Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

Creative Coping

Anne says: As many people across the world will be spending Easter in some form of lockdown, I found this article not only made me smile but also stimulated some new ideas for new projects. Yes, I think my Easter might just have to include some of these coping strategies.

The Washington Post asked readers to send in their coping strategies. There are no surprises that the most popular included baking bread, adopting pets, and solving puzzles. We’ve discussed some of the workplace coping strategies, Jakkii shared some ideas in last week’s Friday Faves, but overall, I think it’s the creativity of people to fight off boredom and solitude that is fascinating. It reminds me of Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus book (if you haven’t read it yet, watch his TED Talk to get the gist) where he talks about people creating LOL Cat images – the creative process when people have some time and the tools. Like daydreaming, we often don’t spend the time thinking differently – perhaps the occasional lockdown, or self-isolation isn’t such a bad experience for our brains, if we use them positively.

What have you been doing? Me? I’ve started urban sketching, using cityscape photos from my collection, looking at the shadows, lines and design in entirely new ways has been like exploring places for the first time. Of course, there’s been some knitting, dog training games and Zoom yoga sessions – but I think the pink hair is tempting, and there’s something around the mouse miniatures that’s attracting me, except I don’t have any mice!

Tell us about your strategies – we’d love to feature some here!

Read: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/interactive/2021/coping-covid-creative-ideas-habits/

4 things Gen Z and Millennials expect from their workplace

Jakkii says: I can’t help but feel conflicted when I see articles that still reference Millennials and what they want or expect from their workplace. Aside from the issues with sweeping generalisations, the oldest Millennials are now 40; if you haven’t figured out what they expect, I don’t know what to tell you.

And yet, here I am sharing this piece from Gallup. Why? Well, because despite my reservations, I still find it interesting! And I think this positioning about why it matters is quite reasonable:

To develop the next generation of organizational leaders, every employer needs to be asking: What do our younger workers want from the workplace?

The four key findings of workplace expectations in these generational groups are:

  1. Above all, Gen Z and Millennials want an employer who cares about their wellbeing.

  2. Gen Z and Millennials want their leaders to be ethical.

  3. Older Millennials want open, transparent leaders.
    Gallup has split this cohort into two, ‘older’ being 1980-1988, and ‘younger’ from 1989.

  4. Gen Z and younger Millennials want leaders who support a diverse and inclusive workplace.

By comparison, Gen X and Boomers are found to have the following top expectations:

  1. The organization’s leadership is ethical.

  2. The organization cares about employees’ wellbeing.

  3. The organization’s financial stability.

They’re really not so dissimilar, but it’s interesting to see organisational financial stability displaced by openness and transparency (older Millennials) and diverse and inclusive workplaces (younger Millennials and Gen Z).

The article goes on to provide some ways you can meet these needs. They include:

  • Start leadership-level conversations that address these four factors in your culture.

  • Coach your managers to communicate and deliver on your organization’s promises.

  • Integrate these themes into every stage of the employee life cycle.

Nothing particularly revolutionary there, but that doesn’t make it bad advice. And none of the expectations should seem out of left field – these are either expectations that go right through to Boomers, or are things many organisations have been talking about for some time, particularly diversity and inclusion, but also how to increase openness and transparency within the organisation as well.

Ultimately, other than just pure interest, I think this is most useful as a piece of validation to things you or your organisation probably know, or think you know, about your people already, and things you’re doing or are planning to do in order to address these expectations and deliver on them in the workplace.

Read: https://www.gallup.com/workplace/336275/things-gen-millennials-expect-workplace.aspx

Friday Fives

Hybrid workplace

Remote work and the digital workplace

Communication, collaboration, engagement, and culture

Community management, moderation and misinformation

Privacy and data

Big Tech

Social media

Extras

April Fool’s: Volkswagen fools media with fake statement on name change to Voltswagen, and a wrap of more 2021 pranks

Things that make you go hmmm: A scientist on the great responsibility of using ancient DNA to rewrite human history

Space: The European Space Agency is developing an autonomous robot to explore the Moon’s caves

Podcast: Nature of Work interview – The new story of work for a living age

Friday (video) playlist: 7 inspiring TED Talks on creativity

Sydney Business Insights: The Future, This Week Podcast

This week: a special episode with Marc Stears on the importance of relationships.

Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.

Our guest this week

Marc Stears’ academic profile

Sydney Policy Lab

Marc’s new book, Out of the Ordinary

The stories this week

04:20 – Out of the Ordinary: How everyday life inspired a nation and how it can again

Listen: https://sbi.sydney.edu.au/the-importance-of-relationships-on-the-future-this-week/


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