Soon You May Want to Hang Out at Work with Your Friends

The future of the workforce is about building stronger communities, not talent hunting for the most aggressively competitive employees. Millennials are leading the way in making this change.

Tamar Elkeles:  I think the workforce of the future there's a couple of really key points. I think one is we need to figure out ways to utilize women in more leadership roles across organizations and I think we are at an inflection point around that. I'm thrilled to see that in 2016 there are things like in the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, that there are more women's leadership programs out there. And I do think that diversity and inclusion are a big part of the workforce of the future. In 1995 I did my doctoral dissertation on stereotyping of women in engineering. And I look at that and I say that was 20 years ago. I think today we have huge opportunities, as well as a huge platform for us to be able to change the workforce, to be able to embrace women in more leadership roles. Diversity inclusion is really about perspectives. It's really about having diversity of perspective and diversity of thought. And that is independent of gender, that is independent of race, that is independent of ethnicity. That is really all about making sure that we have diversity of people in the room that have different experiences that come from different places. So, people that have an experience working in an established operation versus people from a startup, people who just graduated from college versus people with 25 years of experience, people from different industries, people from different locations in the world. And I think that's really what makes a great company.

In addition to that I really think that the millennial workforce or the next-generation workforce is really thinking about work differently. It's a give and take. It's an opportunity for an organization to give, and here in Silicon Valley there's a lot of entitlements around these cultures and around these employee bases. There is food everywhere. There is free services everywhere. There is lots of perks and lots of opportunities that other big companies can't offer to their employees. And I think that is changing the game. What we're saying is the workplace is an environment that you want to create. It is not just a place that you come to do your job, it is a place where you come to be social, it's a place when you come with your friends, it's a place where you can come and not only be yourself and do your work but also share with others and be part of a bigger community. And if we look at what happened with social media and with the networking, there's a lot of opportunities today to build communities. And that's what we're going to be doing of the workforce of the future is building communities where people want to work, they want to play and they want to be around those people on a day-to-day basis.

 

The workplace is more than a place to work; it's a social environment, says human resources executive Tamar Elkeles. Companies built by millennials are changing the face of corporate life, taking it away from a competitive, dog-eat-dog atmosphere to one of "diversity inclusion." This means brining people together from all different backgrounds to contribute their unique points of view to find innovative solutions to common problems.

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