“Digital Natives” are often what they are called. These are the individuals that have grown-up with the computer and internet access in their lives. They process information in such a way that has never been seen before. With such difference, is your business and management style ready to welcome and manage these individuals effectively?
As entrepreneurs and part of different organizations, there is a need to understand that these new breed of workers will function differently. They will be doing the same work but will discharge their tasks using technology as their main tool. Thus it would be advantageous to the system that these people are maximized and able to function smoothly with the rest.
Manner of Thinking
Studies show that digital natives think very differently from the previous breed of workers. They are more geared to short term memory but able to do multiple activities at the same. They think more of achieving specific task rather than long term goals. They want to see immediate results and rewards for their work and more likely would want to work in an environment that would provide such. The management needs to be able to provide these situations in order to hold on to these individuals and maximize their potential.
Specialization Vs Generalist
These next generation workers are more adaptable to working in multitasking jobs rather thanspecialized work. Although we’re not saying that they are not able to do specialized work, it just means that it would be easier for them to switch from one task to another. Jobs that require less focus or those that are not monotonous would be more appealing to them.
With the way these individuals are wired, there would be a difficulty in focusing and doing work that require long term memory or that require memorization. There may be a drop of quality in production since their attention would be distributed to the many tasks they are trying to do. Another possible challenge that this may pose is that the stress level they may face and the possible burn-outs. Multitasking if done excessively is not always a positive trait in the working environment.
The business world does not need to change everything to accommodate these next generation workers, they don’t need to always provide instant gratification or to make work like a game at the expense of long-term benefits. It’s all about acknowledging that the incoming workforce within the next 5 to 15 years does not only have a different set of skills, but their brains will be functioning differently as well. There is a need to have a little trust that they are able to complete the required work and be able to focus when they need to. The best way is for corporations to think of different ways to maximize these individuals and allow their brain functions to further develop.