April 2, 2017

Are you Old School or New School?

In this new digital reality we're experiencing, our times are characterized by immediacy, and opportunities are often fleeting. Organizations need to provide agile responses. However, do all employees perceive and adapt to change in the same way? It's not about comparing one generation to another (which is why we haven't titled our post "Old School vs. New School"), but rather understanding what each generation can contribute to the others.
The New School generation, having grown up with technology and a different set of values, tends to bypass bureaucracy, streamline processes through digital tools and apps, and expects online and nearly instantaneous solutions for their needs.
On the other hand, we have the Old School professionals, who have developed their careers in the midst of endless spreadsheets and traditional meetings with the occasional outburst from bosses. Their knowledge, culture of hard work, experience, and skills are equally vital, but these attributes can sometimes be diluted by archaic procedures and management systems that do not align well with current needs.
Is it possible to blend the best of the Old School with the innovative spirit of the New School to facilitate effective digital transformation? Absolutely! (Whoever coined the famous "guapi" catchphrase owes us a coffee.) Becoming a digital leader isn't just about technology affinity; it also involves constructing a dynamic organization capable of rapid learning and adaptation to change, while offering competitive solutions.
We're sharing some tips to help organizations with a mix of different generations adapt to the digital age without losing their core essence:
  • Streamline procedures: It is crucial for an organization to enhance efficiency. With the array of new technologies at our disposal, we can streamline projects and save both time and money. To do so effectively, we must identify the most dysfunctional processes that hinder the achievement of our objectives. Neither Millennials nor Seniors appreciate unnecessary bureaucracy.
  • Blending remote and in-office work: Organizations need to create environments that empower employees to choose between remote work and in-office work based on what each individual believes will yield the most productive results. Measuring performance will no longer rely on the number of hours spent but on the ability to achieve our goals. It's no longer just about technology, as we all have access to tools like Skype or Hangouts for remote meetings, but more about respecting and understanding each professional's needs.
  • Accentuate the positive and provide constructive feedback on the negative: One thing the newer generations bring with them, even in environments that were traditionally more hierarchical, is open and uncomplicated communication. To bring out the best in each professional across different generations, we must encourage this communication instead of penalizing it. We should acknowledge that in a learning environment, mistakes will happen, and providing continuous and positive feedback  is the most effective way to address them.
  • Transparency.To allow diverse professional styles to coexist and foster mutual learning environments between junior and senior employees, it's essential to establish fair and clear rules of the game. If recognition processes and systems are transparent and accessible to all, we promote the flow of information and reinforce the foundations of a collaborative culture.
  • Medium and long-term objectives. It's interesting to observe that rewarding only short-term objectives can lead to a "every man for himself" culture. Many professionals from the old school have experienced highly competitive environments driven by individual and immediate rewards. New leadership teaches us that it's more beneficial to base our growth strategy on each professional finding a true purpose in their work stemming from intrinsic motivations. In the medium to long term,  this shared objective will generate more productivity.
In today's rapidly changing environment, the risk is not about age but about the ability to keep pace with a fast-moving world.
Ease of technology integration for everyone: For employees, especially those who didn't grow up with smartphones, digital transformation is not an end in itself but a means to improve their working lives. In an intelligent organization, there is a place for the Old School and the New School because both are needed to learn and grow with a solid foundation.

With the millennials on the cusp of surpassing baby boomers and generation X to become the most represented generation in the labor market, it's essential to ensure that their good practices are complemented by the wisdom of their more experienced colleagues. This collaboration will truly elevate our organizations to the next level.

If you also believe that age is a state of mind and that making the best of every moment and learning from all experiences is what truly matters, welcome to the Feedback community of Hrider! Our goal is to assist any company in identifying and nurturing the talent of all employees, whether they come from the Old School or the New School.


If you also believe that age is a state of mind and that what really matters is to make the best of every moment we live and always learn from everything they can teach us, welcome to the Feedback community of Hrider!
Our goal is that any company can count on the help it needs to know and promote the talent of each and every one of us, whether we are from the Old School or the New School ;-)