Well, as that will lead us to semantics. So

 

Well, to begin
with I don’t think I would like to begin a ‘Resource’ vs ‘Employee’ debate, as
that will lead us to semantics. So let’s, for simplicity, call it old age
employee vs new age.

 Although, if I was to look a little deeper, I
think the definition will justify the title.

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A Resource is
best defined as a ‘stock’ or ‘supply’ of money, material or staff and ‘other
assets’ that can be drawn by an organisation to work efficiently. So in the
definition itself, the resource is being reflected upon as ‘replaceable’, ‘commoditised’
or readily available.

But if you were
to look at employee definition as per www.businessdictionary.com :

“An individual
who works part time or full time under a contract of employment, whether oral
or written……… and has recognised right and duties”

Implicitly
referring to a ‘person’ and not a resource, thereby acknowledging the
possibility of variance, unique identity, thoughts and ideas and most important
feelings.

And that’s
precisely the change in outlook which has been witnessed by both the work force
and the employers over past few decades. Resources
were deployed in industries resulting into efficient but static organisations,
whereas Employees have taken their
organisations to new heights with passage of time, because employees in these
organisations made the investment of their thoughts and ideas and they were
encouraged too. Any Organisation that continued to look at employees as
resources only got limited returns and possibly they also lost employees who
wanted a little more.

I want to begin
by busting the myth that the old vs new has any linkage to generation, gender,
nationality or even education; may be a little to education, perhaps. The key
difference as I see in old vs new employee is basis information.   The availability of information has exploded
over past few years but in a relative context, any employee who was keeping
themselves informed even with less available information was always a “new age”
or simply put ahead of the curve.  Even
today, you may come across employees who have chosen to be ignorant about
information or knowledge gain. I am a strong proponent of investing in you and
would like to link the absorption of information as a key tenet of this
proposition.

The information
thus absorbed, allows employees to :

·        
Seek new experiences

·        
Explore new
geographies/roles/organisation

·        
Develop a better understanding
of where do they stand as compared to their peers

·        
Ability to look around the
corner and predict which skills will make them successful.

·        
Have a better understanding of
their organisation and other places and do a relative comparison

·        
Become more self-aware and pace
their careers accordingly

The second
difference that I see between an old vs new age employee is the outlook of how they
look at their workplace or employer. Now again this outlook is devoid of which
generation you are a part of, but it’s a factor of what proportions of
employees have that outlook. And I would like to call this outlook as
“Relationship”. While the old age employee considers a relationship with
workforce as the place of providing means, expect benefits to be doled out, want
to stay immune to market conditions, stay with the organisation and yet continually
compares and finds fault and expects to be ‘taken care of’ by the
employer.  A new age employee considers
the relationship with workplace as more of a partnership, a give and take,
expects that basis performance the organisation should provide more experiences
and the rewards will follow. Brings the information on better work processes to
organisations and demands that changes are made in the workplace, questions the
organisations strategies and expects to be kept informed about the business
landscape. Continues to invest in this partnership till the time gets a fair
return to her contribution and chooses to strike new partnership if so
required.

My fundamental
belief is that the comparison of old vs new is about adaptability and belief
that we need to make things better. Any employee who believes in future and
wants to contribute is a new age employee.