How Businesses Prepare Professionals for Industry 4.0

In addition to understanding the professional profile of the generations, we must analyze characteristics that can add value to a sustainable business model.
Published: September 18, 2018

“Transformation”—this word has never been so widely used and on as many fronts as it has been in recent years. Industry has transformed, and we have seen this through new technologies, redesigned processes, reinvented solutions and extinct areas. Parallel and at the same speed, we have had the evolution of the generations. Just as industries have felt the impacts of technologies, the perspective and profile of professionals who arrived in the industry have transformed as well.

Generation Z, represented by those born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, is characterized by practical, questioning, agile and digital individuals. These days, we perceive the impacts of this transformation in the work environment, with the extinction of some areas and the creation of new opportunities in business.

Organizations, in turn, realize that in order to retain and maintain talent, paradigm shifts are necessary. An assessment of what works and what should be adopted in the workplace is a differential in the competitiveness of the new industry—the digital industry.

In a market in which we have increasingly restless youngsters hungry to learn, and in which the rise of remote work is evident, companies that depend on data and information from clients as IT companies are faced with a new challenge: how to align flexibility with security. Security must permeate a company as a whole, impacting older employees, so that they feel safe and not threatened with the arrival of the new generation, and to ensure the security of all information.

The puzzle now goes beyond understanding the professional profile of each generation. We must analyze how these characteristics can improve and add value by creating a sustainable business model. For this, a drastic change is not necessary. Small practices allow employees of all ages to work aligned with a company’s ultimate goal and deliver measurable long-term results. If your firm has not yet started, here are a few steps to consider or rethink:

Remote Work: Give your collaborator the freedom to work remotely. Some areas—such as sales, for example—do not need to be in the office all the time. What’s more, sales personnel require a lot of time to travel. Get started on creating teams that can work with remote data access, then try out a relay.

Support for Technologies: Evolution has only been possible when technology was present, whether through artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, the cloud, machine learning or some other new innovation. Evaluate which technologies should be combined in each process, such as the provision of backup equipment for those who are working from a distance.

Hierarchical Model: Characteristic of the culture of many companies, it is important to allow employees at all levels to feel free to suggest ideas—and, when in doubt, to question their managers. One way to strengthen this relationship is to offer training and exchange experiences within the work environment.

Have a Clear Purpose: As in any situation and scenario, the purpose must be present, and this will be charged more and more by the new generation. Conveying the values of the company and the business is critical in order to bring your collaborator ever closer, so that your work will be optimized and shaped for this new digital industry.

Aline Gobbi is the head of human resources at Fujitsu Latam.