Let’s face it: Millennials and Generation Z are taking over. They account for more of the talent pool every year and, as every organization should know, they are motivated differently than previous generations.
Unfortunately, many senior leaders in the business world don’t understand what younger team members value and how to get the most out of their younger professionals. This causes high turnover rates, more expensive employee retention efforts and less pro-organizational behavior. Some perceive the frequent job switching of Millennials and Gen-Zs as irrational or impulsive, but many times they simply lack leaders who can adequately motivate and challenge them.
Ironically, one of the world’s most rigidly bureaucratic organizations – the United States Military – discovered effective ways to motivate Gen Z. The US military is at the forefront of understanding younger generations because it hires, onboards and trains more than 150,000 young people from all over the country every year. Their leadership has helped maintain an unparalleled force of readiness and provides several lessons for civilian leaders of every organization.
Military leaders seek to understand their people, learn what they value and use their talents to accomplish missions. After briefly considering what makes Gen Z different, we’ll explore organizational and individual approaches the military uses to effectively motivate Gen Z and provide a few concrete examples that business leaders can emulate. Read More…
Tony Lee and Chris Cancialosi discuss imparting knowledge to younger workers, viewing knowledge as intellectual capital, the variables to consider when preparing for a transition in a company, pre-emptive knowledge transfers and what Chris’ deployment to Iraq taught him about the process of transferring knowledge. Listen to the podcast below and read the article here: How to Prepare for Leaders Leaving
We hear a lot about companies decking their offices with ping pong tables, new hip lounges, or soda machines in order to engage millennials in the workplace. But what if the secret to millennial engagement lies not in the objects or memorabilia, but rather in the dialogue between you and your employees? Encompassing ages 18-35, millennials are a generation that wants to be heard; one Entrepreneur.com article even went so far as to title itself, “I Am Millennial. Hear Me Roar!”
Though common communication techniques found in frequent bestsellers may work for some, millennials display a unique repertoire of behaviors that need to be understood before entering a conversation. Here are five meaningful ways to get you started:
Most organizations still regard Millennials as somehow different than their Gen X or Boomer co-workers, but do these assumed differences really hold any weight in the workplace? Or are these stereotypes merely a byproduct of a business environment that looks starkly different than it did 20 years ago?
A surprising study from IBM sheds some light on the truth: Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers all share very similar opinions of the workplace.
It’s happened: Millennials (by most definitions, those born between 1980 and the late 1990s) are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. And they’re no longer the generation waiting in the wings to become leaders—they’re already increasingly entering senior and managerial positions.
The war for talent. The age-old battle waged by HR teams across the country, each vying to secure and retain the best people to help them achieve organizational success. The eternal effort to create systems, process, and benefits to help keep them once you’ve recruited them.
At the epicenter of the war for talent resides the tech industry, where many talented engineers and other highly-skilled workers have no problem jumping to another employer for a minor bump in pay or benefits. The result? Companies are forever trying to outshine each other with baubles, beer kegs and nap pods to try to entice this demographic to join them.
What this approach fails to do is inspire loyalty. Despite all the money that these companies pour into perks, at the end of the day, it’s just job hopping.
The Business Manager at my last employer just celebrated her 43-year work anniversary. At 20 years old, she took an administrative job and worked her way up over the next 40 years as she gained more experience and tenure. It was her first job and she will be working there until she retires 2 years from now.
Stories like this used to be more common in the workplace. It was commonplace to get a job on the ground floor of a company, expecting that they will take care of you and your professional career while you grow with them. You were expected to work your way up the ladder to a middle management position, then the corner office; all the while building your pension so you can finally escape the cubicle on your 65th birthday.
1. Your organization’s culture will impact what kind of talent you attract.
Policies for employees are a critical part of your organizational culture, or “the way we do things around here.” For example, guidelines like a minimum vacation allowance rather than a maximum limit, the frequency and energy at organizational happy hours, and the expectations around working hours might attract younger employees. Conversely, policies such as paternity leave, stock options, retirement contributions and a set 9-5 schedule will likely attract an older demographic.
2. This culture you created and the talent you attracted will also impact how you onboard them. If the culture values innovation, trial and error and is moving quickly, and then the onboarding process might involve some shadowing of a colleague, personalized coaching and meeting with some more tenured colleagues for learning about a deeper sense of organizational mission, history, and values. However, if the culture values structure, hierarchical process, consistency and might be in a less of a hurry, a more formal, standardized onboarding process could be necessary to make sure that the new employee will be perform consistently and with clear expectations.
It’s crucial to remember that no culture is necessarily “better” or “worse” nor is there a “better” or “worse” approach to talent management or training. What is critical, however, is to ensure that your organizational culture and onboarding is intentionally designed in such a way to attract and train the talent you need to be successful as an organization. This alignment between culture and talent and training is one often overlooked piece of the puzzle in achieving your organization’s mission and well worth a close look.
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