Today, people change jobs more than ever before. Moving between employers,careers, degrees, and locations rapidly. With the speed that technology, environments, and markets change we have a new responsibility in helping people to help themselves. It’s very different from the model of lifetime employees from days past..
The percentage of people from ages 18-29 who held a job with a single employer for· less than 1 year 62%· less than 2 years 78%By the age of 46 the average person has held 11.3 jobs(http://www.bls.gov/news.release/nlsoy.nr0.htm)Think about that. Changing jobs is how we get ahead today, people get locked in to places where upward mobility is hard.
Is the only value that the experience at your previous job can provide a series of titles and description blurbs that any halfass copywriter could write? Shouldn’t any place you spend your time give you data that helps you prove how much you are capable of, show what you accomplished and what you learned while working there?
Shouldn’t you own the proof of the experiences you’ve had? What good is that data buried in some intranet, HRIS, or LMS at a place you worked 6 years ago?What good is a degree with a vague and huge category of the world listed on it when you could show what you really did and what you really care about? It’s this type of data that makes hiring, engagement, and motivation very interesting.
We’re all communicating, moving, and learning faster than ever before. The economy shifts and changes faster than formal institutions and organizations can keep up with. Collaboration, creativity and networks are much more important now than competition, training, and leadership.
In order to stay competitive, a person hasto take responsibility for keeping themselves on top of their craft and creating connections. Through traditional models, people are finding themselves in the workforce unprepared for what’s now and next. Formal degree and education programs are too slow to keep up with the rapid changes that occur in the market over a short period of time. People want to take control their accomplishments and making better paths for themselves
People have the ability to reach beyond the traditional confines of an organization to find information. As people become more agile in supporting themselves in their job roles, the organization needs to look at supporting them differently. The smart groups have opened up spaces for their employees to share. They’ve quit telling people what they need to know and realized that when empowered and engaged, humans have amazing problem solving capabilities. But that’s not enough.
Industrial era models of how organizations worked were built around top down management hierarchies, which don’t work universally anymore. They thought there was an advantage to the organizationbecause, as a larger body of mass, has more information and those at the top generally knowing more than the people who made up the organization.This is not what’s happening today, it doesn’t work like that anymore. That model is horribly unresponsive to customers and markets.
Nilofer Merchant says we’re in the social era, and that social is much more than media. That social means the ability of a person to pull the conversations, ideas, and resources needed to them in order to do their work. She talks about how traditional strategy that pushes corporate control of the market is not what matters any more. Size is no longer an advantage: the bigger the organization the harder it adapts to market changes.
She says, “The social era honors value creation starting with the single unit of a connected human” People connecting information with one another and working together to solve problems, this is the ultimate way that value is created in an organization. If you want to know what that looks like in the real world, Dave Grays connected company describes this workplace.
Steve works as an advertising associate, but dreams working as a web developer. He doesn’t have time or the money to go back to school and get a new degree. He starts reading articles and watching videos to figure how to write code. He starts volunteering for projects at work that would normally be outsourced to a development shop.
Steve starts spending all of his extra time at work and outside of work building applications that keep getting more and more complex. He’s starting to join conversations in the community, he is answering questions that would have baffled him weeks ago. At work, he succeeds in getting some projects off the ground and proving his skills to people around him. His problem is that his company doesn’t need a fulltime web developer.
He starts looking for a new job, but is finding that his title as a “marketing associate” with no formal experience is making it hard to get people to look at the projects he’s done. Those projects make it pretty clear that he knows his stuff. If he had a way to share that clearly describes his experiences and what he’s really been doing under the title of marketing associate, he would be in a whole different category.
Even when he does find someone who will hire him, they put him in a very junior role. They start putting him through trainings on the basics. They spend a lot of time attempting to teach him how to do things that he already understands. He’s frustrated and bored, the organization is spending a lot of money to accomplish nothing. If he could bring data to the table that proves the things he’s already done at his previous job and where he wants to go, meeting him where he’s at and helping him to grow would be a lot easier.
When everyone in the organization acts as an individual, the only way you can help them is by looking at what they have actually done and what they want to do. When people can take ownership of data about their experiences, they can share proof of what they’ve at accomplished and failed.
When many systems can accept and understand that data, that’s how we support individuals – do personalization. We can look at their data from anywhere, quickly figure out what they already know, help them find what they need, scaffold new learning experiences, and connect them to the people who can help them.
People need to be able to own their data and when shared with us, we need to be able to comprehend their data. We need to listen to where people want to go and help them find their fit in our organizations. There’s no way the learning department or higher ed can survive in a traditional way, we all have to adapt to the speed of change and expectations that every new wave joining the workforce expects.
That’s how we get better, save our economy, build a happier workforce, and start supporting individual pursuits. People being given ownership of their experiences and being empowered to engage with their paths forward.
People move on, often Photo by Bits and Bunches