Develop and Retain the Next Gen Workforce

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 “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt seems to be following me around theses days. This is her quote above. When work becomes difficult or makes you stretch, I think it is normal to feel inadequate or unable to fulfill  your end of the bargain – fear is very real. Personal and professional growth requires you do the things you think you cannot.  Thus, Eleanor’s quote above…

Individuals, and also Organizations, Must Prepare

As we look to the future of growing companies and larger organizations, there is a need to prepare for the many variables which will affect job seekers and the current workforce. Workforce demographics are changing for multiple reasons: newly-created skills and experience gaps, Baby Boomers are retiring ro shifting gears, and an influx of Millennials and Gen Y opportunity seekers will join or migrate a starving workforce.

Time to Implement New Strategies to Attract or Retain Employees

Forward-thinking organizations are starting to recognize the need to implement new and unusual strategies which meet the needs of the next generation of workers. These many needs/desires include:

  • Flex-time work requests
  • Remote, virtual, telecommuting work opportunities instead of on-location and/or in-office
  • Future opportunities for growth or development
  • Shared appreciation of a job or project well-done
  • Contingent or contract work
  • Use of updated technology and expanded social capabilities within an organization

Whatever strategy is developed and implemented to engage the next gen workforce, the above considerations are a must.  There are more, to be sure, but the above are often identified as most important to Next Gen.  Hiring companies who fail to recognize these wants and needs may miss out on engaging a growing subset of today’s workforce.

Leadership Development

The next gen workforce has high expectations of transparency regarding future opportunity and personal/professional development.  They want to know now if they have a chance at management or organizational leadership.  Sharing opportunity ideas with the current workforce is also a well-justified method of employee retention. If an employee thinks you care enough about them to develop their talents or discover new ones, they may stick around longer and become more interested in company success.

A formalized leadership development program is a great addition to talent management.  This should be part of a performance management process and learning management, as well as succession planning. Cohesion is elementary.

Total Talent Management

A unified talent management system allows for alignment between compensation, reporting and analytics, talent mobility, and career planning with performance management, succession planning, and leadership development. Understanding various employee data sets helps organizations to use data like never before to evolve and grow the future of an organization. A growth strategy utilizing these many variables will no doubt benefit and assist the organization to progress – which is the most sought after but most difficult to achieve by-product of a good leadership dev strategy.

The Workforce of Tomorrow

It is very important to remember the latest generation of workers, who are tomorrow’s leaders, demand higher engagement than previous generations of workers. They want input regarding their future and on their career path. Because of technology, businesses are forced to evolve and adapt rapidly – Millennials do this well – they like to adapt and adopt, they like technology – they have grown up with it. Engage with them appropriately and organizations will reap the rewards of a well-nourished future workforce.  This demonstrates desire and effort to retain quality within the organization – this is appreciation – which Gen Y and Millennials crave – don’t we all?

The Gaps we Face

We are currently facing skills shortages and gaps which will impact the future for most organizations unless they are addressed now. Larger organizations must invest in updated performance management processes, develop a necessary ongoing skills development cycle, and embrace a cross-cultural approach that will assist companies in creating adaptable and lasting organizations of tomorrow.

“The more seriously you take your growth, the more seriously people will take you.” – John Maxwell has it right.  So, what else is new?

 

by Rayanne Thorn
@Ray_anne

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