Generation Mobile

Are You ‘GenMobile’? Why it will Produce Top Business Leaders

This ageless demographic is online everywhere

Is global mobility — the way people and companies are moving around the world for employment and business — rendering labels or categorizations irrelevant?  All of us, Gen-Xers, millennials and even Baby Boomers, have become more mobile, thanks to technology that allows us to work with one foot locally and another foot abroad or anywhere with increasing greater ease.

The one category global mobility specialists should look at then is the emerging GenMobile, Gen Mobiler or Generation Mobile who, like millennials, take to technology like duck to water.

Like Gen-Xers, they can handle global assignments with the ease and familiarity of one who seems born to it. They have the cultural sensitivity of the traditional expatriate executives, bolstered by the flexibility and youthful vigor of the adventure-seeking assignee.

Rapid technological changes certainly gives them impetus to be productive everywhere and this will continue if the world remains open to the best talents out there. Many of them feel at home in a more GenMobile world.

And if recent studies prove correct, GenMobile will become the gene pool that will give birth to the future leaders of an organization. Many of them, in fact, are driving the business, energy, and direction in their workplaces right now.

GenMobile is characterized by their affinity to use the internet and mobile devices to do their job. They also prefer flexible work arrangements and output-resulted work instead of rigid time-and-place-bound structures.

Their predecessors are the telecommuters and the work-at-home employees or contract workers. According to a Small Biz Trends survey, 86 percent of them own two mobile devices; 64 percent have three, and 39 percent can claim they use four or more.

What is surprising about the GenMobile is that it is an ageless demographic. While the 20-to-35-something millennials compose a huge part of it, many fortysomething to fiftysomething managers and executives count themselves as GenMobilers.

Global mobility specialists can nurture the gifts, potentials, and career aspirations of GenMobile by doing the following:

  • Allowing them to be more flexible in their work situation is a sign of trust that can actually motivate them to be more productive. Just use a project management software to keep track of the work’s progress. Set a regular meeting time for the two of you; chances are it will be more of virtual than personal. Set expectations as to when you want updates – daily, weekly, or bi-weekly. Leave the method of reporting to them. No need to worry if they will do so; you might actually find yourself inundated by their messages through email, social media, and IMs. You might feel their presence more than if they were actually working beside you in the next cubicle.
  • Optimize their skill in mobility to enhance productivity in the workplace. Not everyone in the office can be tech geniuses, but GenMobile can actually help you make your internet-based activities more productive. They can show your other staff how to turn social media from an online gabbing session into an efficient marketing tool. They can teach you how to maximize Skype meetings to include a greater number of people while making every minute count.

Your GenMobile assignee might even surprise you by forecasting global issues that will affect the organization long before you read it on the news. Or he might come up with assignee-helpful companies like California Corporate Housing in case you need to find suitable accommodations for your new hires. GenMobile is not omniscient. It’s just that their constant connection to the internet lets them get wind of information before this enters public awareness.

According to Thomson Reuters Zawya, mobile-optimized companies drive innovation and creativity two-and-a-half-times as much than their competitors. They also show a remarkable rate in motivating their employees to produce more and perform better.

  • GenMobile staff can be a bridge to find other GenMobile employees once recruitment starts. This holds true as well for assignees. A genuine GenMobile tech talent should be able to do a dozen programming tasks while hopping from one place to another. He would be the one who can give you tech solutions using the cloud.
  • Finally, do ask a GenMobile talent to work with your IT manager, and not circumvent or bypass him. The Sydney Morning Herald observes that GenY tend to share a lot with their colleagues – everything from data social media sites, to devices. This can increase the vulnerability of your IT systems. Added to this is that GenMobile tend to think that they can fix online security issues because of their internet versatility. In case of a technical malfunction, their first instinct is to fix it themselves, instead of calling IT.

Impress upon your assignee the importance of focusing on his specific sphere of responsibility, while remaining a collaborative team member. Being flexible does not mean flying solo. He may have a globalized perspective, but he remains a citizen of a particular organization, the one where he is working with right now, with you.