How to get ready for the 'net generation'

DOD releases a guide to help managers adapt to the quirks and talents of the new generation of workers

The Defense Department has released a new manual that deals with social networking and the workplace.

The “Net Generation Guide,” put together by the Federal Chief Information Officers Council, notes that 957,000 federal employees will be eligible for retirement during the next few years, creating a shrinking workforce that has evolved considerably during the rise of the Internet.

The report also discusses how to draw in and keep up-and-coming workers – the Net Generation, defined as those between 17 and 31 years of age – who have been shaped by high technology and an abundance of information and speedy communications.

“We have to be prepared for a significantly changing workforce,” said Dave Wennergren, DOD's deputy CIO, speaking at the AFCEA Solutions conference in Fairfax, Va., May 18. “The Net Generation wants to work in public service, but has certain expectations,” such as the ability to exploit new technologies and social media in the office. “This is a new generation of tools” as well as workers, said Wennergren, who also is vice chair of the CIO council and contributed to the Net Generation report.

“We need to attract and retain the best and the brightest of these young workers,” he added.

In the guide’s foreword, Wennergren said it “addresses the importance of providing the Net Generation workforce with access to information age tools and capabilities, as well as providing them with an environment that unleashes and nurtures the fire of their innovation and creativity.”

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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