Firm of the Future: Workforce of the Future

Inspired employees are up to three times as productive as disengaged employees, but it is more difficult to inspire and motivate employees than it has been in the past. Eric Garton, who leads Bain's Global Organization practice, outlines how managers can overcome these barriers and create an inspiring working environment

Read the Bain Brief: The Firm of the Future

Read the transcript below.

ERIC GARTON: So we know the role of the manager of the future is going to fundamentally change. So is the role of the workforce. We're going to have to create environments that are low friction environments that have the ability to inspire our employee populations. Now, we know that inspired employees are up to three times as productive as dissatisfied or disengaged employees. That's the good news. The bad news is, it's a whole lot harder to inspire employees today than it has been in the past.

This is where, I think, we have something I think of as kind of the two paycheck dilemma. At the top of our talent pyramid, we have highly mobile, highly trained, capable, millennial employees who are looking for more than a paycheck. Why they work, how they work, where they work, is fundamentally different than previous generations. And if we fail to meet those needs they have, they're happy to vote with their feet. In fact, we see that millennial employees tend to have almost twice as many jobs in the first decade of their career as do previous generations.

And then, we have the rest of our talent pyramid, which faces a whole different type of problem. Here, the forces of automation, virtualization, digitization, outsourcing and the slowing of growth in general has created less opportunity. Here we have people that are hostages to a paycheck. And now, the CHRO, we think of them as the chief energy officer, is going to have to find creative ways to inspire, engage and motivate this entire, much more complex workforce. And HR as a function is going to have to find ways to design jobs that are intrinsically motivating and shape cultures that are intrinsically inspiring.

Read the Bain Brief: The Firm of the Future