Reading a recent Harvard Business Review article, the discussion unfolded around how we manage people and how all of our attention is focused on our extremely abundant financial resources; hyper-focus is placed on capital. In fact, according to Bain’s Macro Trend Group, global supply of capital is at almost 10 times global GDP. If only we spent as much time and focus on our scarcest resource; people. I immediately recalled my article published in the Kansas Banker, it’s focus on one segment of human capital and thought now may be the time to dust it off and share again. The ability to engage and retain millennials will be a major factor in your cost of human capital equation. Hell, for one of my prior organizations, a 1% reduction in attrition was worth $100,000,000! That’s a lot of cheddar!
HOW TO KEEP’EM – MILLENNIALS
In recent years, much has been said about millennials in the workplace. Some people praise millennials as a group of employees that are extremely familiar with modern day technology and not afraid of getting things done in a unique way. Others criticize millennials as being lazy and entitled, the product of a generation where everyone wins and parents shield their children from any potential danger. Whatever your opinion relative to the millennial generation, engaging with them is extremely important when you consider that by 2025, three quarters of the workforce will be millennials. Three quarters of our most scarse resource, human capital, will be millennials. There are several factors to consider when thinking about millennials and engaging them in the workplace.
WHY SHOULD YOU HIRE MILLENNIALS?
One of the best reasons to hire millennials is that they give you a unique perspective on workplace issues. Millennials are not used to the traditional office hierarchy, a characteristic that is reflected in their attitudes towards management. In The Denver Post, Seth Mattison says that this generation of workers does not understand the unwritten rules of the workplace. These employees are more than willing to challenge the norm, and while this may cause problems at first, you will eventually find the fresh perspective millennials bring helps you see things in a different light.
Another benefit of hiring employees in this generation, according to Entrepreneur, is that they are more self-sufficient than you might think. 71% of millennials have used Google for an IT solution, and 61% say that they do not call the company IT desk right away when issues occur. Millennials may apply this same philosophy of self-sufficiency to other important issues in your workplace that you need to solve, giving you value-added perspective on business challenges.
TIPS FOR ENGAGING MILLENNIALS
Now that you understand why millennials can be so beneficial to your business, the next step is to think about how you can effectively manage and engage these employees at your office. According to Forbes, millennials desire a few important things in the workplace:
- 88% of all millennials would rather have a collaborative work culture than a competitive one
- 74% of millennials want a work schedule that is flexible instead of a rigid 9 to 5
- 88% of all millennials crave “work-life integration,” which is not always the same as work-life balance
Above all, one of the most important concepts to understand about engaging millennials in the workplace is that they desire strong flexibility and the ability to express themselves in the workplace. The days of baby boomer employees that adhere to rigid hierarchies while working with their heads down are passing. Millennials are set to challenge the current conventions of the workplace in a way that some organizations may feel uncomfortable with. However, companies that are ready to accept and integrate this new generation of workers will find that they have a team of innovative, creative employees that are willing to apply their natural talents to achieving company goals.
Kevin D Wright believes leadership is personal. The author of Better Results! he’s a dynamic international speaker, consultant and executive coach covering leadership, performance, and D&I. The former Head of MultiCultural, Private Client Group and Underbanked Product Development and Strategy for U.S. Bank, he partners with organizations to get the most from their talent and customers; even tackling the toughest of topics. Visit www.leadershipispersonal.com to learn more and see how Kevin can assist you.