Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Five rules for managing digital natives
There is a cultural shift now underway that is transforming the human side of organisations. Digital Immigrants are being replaced in the corporate ranks by digital natives. From human resource and corporate learning to sales, marketing, management and innovation, the tide of change is growing harder to resist. The organisations that stand still in the face of this cultural avalanche will lose top talent. The companies that smartly respond to the shift, will not only gain an edge; they will ensure their survivability.
Social media is playing a major role in shaping how society interacts with world. It is not a passing fad. It’s dominance is here to stay. We’ve witnessed the rise of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. At the same time, we are witnessing the rise of the digital generation.
As ubiquitous as social media is, there are vast differences in how it is being used, and how it is influencing human behaviour. On one side, the digital native. On the other side, the digital immigrant
Digital natives are those persons born during or after the general introduction of digital technology. They have grown up surrounded by and immersed in digital technologies, such as the Internet, mobile phones, digital music and online social networks.
So what does that make everyone else? Brace yourself. If you are not a Digital native you are a digital immigrant. In other words, you were born before the widespread proliferation of digital technologies and you adopted at some stage in your life.
Employees now routinely expect their employers to provide more self-service work tools to mirror those they use in the rest of their lives. In fact, even the term “work-life balance” is now dated. In its place has evolved the phrase “work–life integration,” wherein we acknowledge the blending of the two. This why every organisation that cares about innovation, business competitiveness and sustainability, must understand what it takes to keep digital natives at least productive, and ideally, happy.
Why? Employees are expecting and increasingly demanding a greater voice in how, where and when they work. More and more, the preferences being expressed are for a workplace that is more personalised, mobile, and social.
The good news is that digital natives can infuse companies with a new work culture. They can accelerate the transformation of outmoded processes and systems. They can bring new technological skills and fresh thinking that can be harnessed to improve workplace efficiency and to significantly increase productivity.
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