that in the post-Covid world we’re able to start providing people the experience they expect. 


If you would like to talk to someone about any of these issues, contact Jack Curzon on Jack.Curzon@thomsons.com


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