Investing in a new generation


Investing in a new generation of employees

Innovative business ideas are important, but it won’t bring a business into the realm of success without your ability to attract, develop, and retain a pool of skilled and motivated employees.

Investing in a new generation


Because millennials are three times more likely than non-millennials to leave their jobs, investing in a new generation of employees should be at the top of your company to-do list. In order to ensure that your business has long-term success, you may want to think about the ways in which millennial workers differ from previous generations of employees and consider the things they are looking for in their employment opportunities.

Provide for a work-life blending or for remote work options.

Millennials embrace flexible working hours and look for employment that allows them to do their jobs when and where it makes sense. Drop shipping business strategies are an example of entrepreneurial ideas that allow the new generation of workers to organize their lives with a work-home balance that provides them opportunities to share in the care of children, work a side hustle that generates expendable cash, or enjoy a schedule free of rigid time constraints.

If such options are unavailable in your particular industry, companies should encourage employees in finding solutions to work-life imbalances by supporting the social, healthful, and collegial development of their employees.

Regular social gatherings, a during-hours running club, or informal, leisurely workspaces can encourage employees to feel more “at home” during the traditional workday. Punching a time card does not mean what it used to, and millennial workers seek employers who value their time, their effort, and their need to have pliable work options.

Provide fast career paths, replete with feedback and recognition.

Millennials are not only used to constant changes, they embrace them. Unlike workers of the past, millennial handle change with a greater degree of aplomb. If something isn’t working, they have no problem opting out and looking for a new way of doing things and a new context in which to do it. This should be a caveat to businesses: If a millennial’s work becomes too tedious or slow, he will choose to move on to something that is more interesting or attractive, with more dynamic career options.

Despite entering the workforce with fewer degrees, millennials value their core professional skills and competencies. They know what they know and aren’t afraid to look for opportunities to showcase their abilities. It is important, then, that employees are offered employment “tracks,” rather than fixed or inflexible positions that present a path to move forward or ahead.

They look for ways to develop new skills, even if those are within the same business or company. Millennials expect to be treated fairly, as individuals, and desire recognition for their professional contributions, expertise, and positive feedback for their successes. Rewarding good performance and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth will help you maintain real talent in your business.

Provide a purpose that matches millennial values.

Millennial workers want something to believe in. Unlike previous generations, millennials know themselves well and understand the social dynamics in which they find themselves. As a result, they are attracted to companies that have a mission or vision with which they identify.  Potential employees want their values and what matters to them personally to fit well with what the company stands for, and businesses who do that are more likely to find a loyal and long-term relationship with their employees.

Embracing and encouraging collaboration, cooperation, flexibility, and growth as core tenets of business operations will appeal to millennials. They also desire to contribute to a greater good, so businesses that exemplify corporate social responsibility are more likely to find and retain millennial workers.

Provide opportunities for all company employees to “live the brand.”

“Living the brand” is not just a battle cry for companies desperate to recruit workers. Research has shown the companies that invest in employee development beyond the initial recruitment period perpetuate a positive culture within their company community that is both motivating and marketable.

Research has shown that a brand that is attractive to its current employees makes for organizational success and promotes an external image that is attractive to both prospective employees and consumers. While advertising might help a brand, the experience of current employees and the ways in which they engage outside of the workplace need to reflect consistency.

An employee’s engagement on social media, for example, or their leisure activities that are consistent with the mission and vision of the business both attract and maintain talented employees who develop loyalty to the company. Both consumers and employees will maintain consistent relationships with companies that deliver on their commitments and dedicate themselves to an accurate representation of their vision and values.

What are some ways your company is investing in its workers? What have you found especially successful?