As the global workforce continues to evolve and change, a new generation of workers will enter the job market in a few years: Generation Alpha. While Gen Z is a generation grown up with technology as an integral part of their daily lives, this new generation born after 2008 is the first to have never known a world without technology. As these individuals are reaching their early teens, it’s only a matter of a few years when they start entering the job market. When planning out the workforce strategy for the upcoming years, businesses will already need a plan for adapting to their unique needs and preferences.
One of the biggest challenges of employing Generation Alpha workers will be their lack of experience with manual labor. A large number of entry-level jobs are deskless positions that do not require workers to sit at a desk or work on a computer. These jobs often involve manual labor or working with customers or clients in a face-to-face setting. Examples of deskless jobs include retail sales associates, food service workers, janitors, and factory workers.
Deskless jobs are often considered low-skilled, and therefore easier to access for students and fresh graduates without a lot of experience on their CV. But while a large part of the Gen Alpha workforce has grown up with technology at their fingertips, they may not have had the opportunity to learn practical skills or engage in physical labor. This can make it difficult for them to adapt to the demands of deskless jobs, which often require manual dexterity, physical stamina, and the ability to work with their hands.
For them, the low-skilled deskless jobs may not offer the same level of job satisfaction or career advancement opportunities as desk-based jobs. This can make it difficult to retain Generation Alpha workers in these roles, as they may be more interested in pursuing careers that offer more challenging and rewarding work.
Deskless jobs also pose potential for a lack of communication and collaboration – but Gen Alpha employees probably need to be in the know at all times. A weekly team briefing may not be enough to give them the sense of belonging to the team. Deskless employees are often dispersed and may not have the same level of access to technology or communication tools as their desk-based counterparts. This can make it difficult for them to collaborate and work as part of a team, which can impact their productivity and job satisfaction.
To overcome these challenges, employers will need to start providing Generation Alpha workers with the support they need to succeed in deskless jobs. This may include providing hands-on training and mentorship, as well as offering opportunities for career advancement and ongoing learning and development. Employers will also need to invest in technology and communication tools that can help deskless workers stay connected and collaborate with their colleagues, despite their physical separation.
Managing deskless Generation Alpha workers certainly presents its challenges, but with the right training, support, and technology, employers can help these workers adapt to their roles and succeed in their role as part of the deskless workforce. Here are some simple suggestions that even small business owners can consider when recruiting young employees:
- Improve their employee experience with digital technology: Gen Alpha employees have grown up with technology and are used to having access to information and resources at their fingertips. It’s important to provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively, such as mobile devices, employee apps, and communication software. Make sure your team management software comes with a mobile app that supports real time communication.
- Encourage collaboration: Gen Alpha employees value collaboration and teamwork, so it’s important to create a work environment that encourages active communication with other team members. This could include implementing team-building activities or providing opportunities for your employees to work on group projects.
- Offer flexible work options: Gen Alpha employees also value flexibility in their work, so consider offering flexible work options, such as remote work or flexible schedules. Getting to necessary results by certain deadlines is often easier than diligent time tracking and clocking in by 8 AM. Flexibility can help your employees achieve a better work-life balance, and it can also improve their overall satisfaction and productivity.
- Provide ongoing training and development: Gen Alpha employees are always looking to learn and grow, so it’s important to provide ongoing training and development opportunities. This could include offering workshops, seminars, or other learning opportunities that can help your employees develop new skills and advance their careers.
- Foster a positive work culture: Finally, it’s important to create a positive work culture that engages and motivates your Gen Alpha employees. This could include recognizing their achievements, providing opportunities for them to contribute their ideas and feedback, and fostering a sense of community within your organization.