One Foot Out the Door
If you don’t think your millennial workers will pick up and leave on a moment’s notice, consider this sobering statistic: Globally, 44 percent of millennials have “one foot out the door,” according to Deloitte. And while millennials are likely to leave their employers for many of the same reasons as older generations, Deloitte found that many have a “fear of being overlooked.” While millennials may be the most tech-driven generation to date, there’s likely no substitute for human connection as a talent retention tool.
The Evolution of Work 2.0: The Me vs. We Mindset report from ADP sheds some light on why millennials have earned the “job hopper” label. While they may still value freedom and flexibility in job hours and location more than older generations, ADP reports, millennials are most likely to leave jobs due to poor direct manager relationships, and a lack of opportunity for career development and advancement (and if it’s any consolation, both Gen X and baby boomers relate on those last two points).
“The first thing to understand about millennials is that they are probably far more entrepreneurial than the previous generation,” says Faisal Hoque, founder of Shadoka, which develops accelerators and technology solutions for sustainable growth, and author of Everything Connects: How to Transform and Lead in the Age of Creativity, Innovation, and Sustainability.
“And it’s not just about making money; it’s about doing things differently—from thinking to developing goals to meeting objectives,” says Hoque. Millennials are also very socially conscious and motivated by the need to preserve the environment and do good. That combination of entrepreneurial spirit and socially-conscious behavior makes millennials a unique challenge for companies across all industries.
“In order to motivate these employees,” says Hoque, “your company processes must abide by those two principles.” Overlook these principles and it won’t be long before your younger, up-and-coming workers are scouring Glassdoor and Indeed for new opportunities.
Keeping them Happy… and In Place
Both millennials and post-millennials are about setting their own rules and abiding by those rules. They’re tech-savvy, always-connected, and are really into social networking as a way of keeping in touch with one another. “A lot of their social interaction is digital, and not face-to-face or even via phone,” says Hoque, who tells distributors to factor this reality into their corporate cultures, or risk alienating younger workers who like doing things a certain way.
“This all has to come into consideration when you’re creating (or, remaking) your work environment and its accompany culture,” says Hoque. To make that happen, try throwing out the “traditional office environment” playbook for a while and using more digital and social tools for communication.
“This generation grew up with the gradual introduction of instant messaging, texting, email, and other forms of written communication,” Forbes’ Larry Alton writes. “Because they’re just as instantaneous, but provide you the ability to think over your words, they’re more comfortable and precise communication forms.” And while phone calls require a kind of “interruption to someone’s day,” he continues, “text messages and emails can be opened and read at the recipient’s leisure.”
It’s Time to Come Up with a Plan
Keeping millennials happy isn’t about throwing out age-old playbooks, pulling the plug on landlines, and supporting worthy causes; it’s about creating a new set of guidelines and cultural norms that will guide your distributorship through multiple generations.
“You can’t just go from one extreme to the other because then you’ll have anarchy on your hands,” Hoque warns. “You’ll also have no accountability and no way of measuring success or getting things done.” To avoid these traps, he tells distributors to set guidelines in advance and then bake those parameters right into the company’s corporate culture.
Read the full article @tEDMagazine.
An Outside Viewpoint
“The bottom line is that if you’re not challenged and uncomfortable, you’ll never think of anything new or different,” Hoque says. “And when you’re not thinking of anything new or different, you fall behind and your competition takes over. It’s just the natural evolution and natural order in business, and in life in general.”
To buck this trend, Hoque says distributors need to give risk takers a place to stretch and grow, and to bring their innovative ideas to the table without judgment or fear of rejection. Give them the flexibility to come up with new ideas, both from the competitive and the creative points of view.
The work doesn’t stop once these risk takers are onboard, Hoque notes, because diverse thinkers need guidelines and parameters to work with. For example, a company making widgets that go into automobiles may be encouraged by a risk taker who decides it’s time to make a whole new car from the ground up. Because that may not be feasible, it’s up to the company and its managers to help that big-idea guy channel his vision into a more workable idea.
“Give them guidelines while at the same time processing that creativity in a very actionable, useful way,” Hoque advises. “Be both the guardrail and the encourager of creativity that results in something tangible, otherwise it’ll be complete trash—but don’t stifle them with too much process. It really is a fine line.”
Read the full article @tEDMagazine.
McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals.[Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash]