27 September 2023

Emoji and Fax generations: Resetting the expectations

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Humanify HR* discusses the need to reset work expectations between different generations in a post-pandemic workplace with Sarah Queenan.

For young people entering the post-pandemic workplace, self-management skills such as empathy, active-learning, resilience, stress-tolerance and flexibility will be key to them having successful careers.

The World Economic Forum in the Future of Jobs Report 2020 has identified these self-management skills will be critical for young workers.

By 2025, it is estimated that up to 85 million workers globally will be displaced through shifts in the division of work between machines and humans.

For our young people, they are entering the workforce at a time of unprecedented change and they must be supported through equipping them the skills they need to succeed.

Entering the workforce can be a daunting process and young people today have the added challenge of doing this at a time when many organisations are still in recovery from the pandemic.

Managing Director of Humanify HR Consulting, Sarah Queenan said that more needs to be done to support young Australian workers as they enter the workplace, so they can build careers of purpose and meaning that is a primary motivation for young workers.

“Young workers entering our workplaces must be well prepared for the realities of the modern-day workplace and be supported with the skills they need to thrive, not just survive.

“The first few years of a young persons working life can determine the trajectory or their entire career.

“For many young workers, they will be supervised by a manager who has experienced a totally different reality in terms of both work and life to them.

“Young workers must have the ability to have empathy and understanding as to how these different experiences influence behaviour at work.

“For example, a message a young person plans to communicate using a simple emoji in 30 seconds – the manager will most likely still be rushing to the fax machine to spend hours preparing the same message.

“Many young workers don’t even connect with the reason as to why a fax machine still exits, when email or MMS can in their view – do the same thing.

“The different experiences generations have shape the approach they take to life, and of course work.

“It is important for those working with young workers to understand these differences that exist and adapt their style to a more inclusive and flexible approach.

“When these generational differences are not well understood, it can lead to avoidable misunderstandings, conflict and confusion.

“This ultimately leads to young people having a detrimental experience of the workplace,” Ms Queenan said.

Currently reports of people who are burnt-out and dissatisfied with their jobs are appearing too regularly.

There is an opportunity to support younger people to have a more positive experience of work.

People all over the world are reevaluating the approach they take to work and career and as a result of the pandemic experience, actively selecting options will bring them more happiness, peace and life-satisfaction.

“We must leverage this reevaluation that is currently taking place to support young people who are the future of our workplaces,” Ms Queenan said.

*Humanify HR’s purpose is to make work more human to benefit people, businesses and the broader community.

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