Definition of the employee 2.0

As I promised, let’s think about what would be the definition of an employee 2.0. In fact it’s really harder to define the employee 2.0 than the enterprise 2.0. Perharps it’s because enterprise 2.0 can be defined by facts, by what should / would be, and employee 2.0 can only be defined by his expectations since turning expectations into facts highly relies on which practices the organization tolerates.

First thing that comes to my mind is that employee 2.0 would certainly feel comfortable in the Y theory of McGregor, which assumptions are :

  • The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest.
  • Control and punishment are not the only ways to make people work, man will direct himself if he is committed to the aims of the organization.
  • If a job is satisfying, then the result will be commitment to the organization.
  • The average man learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept but to seek responsibility.
  • Imagination, creativity, and ingenuity can be used to solve work problems by a large number of employees.
  • Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average man are only partially utilized.

Ok, McGregory was far away from the problematics we deal with today but I think what he wrote still makes sens.

Since we also have to take sociological facts into account, we can assume employee 2.0 will share a lot of common points with the Y-Generation, and that for two reasons : because as time goes by it’s logical more and more employees will be Y-ers, but also because this generation seems to perfectly fit the Y theory from McGregor.

Let’s sum up facts about Y generation (I don’t pretend being exhaustive…just trying to briefly summerize)

  • they’re used to quick decisions, being self sufficient in an ever-changing surounding.
  • they wan’t visible feedback, quick rewards
  • they don’t care about failures : one have to try a lot of things and wait to see which were successful and which were’nt
  • they’re used to networking communication: exchanges are informal, connections are spontaneous, links are flexible.
  • they evaluate success only by the final result and like to be free to chose how to do things. In a more general way, they don’t like layed down and centralized solutions, they prefer everyone to choose what he’s confortable with.

Those characteristics may help us define which kind of management and organization would fit them the most.
Summing up all this we could assume that employee 2.0

– tries to be involved in tasks / projects where he’s skilled and can be valorized. Conclusion : if management is still responsible for saying who has to do what, they have to let the door opened to those whom say “I’d like to be a part of it”.

– as a consequence of the previous point : he’ll try to get as much information as possible as what’s happening in the enterprise on the subjects he wants to work on. Conclusion : information has to be decompartmentalized. He also want other people to be able to know what he’s doing.

– he doesn’t want to waste his time with what he considers being unuseful barrers : rather than to seek the authorization to appeal somebody, he’ll request directly the concerned person.

– he’s not asking for “more (power, information, tools), he just want means to do his job. If he doesn’t have the required means formally, he will set the organization and means he wants the informal way.

– he likes to try. Rather than considering a potential risk of failure he sees opportunities. Conclusion : the right to initiative implies high tolerance to failure. That’s what brings innovation and favors implication.

– he’s allergic to concepts such as “we’ve always done this way”, “Not invented here”, “Our company is different…this won’t work here”.

– he prefers a flexible, informal and spontaneous organization. Rather than “command and control” he prefers “tell me where to go and let us make it”.

– he knows the time you spend doing something is disconnected from the result you obtain. Conclusion : control is useless as long as goals are reached.

– he allows his job to take room in his private life, and so he considers his “private time” can take room in his working time.

– he likes enjoying what he does and the way he does it. This dual condition determines the way he gets involved…or not.

– it’s up to you to complete…..

Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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