Trends affecting human resources

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Trends affecting human resources

Trends affecting human resources

For several years now, research was conducted on fundamental trends, or “Mega-trends” that will affect businesses over the next twenty years.  By comparing these findings, six trends were identified that will affect human resources in the years to come.

1. The big generation gap

The generation between 20 and 35 years of age, known as generation Y, or the “Millennials,” will represent half of the workforce by 2020 and three quarters by 2025. Naturally, companies must understand the specific expectations of the young people composing this new generation: they are committed to companies whose raison d’être they share; they enjoy working in teams, having fun, and communities;  they want to play an active role in their own development; they are not loyal and  dream of creating their own start-up.      

Illustration 1: The big generation gap

Generation Y-the Millennials-will represent half of the workforce by 2020 and three-quarters by 2025

Want to be empowered and seek challenge

a)   Empowered to get things done   b)   Appetite for challenge

Enjoy teamwork and communities

 a)   Collaborative  b)  Recognize communities of talent

Want continuous feedback

a)  Expect their managers to give them immediate feedback; demand feedback

b)  Want responses or suggestions in every domain (performance, learning, career development, etc.)

Want to play an active role in their own development; are “learning workers”

  1. Don’t understand the concept of career paths/layers
  2. Count on  themselves to define their own development path
  3. Context the value of university degrees and higher education
  4. See themselves more as “learning workers” than knowledge workers”

Are committed to companies whose raison d’être they share

  1. Commit to companies whose raison d’être they share
  2. Aren’t satisfied with current compensation models

Mix personal and professional life

  1. Don’t compartmentalize personal and professional life
  2. The issue is no longer “work-life balance” but integrating the two

Aren’t loyal and dream of creating their own start-up

  1. Most have worked at their current company less than three years
  2. Would like to create their own business

Faced with upcoming generations, their elders remain very active, however, and are prolonging their working life increasingly.

Which raises two questions:

1. On what points do the old and new generations coincide, and on what points do they differ or even diametrically oppose one another?

2. On what points do new generations (Y and Z) represent radically different employee profiles, forcing HR to confront the immense challenge of reinventing its vision, approach and communities?


Source: Oliver Wyman analyses,, BNPP ‘La Grande Invazion,’ (The Great Invazion) The Boson Project

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