Over the past 10 years, the consumption of technology has become more accessible than ever. The workspace has shifted from being heavily reliant on the fax machine to now allowing people to be in different parts of the world, yet flawlessly connected to their company’s network.

The result of these technological advancements – such as the growth of mobility, cloud and big data – is the evolution of the Next Generation Workforce, which has immense opportunities for businesses and interested candidates.

For example, considering that 74% of millennials want flexible work schedules, the Next Generation Workforce will seek remote collaboration more than ever before. Companies that will succeed at recruiting and retaining these candidates will be those that practice flexibility through the use of technology, while simultaneously showing employees that the work they are doing is both impactful and valuable.

Tailoring to the interests of these future candidates is an investment that companies must think about now – especially because by 2025, millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce. Employers who take new approaches to management, offering flexible benefits and providing effective employee retirement planning strategies will benefit from a three-generation workforce that is engaged, energized and experienced.

Midmarket Next Generation Workforce Blog Image

However, as the Next Generation Workforce evolves, there are certain challenges businesses must overcome to successfully excite and attract top talent. Here’s a closer look at those challenges – especially for those in the midmarket industries – and what they can do today to remain competitive and innovative in a rapidly changing landscape.

Challenge #1: Develop a Dynamic Environment and a Connectivity-First Culture

New graduates bring in a breath of fresh air to any business. Yet they’ve been raised with access to applications and social network at their fingertips, so they are demanding much more from their environment.

Businesses must empower these candidates to control their own work schedules and work locations by equipping them with the resources to work effectively from any location, at any time, on any device.

Challenge #2: Embrace True Mobility

The Next Generation Workforce wants to experience new parts of the world and different industries simultaneously. In one word, this workforce wants more mobility. A traditional 9-5 desk job just won’t cut it.

To prepare to meet this demand, companies need to stay flexible enough to hire employees that work for several different companies or industries at the same time. It will be the best employees that think like this, so to retain them, businesses will need to think that way as well.

Companies will need to leverage the power of true mobility to connect with this top-tier talent.

Challenge #3: Keep the Excitement Alive

The Next Generation Workforce needs to feel that they are making a difference everyday. As such, they need to be empowered in a different way. They need to be trusted in a different way. They need to have access to resources and information in a different way.

By inspiring employees to use emerging tech solutions to improve their productivity and workplace, businesses can keep the excitement alive for this changing workforce. One excellent example is how midmarket businesses are using video collaboration to create flexible workspaces, allowing people to connect, share, and collaborate no matter the size of their organization.

I’m confident that as companies solve these challenges through key technology solutions, they will be able to meet the demands of the Next Generation Workforce and reap the competitive advantages of retaining top talent.

To learn more about how Cisco is helping midmarket businesses prepare for the workforce of the future, visit our Midsize website.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @gmackint and @Cisco_Channels. Join the conversation, #CiscoMidsize.


Gordon Mackintosh

Director, SMB Sales

WW Partner Organization