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                                       Internalizing Grey-Collar Employee

                                                  Dr.Umut KÖKSAL

In this article, I will discuss about what is grey-collar employee and how to internalize the concept of grey-collar employee management.

In most of times, grey-collar underlines  the balance of employed  people unclassified  between white or blue-collar.

Moreover, it also points to the jobs,responsibilities that unites both elements of both blue and White collar work.

These grey-collar employees are not the traditional white collar employees  nor they are not the traditional blue collar employees. They mean a diverse/hybrid mix of skills,know-how and work place attitudes and behaviors.

Grey-collar employees are different from  blue-collar employees in the way that blue-collar employees usually are trained by using on the job training methods   whereas  grey-collar employees  already have a specific skill and competency set.

In terms of career management, obstacles/blocks are experienced by grey collar emloyees for moving to managerial roles.  Because  of the need  in areas such as other technical skills and behavioral competencies .It is not so easy for them to gain these skills in a short time, especially due to the natüre of their working conditions and current job descriptions.

Grey-collar job concept is sometimes even used for employees who work beyond the age of retirement.

This hybrid type of employment also needs different/unique type of management. Factors that affect the emergence of grey-collar jobs can be listed as follows:a.Technology and Globalization,b.Digital Transformation Trends,c.Changing Characteristics of  Business life,d.Workplace Diversity,e.Lean Organization and It's Inductions,f.Changing Generations at Work(Managing Multi-Dimensional Generations at Workplace)

Grey-collar jobs are more skilled ones when compared to some typical blue-collar jobs but most of the time less technologically performed than being a computer engineer for example.

Designing training programmes for grey-collar employees should be different than designing and implementing training programmes for blue-collar employees  and white-collar employee training programmes.

At first, underlining training needs for grey-collar employees should be inspected by using different dimensions. Because the nature,in other words, characteristics of these jobs are different.

Beyond technical skills, well-designed competency based-training programmes should be  taken into account.

In my opinion, the programmes given above are some of the competency development areas that should be focused on:a.Managing  conflict management,b.Focusing on assertive work-place behaviors,c.Managing generations at workplace,d.Understanding organizational climate and supervisory support,e.Understanding the differences being a technician and being a manager and at last f. Socialization or well-designed  orientation/corporate culture programmes for grey-collar employees.

                                              

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