Retaining the gen-next workforce
By Mr Kannan Ramamoorthi
Job retention strategies have been evolving as long as employment itself has been around. Creating value has always been a two-way street- the employee delivers value in exchange for job satisfaction and a higher sense of purpose. Purpose is what has been driving, and still drives employees to soar higher and contribute more than what is asked of them. Finding this sense of purpose is where the true test or any organization lies. Every generation carries its own drive and sets its own goals to achieve before their day is done, be it excelling at building a talented team, developing new professional relationships or being recognized for their efforts. Millennials are no different. They carry their own form of resolve to achieve their goals and a sense of fulfilment is high on their list of priorities. Their outlook towards their job is entirely different from the Baby Boomers and Gen X workforces.
With the new-age outlook, come expectations that the new-age workforce fosters and companies need to recognize them if they intend to successfully retain talent.
The millennial workforce expects to be rewarded for good work and expects the employer to feel what they are doing is important. Instantaneous gratification for good work is always a strong motivator and helps the employees know that they are on the right track. Not only does this positively impact job satisfaction, but also encourages them to put in more hard work.
There is also an expectation of more flexibility in the work environment. Mental and physical health are given more and more importance in this day and age, and the effects of being healthy are evident in work life. The millennial population is big on healthy living, part of which is governed by a healthy work-life. It is important for them to realize that time-in/time-out is a little flexible as long as the goals and deadlines are met.
The new-gen workforce likes to be team-oriented and develops a deep companionship with colleagues, which helps improve the overall quality of work that is put in. This is important for morale and helps foster team spirit to collaborate and do better. The sentiment of learning from your fellow colleague has grown huge in urban work environments and contributes greatly towards overall quality of work life.
The communication style has to be evolved to a more straightforward manner so it’s more relatable, as this is the style that millennials are adopting now. Beating around the bush is considered too yesteryear and cannot continue to be the way communication is carried out. ‘Keep it clear, keep it short’ is the new communication mantra.
They believe in maintaining an open and honest relationship, fostering clarity and a solid conclusion at the end of every correspondence. Giving and receiving a good deal of feedback is also warranted and it is important to understand that their opinion needs to be valued. As a corollary they expect the company to continuously share with them the quality of their performance and the review process is to be carried out on a timely basis.
Companies are required to implement programmes whereby millennial talent can rotate through different functions of the organization. This lateral move can potentially boost retention and help employees foster a more positive attitude towards hard work and recognition. Lateral expansion can also prove to be the forte of certain employees who have a knack for showing expertise in multiple fields, making adaptability evident as their prominent skill set.
Millennials- and even Gen Z, care deeply about diversity in a work environment. In fact, it is considered one of the key ingredients in a healthy employee structure. They look down on companies that give nothing more than lip service in response to their issues and fail to take timely action towards rectification. They have clear expectations wherein positive steps are taken which help build trust with millennial candidates.
It is imperative to note their significant presence in ProConnect- we a have 62% millennial workforce, which constitutes to around 2/3rd of the total employees. It is a matter of focus for us and we make decisions carefully keeping their needs in mind.