6 Tips to win millennials for your organisation
“Young talent is no longer queuing to join long established multinationals”. This was headlined this week in the FT. At the same time, many large organisations are struggling with retaining highly skilled millennials. This new generation on the work floor is portrayed as self-absorbed, self-centered, impatient and lazy. This makes them difficult to manage. How can organisations win millennials for themselves?
Millennials: open minded, critical and self-conscious
ORMIT, the workplace consultants don’t recognise the image of the self-righteous, self-centered and lazy millennial. They learn from everyday practice that highly skilled millennials are un prejudiced, critical and often self conscious in life and also ask for feedback. They want to do meaningful work and are driven to have an impact. Given their lack of experience, they often need others to be successful and to make a difference. They actively look for others and are therefore succesfull in creating connections and building personal and professional networks.
With personilised coaching, highly skilled millennials can make the difference for the organisations where they work in. By doing so you will also bind this generation to your organisation longer. The best of both will come if these talents are nurtured by experienced colleagues who combine their experience and wisdom with a self-confident, curious, modest and playful attitude, similar to the attitude of the newcomers. This attitude is not just reserved to them. As an organization, wouldn’t you want to see this attidude, this behaviour back in all your employees?
6 practical tips
What do organisations need to do to recruit young talent and retain them? In this article, ORMIT gives six concrete tips to large organizations.
1. Select on learning agility
The decisive factor in the selection would be learning agility. Agile learning people can be recognized by their behavior, they examine, they gather experts around them, they improvise and act quickly. They are curious, modest, playful and purposeful. The most important basis for learning agility is self-awareness and a development-oriented mindset. If basically, people show that during the selection process then there is a good starting point, because the beauty is: learning agility is something that can be developed.
2. Embrace the refreshing view
Often we overload new employees with ‘relevant’ company information during their introduction to make sure they fit in to existing practices and culture as soon as possible. We are then missing a major opportunity here. The fresh look of these newcomers is valuable and we must exploit that to the full. Involve them in complex issues, difficult decisions and strategy development. Their uninhabited and critical questions can sometimes shed a totally different light on an existing problem.
3. Continue to learn from your work
Design jobs in such a way that there is always at least one aspect that forces people to learn something new, so that they can continue to learn during their work. If people have new experiences and meet new people, they will have to step out of their comfort zone and that will provide new skills and perspectives. The learning value of work will decrease when people stay in their job for a long time, in the same organisation. There are many ways to keep on learning without having to change jobs. Think of job crafting, a temporary project, new colleagues, a new territory or the introduction of agile working so that people can work in different environments and meet different people all the time.
(Photography: Vincent Hartman)
4. Introduce learning directors
People are open to learn if they conclude that they need different skills or knowlegde in addition to what they already know in order to be successful, or to meet their individual ambitions. Then the intrinsic motivation to learn comes up. It is the art to cherish these moments of needs and offer people, the right learning solution at the right time (micro-learning). This requires managers and HR professionals to behave as a learning Director. This means that on the one hand a wide range of learning solutions need to be developed so that they are ready to be used when a question arises and on the other hand, the directing of an appropriate learning experience or the proactively directing the development of a learning need.
5. Look different to identifying young talent
Past performance is still leading for identifying talent and succession planning. This doesn’t connect anymore to the rapidly changing world in which we live. The best predictor for success in a new role is how someone has dealt with rather sudden, new challenges or difficult situations in the past, both in work situations as outside work. And, more importantly, to what conscious new insights and other behavior that has led, or in other words the degree of learning agility that someone has shown.
6. Experienced leaders should be learning role models
Often the top of an organisation develop themselves outside the field of view of the rest of the employees; somewhere at a business school in a pretty location far from the normal workplace. This is unfortunate, because especially the experienced leaders are amazing role models when it comes to showing a development mindset and related behavior. Often leaders think that they are powerful as they radiate that they know it all and can do it all, while they then don’t portrai to be a good example and do not create a good development climate. If your leaders get ‘permission’ to show that they are learning andalso to be able to show that they are insecure and vulnerable, they set the tone for the organiszation. A development-oriented mindset is contagious!
The right sort of office envirinment will contribute to the well being of millennials and will considerably boost the performance of older employees as well. Most colleges and universities here in the UK have been totally revemped into inspring and agile spaces. Interior design Edinburgh can help you to bring your office environment up to date.
Influence of leaders on the new generation
Leaders can play an important role in the job satisfaction of top talents, by giving the best of themselves and to challenge others to do the same. This demands personal leadership (the combination of self-insight: where I am good at, what drives me and I find important, learning ability, the guts to make choices and ownership to actually take action).
Support with good development programs for starters is still important, programs in which all attention is paid to creating connection, listening, communicating effectively, dealing with conflicts and personal leadership. Whether or not to make a success of millennials is not only due to these young people themselves, but also requires a thorough approach of leaders to win them for your organisation and to enjoy their potential to the full.