By Rajeev Shroff
It is the age where human resources and technology have joined hands and talent management, from recruitment to retention is fast-paced, efficient and technologically heavy. In fact, it is not just senior leaders and human resource professionals who look out for technologically based options for talent acquisition and management, but the talent itself thrives on the digital culture. The question that now arises is how have Millennials changed the game and how do we adapt to this change to find and keep the right talent? These questions plague every organization and the answer to this problem is a people-first approach.
Experiences over qualifications
The time for a strictly job-based approach has passed, wherein an employee used to come into work, carry out a pre-assigned set of duties and then leaves the job after completing set tasks. Millennials have travelled the world, whether it is to study, or simply to explore new places and people. Global cultural experiences are more valued than grades and scores. Worldly wisdom is respected over the traditional textbook approach. Today’s average employee seeks constant career growth, intellectual development and the opportunity for new challenges. Employees become dissatisfied, restless, and look for other job opportunities when these needs are not met.
Millennial employees are constantly acquiring new skills, taking online courses, learning by watching YouTube videos or even seeking help from friends that specialize in different areas. Rather than waiting for learning and development programs to be organised by their companies, they take things into their hands and streamline their learnings followed by opportunities for application and implementation. Senior leadership needs to adapt to this ever-changing talent pool with its ever-changing skill-sets. New challenges, regular encouragement and the right environment are the needs of the hour. With this, employees will possess an enhanced thirst for knowledge, a respect for organizational learning initiatives and the excitement that their individual potential will grow along with a company.
Creativity over longevity
With encouragement, comes motivation, which ultimately drives one to perform the best one can. This is a time when job-hopping is no more a stigma, and most employees and employers alike, no longer feel that more than three jobs in a span of five years, is a blotch on the resume. Job-hopping, instead, signifies ambition and a hunger for challenge, as well as adaptability and flexibility. Diverse career experiences are becoming a plus, and yet leadership continues to reward longevity at the workplace. Peer-run programs and opportunity-based rewards need to become more prevalent in such a context. For employees, appreciation matters whether they have been in an organization for six months, or six years. Longevity does mean more extended contribution, but this cannot be the only signifier of the value an employee holds for a company.
Recognition from colleagues, and rewards in terms of newer opportunities and projects of one’s choice, within one’s interests and competence, will all ensure that employees feel secure, but not stagnant.Rather than sticking to one pay raise a year, this could be split into three or four raises a year. The annual bonus as well, could be reconstructed such that employees receive a monthly bonus, constantly encouraging them in small increments.
The average millennial employee wants to be part of newer challenges, is thirsty for knowledge and as a result, wants to know more about what happens in the company. Gone are the days of working in a silo, oblivious to organizational occurrences and resources and companies need to communicate with employees and provide them with a working environment ideal for them.
Rajeev Shroff is a transformation coach and consultant and the founder of Cupela.