Insead Releases Second Ebook on Gens X, Y, and Z – State of (UN)Readiness

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The new report offers insights on how Gens X, Y and Z believe the workplace should function and the technologies poised to transform it.

Fontainebleau (France), Singapore, Abu Dhabi, 28 February, 2017: , , The and today announced the release of the second eBook, State of (un)readiness, which sets out to investigate a series of ideas from a bottom-up survey of students and professionals from , Y, and Z – not from the employer’s perspective.

As the nature of work and the workplace evolves, both leaders and employees need to be engaged in bringing about a transformation that is productive, healthy and inclusive. The new eBook investigates these ideas: What do your employees think about the future of work? What innovations do they expect their employers to adopt? What will the rising student cohorts of Gen Y and Gen Z look for in a future employer? And how do these ideas differ based on country or gender? Are the expectations of how technology should shape the future of the workplace similar across generations? How can the workplace be designed to integrate differing expectations for optimal recruitment, retention, development and performance across levels and geographies?

“Technological innovations are reshaping just about everything in our world today and the workplace is no exception. Cloud-based collaboration tools, workplace messaging platforms, wearable technologies, virtual reality, and so on, have changed the meaning of going to work,” said Henrik Bresman, Associate Professor of Organisational Behavior; Academic Director, ; Senior Advisor, The HEAD Foundation. He continued, “More and more, employees expect work applications to function as effortlessly and effectively as the applications they use in their personal lives, and even while working professionals say their employer’s digital capabilities are important, our collaborative research shows that less than half believe their current employer’s capabilities rank highly”.

The results are a one-of-a-kind study of what global generations think about employers and the workplace – a research series from Universum called Generations. These insights are based on an annual survey of over 18,000 students and professionals worldwide – from Gen Xers who’ve been in the workplace for two decades, to Gen Z students. The research sheds light on preferred workstyles, Leadership qualities, hopes and fears about future careers, and the technologies with the highest potential for workplace innovation. What’s more, the research points to interesting insights and lessons not just meant for understanding individual generations, but for knowing how to manage a multigenerational workforce.

“Employees and their managers now expect more flexibility of time and venue. Constant connectivity leading to real time information and feedback is the norm, as is the management of virtual teams across increasingly globalised organisations,” said Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director of INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute. “Given the rapid pace of change in workplace technology – from cloud-based collaboration tools and workplace messaging platforms to newer technologies like wearables – it’s clear the nature of work in 10 years will be vastly different from what we experience today.”

Universum’s COO, Karl-Johan Hasselström, added: “Across all generations more and more employees expect work applications to function as effortlessly and effectively as the applications they use in their personal lives. To live up to this, companies are adopting new, specialised technologies at breakneck speed, leading to sizeable integration issues. The problem is particularly bad for workforce-facing applications such as project management, messaging tools, time management, calendaring, many of which don’t speak to one another and share information. For employers, it’s critical to address these issues early to avoid something that’s referred to as “path dependency” — when organisations must continue with a particular technology or practice, even when it’s not ideal, because earlier decisions limit present choices”.