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A Chinese Red Fire Monkey, Millennial Managers and Time for a Shake Up!

When I set about planning for 2016 I had an inkling that it would be an exciting year, I even set my theme for the year as ‘Anything is Possible’ and to be open to whatever opportunities may arise. So, imagine my surprise when I read about the Chinese Year of the Red Fire Monkey – a year in which anything can happen!

Throw into the mix Gen Z joining the workforce, Baby Boomers retiring from the workforce, an increase in Millennial managers to counteract this and a rising demand for workplace flexibility and we certainly do have an exciting year ahead.

February - Red Fire Monkey ImageIn Chinese astrology 2016 is the year of the Red Fire Monkey. The monkey is energetic, witty, adventurous, playful. He jumps from tree to tree with boundless enthusiasm, he is joyful, independent, ambitious and free from inhibitions and constraints. The monkey’s path may take him anywhere.

Combined with this monkey exuberance is the passion, joy and creativity of the element Fire and the colour Red, making this a year of fast paced, high motivation where unconventional ideas and daring to be different pays off. This is the year to shake things up!

From the world of Chinese Astrology to the world of research and analytics, where the workplace and business trends for 2016 look equally exciting and creative.

2016 sees Generation Z (those born in late 90’s to about 2010, also known as iGen) leaving school and joining the workforce. Gen Z are entrepreneurial, they choose work-life balance over salary and they care about the social impact of what they do. Let’s wait with excitement to see their impact on the workplace.

Also expected this year are high numbers of baby boomer retirements (boomers are born mid 40’s to mid 60’s) leading to large numbers of boomer owned businesses for sale and an increase in millennial workers taking leadership positions. Millennials (born between early 80’s and late 90’s, also known as Gen Y) now represent the largest group of customers and employees. Millennials are keen to learn and develop their skills, they also value lifestyle over work.

These newer generations, working from a more strength-based, values-driven philosophy, will lead to greater collaboration and increased social responsibility. They will also further impact the growing focus on workplace flexibility, as will the increasing number of people choosing to take freelance work over long hours confined to a stuffy office.

So if ever there was a year to break out and be bold surely this is it. A year to collaborate and create, a year of passion and enthusiasm, of swinging courageously through the trees. Welcome to 2016 and the year that anything could happen!