by Philipe Bruce, founder of P.O.D.S Professional & Organizational Development Solutions
There’s a war out there—a war for talent—and it’s the Millennial generation that make up increasing talent pools in the corporate world.
Yes, they don’t stay long in an organization. Yes, they are laidback and rebellious. But they also bring value and talent critical to an organization. They have just what you need: innovative ideas, creativity, and the thirst for knowledge. These Millennials are optimists, they don’t back down from taking risks, they are well-versed in technology more than any of the generations preceding them—and you need all this.
But there’s an issue with the way we treat them. For years, organizations have developed set procedures and standards that govern their Human Resource departments. Anyone that doesn’t conform becomes more or less an outcast in the organization—and that’s what we’re doing with Millennials right now. That’s what makes them hop organizations every now and then—isn’t that the basic reason why you hesitate before hiring them in the first place?
So where to begin?
Let’s start with understanding what Millennials want from you. The demands are pretty simple and straightforward:
The Millennial generation is keen on learning. Although desired and needed, a salary raise or nonmonetary benefits will not motivate them as much as a chance to learn and improve their skills and expertise. Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, they are looking for employers that would help them progress through specific learning and development programs. This would prevent them from falling prey to stagnancy.
Regular trainings, employee development initiatives, and various certifications are things that attract Millennials to an organization and motivate them to increase their productivity.
Millennials are choosy. They don’t like the conventional 9-to-5 work day. They prefer doing things their way with flexible hours and the ability to work from home. Millennials defy number-of-hours-worked as the basic measure of productivity. For them, the quality of work delivered takes precedence over the quantity of work delivered, which is something that would cause raised eyebrows in most organizations. Nonetheless, Millennials wouldn’t have it any other way—they want work/life balance with their fair share of fun in it. A flexible schedule is all they ask, and it doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.
The seemingly selfish Millennials are actually big on bringing about positive change in society. In spite of limited financial resources, Millennials are still actively involved in supporting local causes and charities. They wish to see the same in the organizations they join. How your organization impacts the society around you will greatly contribute to a Millennial’s decision to join your organization. A number of modern organizations have joined hands with social causes and local charities for greater community good—any guesses why?
Millennials WANT a complete makeover of the corporate culture. They want conventional organizations to adapt to their agile and fast-paced lifestyle. There are organizations that have already switched gears for this paradigm shift. The change obviously doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years. Organizations need to work towards creating a system that provides Millennials with the environment where they can be themselves—enthusiastic, creative, and vibrant.
There’s a reason why organizations like Microsoft® and Google are so popular with Millennials. These corporate giants have transformed their organizational culture into one that allows Millennials to breathe free.
Give Them What They Want
Ever heard about Individually Tailored Needs (ITN)? The concept involves individually addressing the talent management requirements of employees in the organization and developing strategies to effectively cater to those requirements and needs.
No two people are same. They have different backgrounds, different circumstances, different styles of working, and different goals. You can’t have one standard program for all. For example, you have a set of monetary rewards to motivate your employees, but would money motivate everyone? Not necessarily.
Your HR department needs to know the employees on a level deeper than the professional relationship they share. Conduct one-on-one interviews and learn more about them. What are their career aspirations? Where do they wish to see themselves in the next 5 years? What could, in their opinion, make the workplace better?
This will open up new doors for developing and implementing strategies that are just right for building the employees’ engagement levels. Also, make sure your talent management program has a recognition and reward system that caters to all employees—tailored to reach and appreciate everyone onboard. The drill is pretty simple—understand each employee, recognize what they need, and reward them accordingly.
Implement this and you will be automatically motivating them for increased productivity. This is no easy task but with the help of the management team and good leadership you can give them what they want.
The Bottom Line
Today, more than ever, there is a need for organizations to allow flexibility and use guidance instead of rigid policies. Millennials wouldn’t have it any other way—they want what they want, and as irritating as it may seem in the beginning, harnessing this very trait the right way can help organizations flourish like never before.
This is a good time to initiate a potent talent management program. There is plenty of Millennial talent out there and you’re up against your competition in bagging the best of this talent for your organization. Increase your employee engagement efforts and implement strategies that improve your relationship with your employees.
Philipe Bruce is the founder of P.O.D.S Professional & Organizational Development Solutions, a business coaching consultancy based in Omaha, Nebraska. Born in The Republic of Togo of West Africa, Bruce is a business development coach with degrees from University of Nebraska, Bellevue University, and Peru State College. Fluent in English and French and a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, Bruce brings a diverse, global perspective to the challenges facing the American workforce. His new book Not Just Talent: The Millennials Redefining Talent & Human Capital Management, now available on Amazon, aims to help businesses design comprehensive strategies to leverage the strengths and creativity Millennials bring with them.