Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce

“Week 1 Intro … Animated version of the Evolution History of Work … The Millennial Generation’s Views on their World of Work … Managing Societal and Workplace Conflicts: Interview with Mary Rowe”
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Summaries

  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > Introduction to the Course > Video
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > A Message from U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to the Next Generation Workforce > Video
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > Animated version of the Evolution History of Work > Video
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > A Message from AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler > Video
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > A Message to HR Professionals from Professor Lee Dyer > Video
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > A Message from Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General > Video
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > The Millennial Generation’s Views on their World of Work > Video
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > Current Challenges and Opportunities: Today's Labor Market in Perspective
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > All Innovations are Local > Video
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > Managing Societal and Workplace Conflicts: Interview with Mary Rowe > Video:Managing Societal and Workplace Conflicts: Interview with Mary Row
  • Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > For More Information... > Additional Resources

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > Introduction to the Course > Video

  • Yes, there are challenges that you and your peers will face because my baby boom generation didn’t do a great job of keeping our policies and practices up to date with the changing economy and the changing workforce.
  • There are new apps that allow you to navigate this labor market and to figure out where the good jobs are and distinguish between good and bad employers.
  • One of the things we want to do is to highlight those and to learn more about your own experiences with companies and organizations like this.
  • So as we go along, we’re going to learn from your experiences, and you’re going to meet a whole set of peers who have good jobs and maybe not such good jobs, some mentors who are ready to work with you to provide advice, and all of that will be a learning process together.
  • So there’ll be readings and videos and exercises and assignments that allow you to understand what are some of your capabilities, what are some of your interests, what jobs might fit well with your background, and where you would like to go with your own career; and how will you develop your own personal career plan to make sure that you are ready to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.
  • Let’s understand and learn from our history about what worked in the past, what’s broken, what needs to be fixed, and why.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > A Message from U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to the Next Generation Workforce > Video

  • There are new apps that allow you to navigate this labor market and to figure out where the good jobs are and distinguish between good and bad employers.
  • So as we go along, we’re going to learn from your experiences, and you’re going to meet a whole set of peers who have good jobs and maybe not such good jobs, some mentors who are ready to work with you to provide advice, and all of that will be a learning process together.
  • Let’s understand and learn from our history about what worked in the past, what’s broken, what needs to be fixed, and why.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > Animated version of the Evolution History of Work > Video

  • In some cultures, hard work was seen as undignified, so it was outsourced to slaves, servants, and serfs, even though hard work made those rich lifestyles possible.
  • For some, working hard became synonymous with doing good and repenting for one’s sins.
  • All family members pitched in, depended on each other, and their work was never done.
  • So came the craft stage of work, like shoemakers and carpenters, all very skilled and specialized.
  • New kinds of factories demanded new kinds of workers, all eager to live a living however they could in a rapidly changing world.
  • Some workers banded together and took historic stands for humane work conditions and demanded all kinds of fundamental rights, including the 40-hour work week.
  • While new opportunities are available for some, globalization and other forces are leading other workers behind, feeling like they can’t get ahead, no matter how hard they try.
  • As fewer people and fewer hours are needed to do the work of yesterday, people are adapting again.
  • Is this the end of work’s evolution? No. How you live and work will invent the future.
  • You’ll tap into a deep human drive to work on something and to make a genuine difference doing it.
  • So keep on working, creating and inventing the future of work.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > A Message from AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler > Video

  • Liz is not only the chief financial officer for the AFL-CIO, she has a special interest and responsibility in working with young people to introduce the Labor Movement to them and to learn from them about what they would like to see the Labor Movement of the future look like.
  • In addition to that finance hat, I also work to engage, educate, mobilize young people in our movement, particularly focused, as a woman officer, in making sure that we are engaging women in our Labor Movement and really speaking out on issues that affect women in the workplace, and then in terms of innovation, what can we be doing as a labor movement to change as the workplace changes and evolves? And that can include anything from workforce development and training to issues around the on-demand economy.
  • Well, the young people in the Labor Movement- I was a young person when I first started in my union at 23 years old- often feel that they don’t have as much of a voice in our Labor Movement.
  • I wanted to figure out a way to change that and make their ideas and opinions and thoughts and approaches woven into the fabric of what we do every day.
  • So in most major cities and pretty much every state, we have a young worker group that’s giving voice to young people.
  • They’re leading in politics, in legislation, in organizing, and really being a voice and a presence for the Labor Movement in their local communities.
  • Of course, front and center is job opportunities, making sure that when people graduate from high school or even graduate from college that we have good jobs waiting for them.
  • So I think for young people who are looking at what can I do to influence, what can I do to help, taking a course like this, educating themselves, but then also taking that education and moving it into action.
  • I think when I talk to young people, they often feel powerless and don’t see the Labor Movement as a vehicle for that kind of action.
  • We want to come together as a society to figure out, what kind of jobs do we want to see in this country as we go forward in the future? Do we want low-road, f jobs or do we want opportunities to really support your family and put food on the table? And I think young people are feeling that so acutely and so they have ideas and thoughts to share on how we can rebuild the economy.
  • So I think that this is a great opportunity to bring people together, have their voices heard, make sure that we’re getting our politicians’ attention on this because those elected officials are the ones that write the rules and pass the policies.
  • So if we’re going to rewrite the rules of the economy, we need to get more and more young voices in that conversation.
  • So I think for young people who are looking for an avenue and a way to make change, certainly look to the Labor Movement, but look in your communities.
  • We often think that labor and management are at odds with each other, but could we be more powerful if we were working together in collaboration on the things that matter to creating better jobs, high-road, high-wage jobs? And so I think that young people will play an integral and important role in making that happen.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > A Message to HR Professionals from Professor Lee Dyer > Video

  • It will be up to each of us to decide how these will unfold and to make sure that they work out the way we want them to be.
  • The number of forces, global competition, the emerging technological developments, societal pressures, and labor market conditions influence firms’ business strategies, and in turn, their human resource strategies.
  • These include labor organizations of various types, public policy makers who make and enforce the rules of the game, and educators who are responsible for helping folks develop the skills they need to succeed.
  • The challenge for HR professionals is to understand the environmental forces at work and to work with the key players to develop desired results.
  • You will learn how the important external forces- globalization, technology, and so forth- have changed over time and are expected to change in the years ahead. You also will learn what can be expected of key players in the process- labor organizations, public policy makers, and so forth- in the coming years, and how you can work with them to forge mutually acceptable agreements on key issues.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > A Message from Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General > Video

  • The need comes from the fact, and we’re all conscious of this in our everyday lives, that there is massive change taking place in the world of work, transformative change at a pace and at a depth that we don’t really have experience of in the past.
  • So what better opportunity- they don’t come round that frequently- what better opportunity than that to have this in depth reflection about the direction that the world of work is taking and what we can do to shape it, to move it, towards these ideals of social justice.
  • Very quickly, one is to do with work and society.
  • Sounds a bit philosophical, but I think there are some really deep questions out there about what work means to each and every one of us in terms of, not only of earning our living, but also of self-realization, of what our lives mean, and how we want to proceed with them.
  • Secondly, and it’s a most frequently asked question that I at least get about the future is decent work of tomorrow, the decent jobs of tomorrow.
  • So we have to be able to discuss the nature and the origin of work in the future.
  • We have to say, well, what are the consequences of these changes for the ILO’s mandate for social justice? How can we shape, manage all of these changes, so that we keep the world moving in this direction of social justice? So let me end by encouraging everyone to join us in using the ideas and the information presented in this course to improve the future of work for people all around the world.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > The Millennial Generation’s Views on their World of Work > Video

  • What do young workers- millennials- today want from their jobs and careers? And how do they want to establish and maintain a balance between work and life? These questions are important to lots of people- employers wanting to recruit and keep young talented workers, millennials like me who are about to enter the workforce, and hordes of consultants giving us and business leaders advice about the changing workforce.
  • My parents, like I would guess many of your parents if you’re a millennial, said that if I worked hard in school and got a good education, I would do well in life, even better financially and socially than they did.
  • “My dream includes a job where I do important work, something that gives back to the community.
  • I hope that I’m able to utilize technology to make work more accessible and eventually have the option to do work from home.
  • Most importantly, I want to have passion for my work.
  • Our generation of workers also looks very different than workforces of the past, both in America and around the world.
  • We will all be working together, learning from each other, and some of us will be starting families that blend our diverse backgrounds.
  • How does all this affect how and where we work? Well, for one thing, we move around from job to job a lot.
  • A recent survey said people between age 22 and 32 change jobs between one and four times in the last five years.
  • That’s why some are protesting against low wages of fast food companies, racial injustices, and income inequality as seen by the Occupy Wall Street Movement in 2011 and by protests of women and men who are forced to work in unacceptable conditions in garment factories in global supply chains.
  • What does this mean for the next generations of managers and leaders? Sloan School MBAs who studied data from last year’s class, concluded that as managers of the future, they will need to listen to their employees, engage them in solving problems that really matter to the organization and to society, and be flexible in how, when, and where people work so they can be productive and attend to personal and family affairs.
  • Let’s see how this year’s class can bring our voices into the process of shaping the future of work.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > Current Challenges and Opportunities: Today’s Labor Market in Perspective

  • My first question is, are these the best of times, or the worst of times to be looking for a job and starting your career? Well, let’s take a look at some of the labor market realities that you face.
  • You all recall what we referred to as the Great Recession of 2007 and 2009? This chart shows just how many jobs we lost during that time period.
  • Well, the good news is that 2015- finally- was a great year for job growth in the US. We made a big dent in closing the jobs deficit, by creating nearly 2 and 1/2 million jobs.
  • So now we only need another 3 million more to close the full job deficit.
  • So we have to keep pressing government and business leaders to keep the job growth going strong.
  • From the end of World War II- down here about 1947, 1948- all the way through till about 1980, we saw an economy where wages, and productivity, and profits moved together.
  • Many of you will start off as unpaid interns, or in part time jobs, or in jobs that don’t use the full education that you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
  • It’s not surprising that, given that, many of your cohort are experiencing very low levels of job satisfaction.
  • Back in the 1980s, this red line shows, that people under the age of 25 were like others- more than 50% were satisfied with their wages, their hours of work, and their opportunities to learn on the job.
  • These numbers have declined to a little over 35%. And so only about one third of young people are satisfied with their jobs.
  • How does this really affect you? Well, the economic evidence is very clear- if you start off, as many of you are experiencing now, in a low-income jobs that don’t use your full skills that you’ve been educated for, or you start off as a paid or even an unpaid intern, or you start off in part-time work in hotels or restaurants, or other retail areas, you’re going to experience about 10 years- or even more- of suppressed income and lack of opportunities for growth.
  • Some companies are way ahead in providing good jobs.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > All Innovations are Local > Video

  • So that’s where historically, most of our major innovations at work have occurred.
  • It’s worked effectively for shareholders and for employees and for customers for many years.
  • Across almost every industry we can find good companies that are able to provide good jobs at high profits and good service to their customers.
  • It’s got the resources to have parties on Fridays and treat employees well and encourage them to work creatively on their own work.
  • Here in New England, we celebrate the work of Market Basket, one of our grocery chains where employees went on strike to support their CEO to save the business culture and the business that was good for employees and good for customers and good for shareholders.
  • So there are companies that do this and then there are new forms of work emerging out of the so-called on demand economy with names like Uber, TaskRabbit.
  • Companies that disrupt traditional ways of organizing work and that bring customers more directly into the work process.
  • We will discuss the pros and the cons of these new ways of working throughout this course.
  • The Swedish furniture maker Ikea, for example, is a global leader in environmental sustainability, in serving low income customers with good quality furniture at reasonable prices, and providing good working conditions, including ensuring that its lowest paid employees earn a living wage.
  • Or consider Semco, an innovative company in Brazil that has gained a reputation for empowering employees to control their own jobs and their work schedules and yet has grown to become Brazil’s most successful company.
  • They have lost membership, going from about a third of the workforce down to less than 15% percent today, and in the private sector, they’re even lower at about 7%. But in the wake of this decline, we’re seeing new forms of worker organization emerge.
  • We’re seeing these organizations come along and develop their own form of innovation that helps to represent workers and provide workers a voice that allows them to improve their own conditions on the job.
  • We need to ask then, how can we take those innovations and spread them across the economy so that more and more people can benefit from these good ideas? That’s our job.
  • I look forward to seeing more innovations and I look forward to seeing what you and your generation creates as the next form of work, the next kind of organizations that will meet the needs of our economy and our society going forward.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > Managing Societal and Workplace Conflicts: Interview with Mary Rowe > Video:Managing Societal and Workplace Conflicts: Interview with Mary Rowe

  • What is an ombudsman or a ombudsperson or ombuds- whatever the appropriate term is? And what does a person in that role do? An organizational ombud- and there’s lots of us now around the world.
  • Could you describe what some of these tools are that are needed for people in your role to be effective? Well, people in my role need various kinds of tools.
  • We think of a sense of humor, integrity, intelligence, caring.
  • Especially important, especially because of what you were saying before about the origins of conflict, we think of ombudsmen as needing to have a lot of cross-cultural experience.
  • I think you’re also thinking about what needs to be in an organizational system to deal with conflicts in the workplace and with students, and so on.
  • Lots of people who think about this question think first about, do we have a formal grievance procedure? And that, of course, is a very important question for the most grievous problems and the ones that need a management decision.
  • Most problems will yield to people thinking about their own interests and those of others at what people- at what organizations think of as the lowest possible level.
  • At the last end of the line, we would think of formal grievance procedures, and then there are lots and lots of steps in between.
  • What would some of those options be? When people think about ombudsmen or when they think about taking an ombuds job, they often think about conflict management as dispute resolution.
  • Point of fact, very good ombuds and those in place for a long time generally spend more than half their time helping people help themselves to learn how to deal with conflicts and even to prevent them.
  • So helping people help themselves, listening to people talk about their issues, getting them to articulate their concerns, having more formal consultation in organizations and forums for affinity groups, and maybe sometimes counsels of people coming together.
  • I was overwhelmed by having 100 people come to me in my first week, no two of them with the same issue.
  • What I did do with the total backing of my boss, the president, was to get any two people who had the same issue together with each other to try to figure out what kind of systems change might help deal with that issue or even prevent it.
  • Well, I like the emphasis that you put on systems, that these different options need to be there, because people have different preferences for how they approach these issues.
  • You have been very skillful in helping people find something they’re comfortable with.
  • I think that’s really critical to making these work.
  • Many people nowadays remember him, a very prominent psychiatrist and a neurologist.
  • There are hostile acts, as all of us know, and there’s a great deal of small acts of racism, and religious intolerance, and sexism, and so on.
  • I thought to myself, if some of these problems come from unconscious bias, and there’s no way we can be aware, without a lot of work at least, to be aware of our own unconscious bias, what hope is there for me? So I read and I thought.
  • Psychology gave me a clue, which is that if one always behaves in a respectful way and seeks out that which can be affirmed in everything around one in one’s work group, always genuinely, of course, things that really are going well, if one’s whole life is spent in genuine affirmation of other people’s excellence and in respectful behavior, you can block your own unconscious bias.
  • So by affirming good behavior and recognizing it and providing psychological rewards and role modeling in your own behavior, you often make it contagious for others in one’s work group, it sounds like.
  • I want to turn to another idea that you have championed and used so effectively over the years, and that’s something that we call bystanders, that you call bystanders in particular.
  • The term bystander effect is often used to mean somebody who stands by and lets racism or unsafe behavior or something terrible happen.
  • I collected everything that people told me in my office that they had considered when they saw either wonderful behavior or terrible behavior.
  • What options did they consider? And it’s very rare that they considered going to authorities, and mostly they did want to act.
  • So can you give us an example or examples of actions that you’ve seen people take that have been effective? Well, again, your question is a perfect one.
  • Because in real life, people often don’t act on the spot, in the moment.
  • They might act on the spot in the moment, but they think about it, and they worry about it.
  • Some of the options they choose would be to go home and talk with trusted family, or in the workplace with trusted friends and peers.
  • Like, boss, if something like this were to happen, what would you think about it? What could the organization do with a problem like this? Other possibilities would be that they would get a generic approach to deal with it.
  • I’m thinking now, who do I trust in my workplace? Who would come with me to talk with a boss? I wonder if I could write a note.
  • Maybe I could write a note and have them think about this kind of problem in my section of my organization.
  • Well, I like the way in which you describe how you talk with people to generate options like this.
  • Maybe really skilled people or people who have a mindset can interrupt behavior on the spot, but often it’s reflecting, OK, what could I do tomorrow? What could I do today in retrospect? And it’s finding those different approaches that’s so key.
  • So if I’m hearing you right, Mary, what you’re saying is organizations really need to have respected, independent neutrals who are supported by a conflict management system with multiple options, because people have different approaches to dealing with workplace problems, and they need different outlets for addressing them.
  • They need to have tools and training so that not only are the professionals good at addressing these issues, but so are managers, and so are frontline employees, so that they can be ready to put these tools to use, and they have to trust these tools.
  • You have to create a culture in the organization that empowers people to take action to help themselves and help others safely.
  • One is if you who are listening to this is just an individual by yourself, and maybe even young and you think you have no power, you always have options, just one person, to make things better wherever you are.
  • If you who are listening to this are a manager, think about a systems approach within your organization to help other people to help you with a strategic plan to build an affirming workplace.
  • Thank you for all that you do and all that you have done, not only here in our organization, but around the world to help others build these kinds of systems and capacity.

Class 1: Challenges and Opportunities as you enter the Workforce > For More Information… > Additional Resources

  • There’s a chart I saw recently that I can’t get out of my head. A Harvard Business professor and economist asked more than 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth was distributed in the United States.
  • Dividing the country into five rough groups of the top, bottom, and middle three 20% groups, they asked people how they thought the wealth in this country was divided.
  • Here’s what we think it is again, and here is the actual distribution.
  • Not only do the bottom 20% and the next 20%- the bottom 40% of Americans- barely have any of the wealth- I mean, it’s hard to even see them on the chart- but the top 1% has more of the country’s wealth than 9 out of 10 Americans believe the entire top 20% should have.
  • Instead, let’s reduce the 311 million Americans to just a representative 100 people.
  • Now, let’s reduce the total wealth of the United States, which was roughly $54 trillion in 2009 to this symbolic pile of cash, and let’s distribute it among our 100 Americans.
  • Well, here’s socialism- all the wealth of the country distributed equally.
  • We need to encourage people to work and work hard to achieve that good ol’ American dream and keep our country moving forward.
  • This isn’t too bad. We’ve got some incentive as the wealthiest folks are now about 10 to 20 times better off than the poorest Americans.
  • We have a super healthy middle class with a smooth transition into wealth.
  • 9 out of 10 people- 92%- said this was a nice, ideal distribution of America’s wealth.
  • This is what people think America’s wealth distribution actually looks like.
  • Yes, the poorest 20 to 30% are starting to suffer quite a lot compared to the ideal and the middle class is certainly struggling more than they were while the rich and wealthy are making roughly 100 times that of the poorest Americans and then about 10 times that of the still-healthy middle class.
  • Here is the actual distribution of wealth in America.
  • They’re down to pocket change, and the middle class is barely distinguishable from the poor.
  • 1% of America has 40% of all the nation’s wealth.
  • The top 1% own half the country’s stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
  • The bottom 50% of Americans own only half a percent of these investments, which means they aren’t investing.
  • We certainly don’t have to go all the way to socialism to find something that is fair for hardworking Americans.
  • All we need to do is wake up and realize that the reality in this country is not at all what we think it is.

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