BERMAN LARSON KANE
WHAT MILLENNIAL EMPLOYEES REALLY WANT
Despite struggling with debt, recession, and the jobs crisis, millennials—who will account for 75% of the workforce in 2025— are not motivated by money. Rather, according to an article in Fast Company, they aim to make the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable.
In fact, more than 50 percent of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90 percent want to use their skills for good.
Clearly, the future of work lies in empowering millennial talent, points out the article’s author Adam Smiley Poswolsky, who wrote the book The Quarter-Life Breakthrough: A Guide For Millennials To Fined Meaningful Work. From interviews with numerous millennial entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and leaders with both for-profit, social enterprise, and nonprofit backgrounds, millennials want to work with purpose, and they want their workplace to be aligned with their values.
So how can companies deliver on meaningful employee engagement? Here are a number of ideas offered by the author on ways to attract, retain, and empower top millennial talent.
- Don’t Just Talk About Impact, Make An Impact – Many companies use words such as impact and purpose without seriously moving the needle on major social and environmental problems. Millennials want to work for organizations that are transparent on how they’re using their technology, resources, and talent. They also want to create shared value, make positive social and environmental changes, and increase opportunities for disadvantaged populations. Recruiting the top talent of tomorrow begins with making a difference today.
- Create Opportunities for Mentorship, Skills Acquisition, and Co-leadership – A common critique of millennials in the workplace is they are impatient, entitled, and not willing to put in the time and hard work needed to succeed. “Delayed gratification” doesn’t apply to them; they want change to happen fast.
This doesn’t mean millennials aren’t hard workers. On the contrary, millennials will work hard when you get serious about investing in their skills development. Young talent wants the opportunity to learn from someone with expertise; they want that on-the-ground experience to happen today, not tomorrow—and certainly not in five years.
Companies need to empower millennials by offering co-leadership opportunities, offering young talent a chance to manage and develop a new project—preferably of strategic importance—that excites them. They need to be paired as project-lead with a senior executive, or someone with 15-plus years of experience, giving them an opportunity to learn from a mentor. It also builds on the assumption that millennials can teach something to their more senior colleagues. For example, when it comes to technology and social media, the person with the most innovative idea in the room may happen to be the youngest.
- Give Young Talent A Voice – Everyone wants to feel valued at work, especially millennials. There is nothing worse for a millennial than feeling as if your supervisor thinks you have nothing to offer because of your age or inexperience.
In their new book, When Millennials Take Over: Preparing For The Ridiculous Optimistic Future Of Business, authors Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter recommend creating fluid decision-making and organizational structures. They highlight companies such as Medium and Zappos, which have embraced Holocracy, a new organizational and management system that spreads decision-making responsibilities among a set of roles and teams, rather than a hierarchy of people.
A fluid structure empowers more staff—especially new staff—to make decisions and take ownership of solutions. It’s hard to value your employees if you don’t listen to their voice, or give them a seat at the table.
- Make HR the New Life Coach – The average millennial is staying at their job less than three years. This might be shocking to corporate America, but the truth is the average American of any age is staying at their job for about four years.
Due in part to rapid changes in technology and a volatile economy, millennials aren’t the only ones job-hopping. How do human resources departments invest in their talent if much of that talent is going to leave the company in several years? Embrace that the workforce of the future is going to be in flux. Currently, some 53 million Americans—or 34% of the workforce—are freelance, and the number of remote and part-time workers is expected to increase.
Companies can no longer expect their employees to be loyal enough to stay for 10 or 20 years, and maybe that’s a good thing. HR departments should design training programs that invest in skills development, while helping their employees prepare for whatever is next in their career two, three, or five years down the line. A future HR professional will look less like Toby Flenderson’s drab character from the TV show The Office, and more like a beloved life coach, who will design personal learning plans for each young staffer based on what they want to accomplish during their stint at the company, and understand their values and interests enough to ensure a smooth landing at their next job.
Looking forward, to remain innovative, impactful, and financially competitive, the Fast Company article points out, companies will most definitely need to go outside their corporate comfort zone to design roles for a purpose-driven millennial workforce.
NEWS FROM BLK
Proud to report that having attended the National Association of Personnel Services NAPS360.org annual convention in September that the over view is that hiring will continue to increase over the next 12 months. Many NAPS members complained of the lack to quality candidates in many niches. With overall competition for this talent increasing daily.
We at Berman Larson Kane continue to also witness shortages in numerous niches and our talent discovery staff find challenges in discovery of top talent.
As we enter the final quarter of 2016 we look forward to assisting our client s with on-boarding the best talent that the market has to offer. Thanks for your support we so greatly appreciate it as we celebrate the 200 addition of our employment newsletter.