Business Today's fifth edition of MindRush, with the stimulating theme 'Rebrain or Rot', took off with an interesting and an extremely relevant discussion on 'How to Make Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials Work in One Frame'. Eminent human resource professionals from across industries spoke about how today's disruptive workforce is also faced with balancing the vast and varied employee culture.
When posed with the opening question on how the current workspace is changing, Rajkamal Vempati, CHRO, Axis Bank, said that the new-age employee is seeking experiences. "From loan-based programmes earlier, the focus has now moved to getting five holidays a year."
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Agreeing with Vempati's point, Amit Prakash, Executive VP & Head HR, Marico, added that the millennial approach towards work is that of questioning where they seek learning. S.V. Nathan, Group HR Head, Deloitte, too, shared his thoughts on the emphasis on flexible workspace, and how it's important to "just get the work done, without being tied down to one place for hours together".
"The speed at which change is happening is what we're coping with," says Abhinav Chopra, CHRO, Viacom 18, adding that there are abundant choices today, which create different mindsets. Referring to the popular Netflix show Black Mirror, he added that technology is deeply influencing human behaviour.
On the subject of compensation, the panel had varied thoughts. While Vempati stressed on the importance of purpose for an employee in an organisation, Nathan talked about fairness and growth as two crucial factors.
Chopra of Viacom stated that the mindset is moving from loyalty to employability.
"The purpose that they serve in an organisation is more attractive than compensation", he added.
The panel was unanimous it its observation that baby boomers and gen-xers are more inclined towards self learning, while the millennials need a more one-on-one approach.
Most of them believe that the new-age work space is more inclined towards learning, interaction and collaboration.
"For the new generation, the entitlement comes from within," said Prakash Rao, Founding Member & Head of HCM PeopleStrong, talking about how open spaces aid growth.
The panel concluded that empathy, learning agility, openness, humility, and the ability to re-skill are indispensible traits. Indeed, the unanimous thought was that to grow, one would have to rebrain, or they would rot.
The writer is a Mumbai-based freelance journalist.