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: Review the employment challenge in the digital era in Chapter 11. Reflect on the various challenges are present in the digital era. Will things get better or more complicated as times goes on? Explain. What are some methods to assimilate new generations into the workforce to think about competitive advantage?



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I nteg r atin g G ener ation Y
E mployees to A cceler ate
C o mpe titi v e A dvantag e
This chapter focuses on Gen Y employees who are also known as
“ digital natives” and “ millennials.” Gen Y employees possess the
attributes to assist companies in transforming their workforce to
meet the accelerated change in the competitive landscape. Most
executives across industries recognize that digital technologies are
the most powerful variable to maintaining and expanding company
markets. Gen Y employees provide a natural fit for dealing with
emerging digital technologies. However, success with integrating
Gen Y employees is contingent upon baby boomer and Gen X management to adapt new leadership philosophies and procedures suited
to meet the expectations and needs of these new workers. Ignoring
the unique needs of Gen Y employees will likely result in an incongruent organization that suffers high turnover of young employees
who will seek more entrepreneurial environments.
I established in Chapter 10 that digital transformation is at the
core of change and competitive survival in the twenty-first century. Chapter 10 did not address the changes in personnel that
are quickly becoming major issues at today’ s global firms. While I
offered changes to organizational structures, I did not address the
mixture of different generations that are at the fabric of any typical
organization. This chapter is designed to discuss how these multiple
generations need to “ learn” how to work together to form productive
and effective organizations that can compete in the digital economy.
Furthermore, this chapter will address how access to human capital
will change in the future and the different types of relationships
that individuals will have with employers. For example, the “ gig”
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economy will use non-traditional outside workers who will provide
sources of talent for shorter-term employment needs. Indeed, the
gig economy will require HR and IT leaders to form new and intricate employee relationships.
As discussed in Chapter 10, companies need to transform their
business from analogue to one that uses digital technologies. Such
transformation requires moving from a transactional relationship with customers to one that is more “ interactional” (Ernst &
Young, 2012). Completing an analogue to digital transformation,
while essential for a business to survive in the twenty-first century,
is difficult to accomplish. Responsive organizational dynamism
(ROD) showed us that successful adaptation of new digital technologies requires strategic integration and cultural assimilation of
the people that comprise the organization. As stated earlier, these
components of ROD can be categorized as the essential roles and
responsibilities of the organization that are necessary to utilize
new technological inventions that can strategically be integrated
within a business entity. The purpose here is to explore why Gen
Y employees need to be integrated with baby boomers and Gen X
staff to effectively enhance the success of digital transformation
The Employment Challenge in the Digital Era
Capgemini and MIT (2013) research shows that organizations need
new operating models to meet the demands of a digital‑driven era.
Digital tools have provided leaders with ways to connect at an unprecedented scale. Digital technology has allowed companies to invade
other spaces previously protected by a business’ s “ asset specificities”
(Tushman & Anderson, 1997), which are defined as advantages
enjoyed by companies because of their location, product access, and
delivery capabilities. Digital technologies allow those specificities to
be neutralized and thus, change the previous competitive balances
among market players. Furthermore, digital technology accelerates this process, meaning that changes in market share occur very
quickly. The research offers five key indicators that support successful
digital transformation in a firm:
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1. A company’ s strategic vision is only as effective as the people
behind it. Thus, winning the minds of all levels of the organization is required.
2. To become digital is to be digital. Companies must have a
“ one-team culture” and raise their employees’ digital IQ.
3. A company must address the scarcity of talented resources
and look more to using Gen Y individuals because they have
a more natural adaptation to take on the challenges of digital
4. Resistant managers are impediments to progress and can
actually stop digital transformation.
5. Digital leadership starts at the top.
As stated in Chapter 10, Eisenhardt and Bourgeouis (1988) first
defined dynamic changing markets as being “ high-velocity.” Their
research shows that high-velocity conditions existed in the technology industry during the early 1980s in Silicon Valley, in the United
States. They found that competitive advantage was highly dependent
on the quality of people that worked at those firms. Specifically, they
concluded that workers who were capable of dealing with change and
less subjected to a centralized totalitarian management structure outperformed those that had more traditional hierarchical organizational
structures. While “ high-velocity” during the 1980s was unusual, digital disruption in the twenty-first century has made it a market norm.
The combination of evolving digital business drivers with accelerated and changing customer demands has created a business revolution
that best defines the imperative of the strategic integration component
of ROD. The changing and accelerated way businesses deal with their
customers and vendors requires a new strategic integration to become
a reality, rather than remain a concept without action. Most experts
see digital technology as the mechanism that will require business
realignment to create new customer experiences. The driving force
behind this realignment emanates from digital technologies, which
serve as the principle accelerator of the change in transactions across
all business units. The general need to optimize human resources
forces organizations to rethink and to realign business processes, in
order to gain access to new business markets, which are weakening
the existing “ asset specificities” of the once dominant market leaders.
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Gen Y Population Attributes
Gen Y or digital natives are those people who are accustomed to the
attributes of living in a digital world and are 18– 35 years old. Gen Y
employees are more comfortable with accelerated life changes, particularly change brought on by new technologies. Such individuals,
according to a number of commercial and academic research studies
(Johnson Controls, 2010; Capgemini, 2013; Cisco, 2012; Saxena &
Jain, 2012), have attributes and expectations in the workplace that
support environments that are flexible, offer mobility, and provide
collaborative and unconventional relationships. Specifically, millennial workers
• want access to dedicated team spaces where they can have
emotional engagements in a socialized atmosphere;
• require their own space; that is, are not supportive of a “ hoteling” existence where they do not have a permanent office or
• need a flexible life/work balance;
• prefer a workplace that supports formal and informal collaborative engagement.
Research has further confirmed that 79% of Gen Y workers prefer mobile jobs, 40% want to drive to work, and female millennials
need more flexibility at work than their male counterparts. As a result
of this data, businesses will need to compete to recruit and develop
skilled Gen Y workers who now represent 25% of the workforce. In
India, while Gen Y represents more than 50% of the working population, the required talent needed by businesses is extremely scarce.
Advantages of Employing Millennials to Support Digital Transformation
As stated, Gen Y adults appear to have many identities and capabilities
that fit well in a digital-driven business world. Indeed, Gen Y people are consumers, colleagues, employees, managers, and innovators
(Johnson Controls, 2010). They possess attributes that align with the
requirements to be an entrepreneur, a person with technology savvy
and creativity, someone who works well in a mobile environment, and
is non-conformant enough to drive change in an organization. Thus,
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the presence of Gen Y personnel can help organizations to restrategize their competitive position and to retain key talent (Saxena &
Jain, 2012). Furthermore, Gen Y brings a more impressive array of
academic credentials than their predecessors.
Most important is Gen Y’ s ability to deal better with market
change— which inevitably affects organizational change. That is, the
digital world market will constantly require changes in organizational
structure to accommodate its consumer needs. A major reason for Gen
Y’ s willingness to change is its natural alignment with a company’ s
customers. Swadzba (2010) posits that we are approaching the end of
what he called the “ work era” and moving into a new age based on
consumption. Millennials are more apt to see the value of their jobs
from their own consumption needs. Thus, they see employment as
an act of consumption (Jonas & Kortenius, 2014). Gen Y employees
therefore allow employers to acquire the necessary talent that can lead
to better consumer reputation, reduced turnover of resources and, ultimately, increased customer satisfaction (Bakanauskiené et al., 2011).
Yet another advantage of Gen Y employees is their ability to transform
organizations that operate on a departmental basis into one that is
based more on function; an essential requirement in a digital economy.
Integration of Gen Y with Baby Boomers and Gen X
The prediction is that 76 million baby boomers (born 1946– 1964)
and Gen X workers (born 1965– 1984) will be retiring over the next
15 years. The question for many corporate talent executives is how to
manage the transition in a major multigenerational workforce. Baby
boomers alone still inhabit the most powerful leadership positions in
the world. Currently, the average age of CEOs is 56, and 65% of all
corporate leaders are baby boomers. Essentially, corporations need to
produce career paths that will be attractive to millennials. Thus, the
older generation needs to
• Acknowledge some of their preconceived perceptions of current work ethics that are simply not relevant in today’ s complex environments.
• Allow Gen Y to escalate in ranks to satisfy their ambitions
and sense of entitlement.
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• Implement more flexible work schedules, offer telecommuting, and develop a stronger focus on social responsibility.
• Support more advanced uses of technology, especially those
used by Gen Yers in their personal lives.
• Employ more mentors to help Gen Y employees to better
understand the reasons for existing constraints in the organizations where they work.
• Provide more complex employee orientations, more timely
personnel reviews, and in general more frequent feedback
needed by Gen Y individuals.
• Establish programs that improve the verbal communications
skills of Gen Y workers that are typically more comfortable
with nonverbal text-based methods of communication.
• Implement more continual learning and rotational programs
that support a vertical growth path for younger employees.
In summary, it is up to the baby boomer and Gen X leaders to
modify their styles of management to fit the needs of their younger
Gen Y employees. The challenge to accomplish this objective is complicated, given the wide variances on how these three generations
think, plan, take risks, and most important, learn.
Designing the Digital Enterprise
Zogby completed an interactive poll of 4,811 people on perceptions
of different generations. 42% of the respondents stated that baby
boomers would be remembered for their focus on consumerism and
self-indulgence. Gen Y, on the other hand, are considered more selfinterested, entitled narcissists who want to spend all their time posting “ selfies” to Facebook. However, other facts offer an expanded
perception of these two generations, as shown in Table 11.1
Research completed by Ernst and Young (2013) offers additional
comparisons among the three generations as follows:
1. Gen Y individuals are moving into management positions
faster due to retirements, lack of corporate succession planning, and their natural ability to use technology at work.
Table 11.2 shows percentage comparisons between 2008
and 2013.
Table 11.1
Baby Boomers versus Gen Y
Married later and less children
Spend lavishly
More active and selfless
Fought against social injustice, supported civil
rights, and defied the Vietnam War
Had more higher education access
Not as aligned to political parties
More civically engaged
Socially active
Cheerfully optimistic
More concerned with quality of life than
material gain
The acceleration of growth to management positions among
Gen Y individuals can be further illuminated in Table 11.3 by
comparing the prior five-year period from 2003 to 2007.
2. While responders of the survey felt Gen X were better
equipped to manage than Gen Y, the number of Gen Y managers is expected to double by 2020 due to continued retirements. Another interesting result of the research relates to
Gen Y expectations from their employers when they become
managers. Specifically Gen Y managers expect (1) an opportunity to have a mentor, (2) to receive sponsorship, (3) to have
more career-related experiences, and (4) to receive training to
build their professional skills.
3. Seventy-five percent of respondents that identified themselves
as managers agree that managing the multiple generations is
a significant challenge. This was attributed to different work
expectations and the lack of comfort with younger employees
managing older employees.
Table 11.4 provides additional differences among the three
Table 11.2
Management Roles 2008– 2013
Baby boomer (ages 49– 67)
Gen X (ages 33– 48)
Gen Y (18– 32)
Table 11.3
Management Roles 2003– 2007
Baby boomer (ages 49– 67)
Gen X (ages 33– 48)
Gen Y (18– 32)
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Table 11.4 Baby Boomer, Gen X and Gen Y Compared
Seek employment in large
established companies that
provide dependable
Established companies no
longer a guarantee for
lifetime employment. Many
jobs begin to go offshore.
Process of promotion still
Process of promotion is well
hierarchical, but based more
defined, hierarchical and
structured, eventually leading on skills and individual
accomplishments. Master’s
to promotion and higher
degree now preferred for
earnings—concept of
many promotions.
waiting your turn.
Undergraduate degree
Undergraduate degree required
preferred but not mandatory.
for most professional job
Plan career preferably with one Employees begin to change
jobs more often, given growth
company and retire.
in the technology industry,
Acceptance of a gradual
and opportunities to increase
process of growth that was
compensation and accelerate
slow to change. Successful
promotion by switching jobs.
employees assimilated into
existing organizational
structures by following the
Entrepreneurism was seen as Corporate executives’
compensation dramatically
an external option for those
increases, no longer requiring
individuals desiring wealth
starting businesses as the
and independence and
basis for wealth.
willing to take risks.
Seek multiple experiences with
heavy emphasis on social
good and global experiences.
Re-evaluation of offshoring
Less patience with hierarchical
promotion policies. More
reliance on predictive
analytics as the basis for
decision making.
More focus on specific skills.
Multiple strategies developed
on how to meet shortages of
talent. Higher education is
expensive and concerns
increase about the value of
graduate knowledge and
Emergence of a “gig” economy,
and the rise of multiple
employment relationships
Entrepreneurism promoted
in Higher Education as the
basis for economic growth,
given the loss of jobs in
the U.S.
Assimilating Gen Y Talent from Underserved
and Socially Excluded Populations
The outsourcing of jobs outside of local communities to countries with
lower employment costs has continued to grow during the early part
of the twenty-first century. This phenomenon has led to significant
social and economic problems, especially in the United States and
in Western Europe as jobs continue to migrate to foreign countries
where there are lower labor costs and education systems that provide
more of the skills needed by corporations. Most impacted by the loss
of jobs have been the underserved or socially excluded Gen Y youth
populations. Indeed, the European average for young adult unemployment (aged 15– 25) in 2013 was nearly 25%, almost twice the
rate for their adult counterparts (Dolado, 2015). Much of the loss of
local jobs can be attributed to expansion of the globalized economy,
which has been accelerated by continued technological advancements
(Wabike, 2014). Thus, the effects of technology gains have negatively
impacted efforts toward social inclusion and social equality.
Langer, in 2003, established an organization called Workforce
Opportunity Services (WOS), as a means of utilizing a form of action
research using adult development theory to solve employment problems
caused by outsourcing. Langer’s approach is based on the belief that
socially excluded youth can be trained and prepared for jobs in areas such
as information technology that would typically be outsourced to lower
labor markets. WOS has developed a talent-finding model that has successfully placed over 1400 young individuals in such jobs. Results of over
12 years of operation and research have shown that talented youth in
disadvantaged communities do exist and that such talent can economically and socially contribute to companies (Langer, 2013). The following
section describes the Langer Workforce Maturity Arc (LWMA), presents data on its effectiveness as a transformative learning instrument,
and discusses how the model can be used as an effective way of recruiting Gen Y talent from underserved and socially excluded populations.
Langer Workforce Maturity Arc
The Langer Workforce Maturity Arc (LWMA) was developed to help
evaluate socially excluded youth preparation to succeed in the workplace.
The LWMA, initially known as the Inner-City Workplace Literacy Arc:
charts the progression of underserved or ‘ excluded’ individuals along
defined stages of development in workplace culture and skills in relation
to multiple dimensions of workplace literacy such as cognitive growth
and self-reflection. When one is mapped in relation to the other (workplace culture in relation to stages of literacy assimilation), an Arc is
created. LWMA traces the assimilation of workplace norms, a form of
individual development. (Langer, 2003: 18)
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The LWMA addresses one of the major challenges confronting an
organization’s HR group: to find talent from diverse local populations
that can successfully respond to evolving business norms, especially those
related to electronic and digital technologies. The LWMA provides a
method for measuring the assimilation of workplace cultural norms and
thus, can be used to meet the mounting demands of an increasingly
global, dynamic, and multicultural workplace. Furthermore, if organizations are to attain acceptable quality of work from diverse employees,
assimilation of socially or economically excluded populations must be
evaluated based on (1) if and how individuals adopt workplace cultural
norms, and (2) how they become integrated into the business (Langer,
2003). Understanding the relationship between workplace assimilation and its development can provide important information on how
to secure the work ethic, dignity, solidarity, culture, cognition, and
self-esteem of individuals from disadvantaged communities, and their
salient contributions to the digital age.
Theoretical Constructs of the LWMA
The LWMA encompasses sectors of workplace literacy and stages of lit­
eracy development , and the arc charts business acculturation requirements as they pertain to disadvantaged young adult learners. The
relationship between workplace assimilation and literacy is a challenging subject. A specific form of literacy can be defined as a social
practice that requires specific skills and knowledge (Rassool, 1999).
In this instance, workplace literacy addresses the effects of workplace
practices and culture on the social experiences of people in their workday, as well as their everyday lives. We need to better understand how
individual literacy in the workplace, which subordinates individuality
to the demands of an organization, is formulated for diverse groups
(Newman, 1999). Most important, are the ways in which one learns
how to behave effectively in the workplace— the knowledge, skill, and
attitude sets required by business generally, as well as by a specific
organization. This is particularly important in disadvantaged communities, which are marginalized from the experiences of more affluent
communities in terms of access to high-quality education, information technologies, job opportunities, and workplace socialization. For
example, Friedman et al. (2014) postulate that the active involvement
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of parents in the lives of their children greatly impacts a student’ s
chances of success. It is the absence of this activism that contributes
to a system of social exclusion of youth. Prior to determining what
directions to pursue in educational pedagogies and infrastructures, it
is necessary to understand what workplace literacy requirements are
present and how they can be developed for disadvantaged youth in the
absence of the active support from families and friends.
The LWMA assesses individual development in six distinct sectors
of workplace literacy:
1. Cognition : Knowledge and skills required to learn and complete job duties in the business world, including computational
skills; ability to read, comprehend, and retain written information quickly; remembering and executing oral instructions;
and critically examining data.
2. Technology : An aptitude for operating various electronic and
digital technologies.
3. Business culture : Knowledge and practice of proper etiquette
in the workplace including dress codes, telephone and in-person interactions, punctuality, completing work and meeting
deadlines, conflict resolution, deference and other protocols
associated with supervisors and hierarchies.
4. Socio-economic values : Ability to articulate and act upon mainstream business values, which shape the work ethic. Such values include independent initiative, dedication, integrity, and
personal identification with career goals. Values are associated
with a person’ s appreciation for intellectual life, cultural sensitivity to others, and sensitivity for how others view their role
in the workplace. Individuals understand that they should
make decisions based on principles and evidence rather than
personal interests.
5. Community and ethnic solidarity : Commitment to the education and professional advancement of persons in ethnic minority groups and underserved communities. Individuals can use
their ethnicity to explore the liberating capacities offered in
the workplace without sacrificing their identity (i.e., they can
assimilate workplace norms without abandoning cultural,
ethnic, or self-defining principles and beliefs).
6. Self-esteem : The view that personal and professional success
work in tandem, and the belief in one’ s capacity to succeed
in both arenas. This includes a devotion to learning and selfimprovement. Individuals with high self-esteem are reflective
about themselves and their potential in business. They accept
the realities of the business world in which they work and
can comfortably confirm their business disposition, independently of others’ valuations.
Each stage in the course of an individual’ s workplace development
reflects an underlying principle that guides the process of adopting
workplace norms and behavior. The LWMA is a classificatory scheme
that identifies progressive stages in the assimilated uses of workplace
literacy. It reflects the perspective that an effective workplace participant is able to move through increasingly complex levels of thinking
and to develop independence of thought and judgment (Knefelkamp,
1999). The profile of an individual who assimilates workplace norms
can be characterized in five developmental stages:
1. Concept recognition : The first stage represents the capacity to
learn, conceptualize, and articulate key issues related to the
six sectors of workplace literacy. Concept recognition provides
the basis for becoming adaptive to all workplace requirements.
2. Multiple workplace perspectives : This refers to the ability to
integrate points of view from different colleagues at various
levels of the workplace hierarchy. By using multiple perspectives, the individual is in a position to augment his or her
workplace literacy.
3. Comprehension of business processes : Individuals increase their
understanding of workplace cooperation, competition, and
advancement as they build on their recognition of business concepts and workplace perspectives. They increasingly
understand the organization as a system of interconnected
4. Workplace competence : As assimilation and competence increase,
the individual learns not only on how to perform a particular job adequately but how to conduct oneself professionally
within the workplace and larger business environment.
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5. Professional independence : Individuals demonstrate the ability
to employ all sectors of workplace literacy to compete effectively in corporate labor markets. They obtain more responsible jobs through successful interviewing and workplace
performance and demonstrate leadership abilities, leading to
greater independence in career pursuits. Professionally independent individuals are motivated and can use their skills for
creative purposes (Langer, 2009).
The LWMA is a rubric that charts an individual’ s development
across the six sectors of workplace literacy. Each cell within the matrix
represents a particular stage of development relative to that sector of
workplace literacy, and each cell contains definitions that can be used
to identify where a particular individual stands in his or her development of workplace literacy.
and Ethnic
The LWMA and Action Research
While the LWMA serves as a framework for measuring growth,
the model also uses reflection-with-action methods, a component
of action research theory, as the primary vehicle for assisting young
adults to develop the necessary labor market skills to compete for a
job and inevitably achieve some level of professional independence
(that is, the ability to work for many employers because of achieving required market skills). Reflection-with-action is used as a rubric
for a variety of methods, involving reflection in relation to learning
activities. Reflection has received a number of definitions from different sources in the literature. Here, “ reflection-with-action” carries the
resonance of Schö n’ s (1983) twin constructs: “ reflection-on-action”
and “ reflection-in-action,” which emphasize (respectively) reflection in retrospect and reflection to determine what actions to take in
the present or immediate future (Langer, 2003). Dewey (1933) and
Hullfish and Smith (1978) also suggest that the use of reflection supports an implied purpose. Their formulation suggests the possibility
of reflection that is future oriented; what we might call “ reflection-toaction.” These are methodological orientations covered by the rubric.
Reflection-with-action is critical to the educational and workplace
assimilation process of Gen Y. While many people reflect, it is in
being reflective that people bring about “ an orientation to their everyday lives” (Moon, 2000). The LWMA incorporates reflection-withaction methods as fundamental strategies for facilitating development
and assimilation. These methods are also implemented interactively,
for example in mentoring, reflective learning journals, and group discussions. Indeed, as stated by De Jong (2014), “ Social exclusion is
multi-dimensional, ranging from unemployment, barriers to education and health care, and marginalized living circumstances” (p. 94).
Ultimately, teaching socially excluded youth to reflect-with-action is
the practice that will help them mature across the LWMA stages
and inevitably, achieve levels of inclusion in the labor market and in
Implications for New Pathways for Digital Talent
The salient implications of the LWMA, as a method of discovering and managing disadvantaged Gen Y youth in communities,
can be categorized across three frames: demographic shifts in talent
resources, economic sustainability and integration and trust among
vested local interest groups.
Demographic Shifts in Talent Resources
The LWMA can be used as a predictive analytic tool for capturing
and cultivating the abilities in the new generation of digital natives
from disadvantaged local communities. This young talent has the
advantage of more exposure to technologies, which senior workers
had to learn later in their careers. This puts them ahead of the curve
with respect to basic digital skills. Having the capacity to employ talent locally and provide incentives for these individuals to advance can
alleviate the significant strain placed on firms who suffer from high
turnover in outsourced positions. Investing in viable Gen Y underserved youth can help firms close the skills gap that is prevalent in the
emerging labor force.
Economic Sustainability
As globalization ebbs and flows, cities need to establish themselves
as global centers, careful not to slip into market obsolescence, especially when facing difficulties in labor force supply chains. In order to
alleviate the difficulty in supplying industry-ready professionals to a
city only recently maturing into the IT-centric business world, firms
need to adapt to an “ on-demand” gig approach. The value drawn from
this paradigm lies in its cyclical nature. By obtaining localized human
capital at a lower cost, firms can generate a fundable supply chain of
talent and diversity as markets change over time.
Integration and Trust
Porter and Kramer (2011) postulate that companies need to formulate
a new method of integrating business profits and societal responsibilities. They state, “ the solution lies in the principle of shared value,
which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value
for society by addressing its needs and challenges” (p. 64). Porter and
Kramer suggest that companies need to alter corporate performance
to include social progress. The LWMA provides the mechanism, theory, and measurement that is consistent with this direction and provides the vehicle that establishes a shared partnership of trust among
business, education, and community needs. Each of the interested
parties experiences progress toward its financial and social objectives.
Specifically, companies are able to attract diverse and socially excluded
local talent, and have the constituents trained specifically for its needs
and for an economic return that fits its corporate models. As a result,
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the community adds jobs, which reduces crime rates and increases tax
revenue. The funding corporation then establishes an ecosystem that
provides a shared value of performance that underserved and excluded
youth bring to the business.
Global Implications for Sources of Talent
The increasing social exclusion of Gen Y youth is a growing problem in almost every country. Questions remain about how to establish
systemic solutions that can create sustainable and scalable programs
that provide equity in access to education for this population. This
access to education is undoubtedly increasing employability, which
indirectly contributes to better citizenship for underserved youth.
Indeed, there is a widening gap between the “ haves” and the “ havenots” throughout the world. Firms can use tools like the LWMA to
provide a model that can improve educational attainment of underserved youth by establishing skill-based certificates with universities,
coupled with a different employment-to-hire model. The results have
shown that students accelerate in these types of programs and ultimately, find more success in labor market assimilation. The data suggests that traditional degree programs that require full-time study at
university as the primary preparation for labor market employment
may not be the most appropriate approach to solving the growing
social inequality issue among youth.
This chapter has made the argument that Gen Y employees are “ digital natives” who have the attributes to assist companies to transform
their workforce and meet the accelerated change in the competitive
landscape. Organizations today need to adapt their staff to operate
under the auspices of ROD by creating processes that can determine
the strategic value of new emerging technologies and establish a culture that is more “ change ready.” Most executives across industries
recognize that digital technologies are the most powerful variable to
maintaining and expanding company markets.
Gen Y employees provide a natural fit for dealing with emerging digital technologies. However, success with integrating Gen Y
employees is contingent upon baby boomer and Gen X management adapting new leadership philosophies and procedures that are
suited to meet the expectations and needs of millennials. Ignoring the
unique needs of Gen Y employees will likely result in an incongruent
organization that suffers high turnover of young employees who will
ultimately seek a more entrepreneurial environment. Firms should
consider investing in non-traditional Gen Y youth from underserved
and socially excluded populations as alternate sources of talent.

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