The generations are wired differently, they work differently and organisations have to adapt.Improving productivity, reducing turnover and building your talent supply chain across four diverse generations is imperative for organisational success as we stare down the barrel of a rapidly changing workplace and marketplace.
There are fundamental reasons why organisations, not just HR departments and HR leaders, must respond to generational issues—and quickly.
The fact is, although there is a deluge of anecdotal evidence suggesting that the different generations’ mindsets and approaches to work are worlds apart, we now know that the modern workplace is occupied by a constituency that—across the age spectrum:
- demands flexible conditions and work-life balance,
- thrives on collaboration and entrepreneurialism, and
- at once craves knowledge and is qualified to impart it.
Today’s workforce needs to believe in its employer and perceive meaning in its work, too.
Where once we may have been daunted by the prospect of the much-maligned and little-understood Gen Y, or the Millennial generation, representing 44 percent of the US workforce by 2020, our research indicates that this demographic brings a fresh approach to the workplace. In combination with the experience and knowledge of the generations before them, this could be the exact solution business needs.
The simple truth?
If leaders can adapt their mindsets and processes to embrace genuine integration of the learning and leadership styles of Baby Boomers, Gen Xs and Gen Ys, they will bolster their success—and resilience—in the changing world of work.
4 tips to navigate the Gen Z talent hunt
According to Aaron Green Aaron Green is Vice President HCM Strategy at Oracle, Gen Zers eye on-the-job excitement and are keener on career growth rather than stability.
Whether your organization is ready or not, the Digital Natives are here. The Digital Natives’ aka Generation Z’s defining characteristic is in their name. These are people born into a post-millennial era that has witnessed some of the world’s biggest-ever technological innovations. Social, mobile, cloud and multi-media technologies are almost coded into their DNA. According to research by Sparks & Honey, people of this generation spend 41% of their free time with computers or mobile devices.
While this new breed of worker will bring uncertainty and change, that disruption can be a hugely positive force. There is an extraordinary opportunity to nurture a new generation of engaged, tech-savvy, creative and evangelical workers.
Here are four tips that will help you tackle Gen Z better:
- Focus on unique EVP: While most companies have similar sources for hiring that include job boards, job portals, social networks and HR partners, the differentiator lies in how you treat them. Companies should design their recruitment campaigns as if they are attracting a prospective customer. It’s about marketing your unique EVP (employee value proposition). Internet startups are excellent examples that use all kinds of experience including virtual, operation and cultural – to hire Gen Z.
- Engage immediately: Companies have to create working environment where Gen Z collaborates and share immediately. These things bring out the best of their capabilities. Giving them access to mobile and social collaboration tools on their first day at work is the most effective way to engage them. When a Gen-Zer is hired it is best to engage them right away with pre-boarding training and learning instead of traditional HR on-boarding that takes several weeks.
- Provide rich experience: Gen Zers are looking for a collection of experiences even within an organization. If they fail to get the desired opportunities, they tend to change jobs rapidly. The key to retention then is to put them in charge of their careers. HR needs to facilitate tailor-made employee experiences, embrace career and jobs customization and motivate employee via creative and productive mentorship programmes.
- Focus on Social Rewards: More than money or other benefits, Gen-Zers are looking for social recognition. This generation will not strive for the oldest employee awards, they look for public and peer recognition. So instead of a cash prize for suggesting a new product idea, they would prefer companies sharing such news on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
All employees need the right tools to do their job, and investing in the latest mobile technologies and will enable everyone to be more productive, whether they’re from generation Z, Y or X. But only by using the right combination of engagement strategies and technology tools will offer the Digital Natives an outstanding employment experience. Gen Zers eye on-the-job excitement and are keener on career growth rather than stability. If their future employers fail to cater to their needs, Digital Natives will take their energy, expertise and enthusiasm to one that will. But with the right people strategy and the appropriate tools, they could also be the key to shaping a successful future for the business.
What do Millennials want and why is it important to know
According to Nandini Rathi, training, flexible hours, cash bonus and a rich experience are the top work benefits that Millennials want. The always online, new age talent is not only redefining the workspace and they are also pushing employers to innovatively engage them.
The workforce is going through a marked change and is being dominated by those who were born between 1980 and 2000 — the Generation Y, popularly known as the millennials. Having actually outnumbered their Generation X predecessors in 2015 , millennials represent one-in-three workers in the US and close to half of the population of India. By 2020, they will represent 50% of the global workforce. Attracting and keeping young talent takes a further competitive edge due to the “Loyalty Lite” trend pointed out in several studies: that the millennial generation is more open to changing employers than the generations before. This is because compared to their predecessors; fewer millennials expect corporate loyalty to provide stability or rewards in today’s economic environment.
According to J Jerry Moses, as many as 63 per cent organizations are looking to invest in hiring technology.
Don’t Manage Me. Understand me!
Have you made any changes in the way you manage or interact with Gen Ys?
The simple fact is, you don’t have much time to change. Improving productivity, reducing turnover and building your talent supply chain across younger age groups is imperative for organisational success as we move into the next decade.
When preparing this paper, we were mindful of just how much has already been published about generational issues in the workplace. That’s why we reviewed more than 30 existing papers, studies and surveys—from leading think tanks to Big Four consulting firms—to find out if there really is a consensus on how to manage Gen Y (and beyond).
We consumed a seemingly limitless supply of articles in various periodicals, ranging from The Economist to a one-paragraph blurb from patch.com. We also (shockingly) spoke with real, live Millennials—from entry-level employees at a San Francisco-based energy company, to MBA students in Bangkok and undergraduates in Detroit. And, we made good use of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, an annual primary research exercise for Kelly, which, in 2012 included approximately 45,000 Gen Y respondents from more than 30 countries. We even had real, live Millennials read drafts of this paper—amazingly we passed.
From all of this research, we can tell you that there are fundamental reasons why organisations, not just HR departments and leaders, must respond to generational issues.
We can also tell you why some of the strategies that were supposed to work for Gen Y haven’t. Take a deep breath, and prepare to stop ‘managing’ Gen Y employees, and start ‘understanding’ them.