Robinson’s focus for the audience here was auto techs, but the truths of his research extend far beyond the service lane.
Health care in this country is understaffed by about a million workers, he said, and 97 percent of hotels have staffing shortages.
The changing demographics and economics also affect manufacturers, both on the factory floor and with the jobs that have traditionally been done in offices.
Just look at the push and pull over General Motors’ efforts to include regular office shifts under its “Work Appropriately” umbrella. It was on, it was off; now it’s on again, but not until late January.
Robinson asks us to think about the experience of a 25-year-old white-collar worker who has spent the bulk of their career working from home.
While some of us graybeards may recall the benefits of sitting next to your peers and conversations sparked at the office coffee pot, Generation Z workers might sincerely question how much a company values them if it insists on limiting where she or he works — and effectively where they can live.
“You just don’t have the ability as an employer to mandate to people how they’re going to work,” Robinson told me on the “Daily Drive” podcast.
Which is not to say that they can’t be persuaded to come to the office — but there has to be a reason that makes sense to them.
Is there training or specific work that is going to help their career? Will there be interactions that add meaning to their work? Can they still have the flexibility to deal with family emergencies without being shamed or hassled?
Answer yes to one or more of those questions, and you may get the buy-in you need. If not, that’s three strikes and you’re out — of the best young workers.