HPE boss: Don’t ignore the rise of the Millennials and Generation Z
A workforce more tech-savvy than some of its superiors is making waves in nearly every business around the world.
By 2030, 75% of the global workforce will be composed of today’s millennials, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The shift has already started and we have seen tremendous achievements from those aged 16-to-24 and 25-to-34 years old, the Millennials, especially around social media networks. It is the young taking over the world.
However, this shift in the workforce comes with its own challenges. Millennials, and even the oldest in Generation Z, are different from, for example, Baby Boomers and Generation X. From support to coaching, workloads, recognition, and more, employers are now at the stage of not being able to ignore who in the future will be driving their business.
Marc Waters, vice president and managing director, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, UK and Ireland, talks to João Marques Lima on what companies must know and HPE’s very own experience with the younger workforce.
What is the role of Millennials and Generation Z in the technology sector today?
MW: Millennials and Generation Z have experienced technology at the forefront of their lives like no generation before them.
As such, they are technology natives with a foundation of digital skills that are essential to keeping up with the pace of change in today’s business landscape.
At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, members of these generations serve in a multitude of roles, from Technical Consultants, to Sales and Business Planning and Project Managers.
Apart from their affinity with the digital world, I believe these employees bring a fresh, entrepreneurial perspective, and their contributions have been invaluable to our business.
What are the main expectations Millennials (and even the early Generation Z) have when they join the workforce?
MW: While each employee has a unique set of expectations and preferences for their workplace experience, I have observed a few trends among Millennials in particular.
The first is that they are endlessly connected, always “on” and responsive even outside of the physical confines of the office environment.
This level of connectivity makes it possible for them to maintain better work-life balance through a flexible schedule that works for each individual.
Secondly, these employees have high career-development expectations that hinge on regular feedback and clearly established goals for rapid progression.
At HPE, we’ have established earlier management opportunities for employees who demonstrate the right mind-set and ambition.
What are the key considerations employees need to have when employing, managing and ensuring their younger workforce fits in the business?
MW: Technology is one of the most important sectors for the future of this country, both in the private and public sectors, and we need to prepare the next generation of leaders and innovators.
At HPE, we want to help provide real world experience for these younger generations that will establish a solid foundation in technology to enhance their future career options.
We try to offer opportunities for employees to acquire skills for the multiple jobs that will inevitably make up their careers in the long term in a workplace that aligns with the way people want to work.
What can a company the size of HPE learn from a younger workforce?
MW: I cannot emphasise enough how much value these younger employees have brought to HPE.
They bring new insights and ways of problem solving into the dynamic and evolving tech industry and constantly offer a new line of sight on developing market trends.
Our reverse mentoring programme is critical to ensuring that older employees are benefiting from the incredible expertise this younger generation offers.
How is HPE bringing young talent in the company?
MW: At HPE we are proud to invest in young talent, providing opportunities for them to develop and grow their careers. To support that commitment, we have recently appointed a Next Generation Workforce Lead who is responsible for developing HPE’s next generation programmes for Apprentices, Interns and Graduates, as well as inspiring future generations in the sector.
We have a number of Employee Resource Groups and networks, including our Young Employee Network (YEN) which is popular with our early careers hires because of the networking and learning opportunities it provides.
HPE also provides campus-tocorporate on-boarding that bridges the gap from university to a corporate environment.
We recognise the importance and dynamic nature of developing digital skills in this country and adapt our approaches to support emerging policies such as the Apprenticeship Levy.
We are currently working on our Apprenticeship programme offering for 2018 for both existing employees and new hires.
In collaboration with tech partners, other employers and providers, we are helping develop new ‘Digital’ Apprenticeship Standards in an effort to ensure that the skills gained as part of the qualification will best support the growth of the industry.
This article originally appeared in the Data Economy magazine. To read more on data centres, cloud and data, visit here.