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Why You Need To Engage And Retain That “Un-Loyal” Generation

Alexandria Joy - Monday, February 03, 2014

The people who have fulfilled the world’s need for skilled workers over the past three decades are now moving into retirement. This shift in demographic has a huge impact on companies that want to remain relevant and strong in changing times

While the Baby Boomers are moving out, Generation Y has moved into the workforce pipeline. The Human Capital Institute estimates that by 2025, Generation Y will make up 75% of the workforce.

The key to creating a profitable, sustainable business is developing a strong leadership pipeline.

Unfortunately, many companies continue to use “old-school” management practices that were originally targeted at Baby Boomers. This means that these organisations are not equipped to attract, engage, and retain Generation Y employees.

During our time helping business to power up their people, we’ve seen reluctance to targeting this demographic. Gen Y has a reputation for their lack of corporate loyalty; they change their jobs as often as they change their hair style.

But, for companies that stop “blaming” and develop strategies to meet the needs of this group, Gen Y stops jumping from job to job because they feel engaged and satisfied in their position.

We are now right in the thick of a workforce demographic shift; it is now more important than ever to prepare your organisation to fulfil expected talent shortages as Baby Boomers step out of skilled roles.

How Do You Do This?

First, you need to be fully aware of the needs of Gen Y, how they operate, and what makes them tick. Second, you will need to implement marketing, recruitment, staff engagement, and corporate culture strategies to ensure you meet those needs.

Here Are Some Quick Tips:

Provide Transparency
The 15th Annual Global CEO Survey 2012 revealed that Gen Y prefers development and growth opportunities three times more than a cash bonus as a form of benefit. When you communicate the future direction of the company and develop a personalised plan of how a Gen Y employee can develop in line with that vision, they’re more likely to stick around because they can see a clear path forward for themselves.

Provide Flexible Working Conditions
Unlike Baby Boomers, Gen Y don’t chase the idea of work life balance because they actually have a healthier perception that two aren’t mutually exclusive. This generation has a reputation for slacking off at times, but this is in comparison to Baby Boomers who have a belief of “success=work your butt off 100% of the time”. Things like flexible hours, flexible working conditions, and flexible “procedures” will help Gen Y employees to maintain the perfect blend of work and life. Focus on the outcomes, results and achievements they make rather than the how and when. If they check their Facebook Page every hour, does it really matter, especially if they achieve all that’s expected?

Create A Culture Where They Can Question The Status Quo
As Gen Y have a burning desire for professional development, it’s important to create a culture where they are safe to challenge the status quo. This is will not only keep them engaged, it will also grow a corporate culture of innovation and creativity – giving your company a unique competitive edge!

Succession Planning

Finally, succession planning is a brilliant strategy to fulfil your workforce pipeline with skilled employees. Teaming your experienced Baby Boomers with upcoming Gen Y leaders has a three-way benefit. Your Baby Boomer feels valued because they are given an opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with others. Your Gen Y employee is engaged because she is being groomed for further development and is learning new skills. And your organisation continues to build a culture of learning, sharing, teaching, and growth.

Here at UQ Power, we believe creating the right culture is the number one strategy to building businesses with influential brands. If you want highly specialised support in powering up your people, UQ Power’s Culture Improvement Program will turn your employees into loyal company advocates.


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Comments

Sue Painter commented on 11-Feb-2014 12:45 PM
It's interesting, all the stuff about gen Y and how they work. As a boomer, I can sure tell you we WANTED flexibility - but we sucked it up and showed up anyway when we didn't get it. We wanted more time off, too. I'm glad things are changing in the workplace.
Katherine C. H. E commented on 12-Feb-2014 10:07 AM
VERY interesting material. It is SO important to create an environment where your employees can thrive and be happy. No one wants an unhappy workforce, and no one wants to be an unhappy worker! GREAT tips!

Love,

Katherine.

Katherine C. H. E.
Author, Be True Rich
Trudy Scott commented on 13-Feb-2014 02:40 PM
Interesting to read what they want - I think I'm really a Gen Y!
Mary Ellen Miller commented on 14-Feb-2014 10:45 AM
I love the idea of succession planning from generation to generation Heidi. As you know I make mentoring the next generation a pillar of my business. I believe in them!
Jessica commented on 17-Feb-2014 07:08 AM
This is the first time I've read an article on this subject and I have to say, "This needs to get out!" I've only heard complaints about Gen Y, you gave solutions. The shift between generations is here and you gave such great strategies for engaging Gen Y. I've been in a few companies that were "stuck in their old-school ways" and it starts from the top. The leadership can't fear change, it has to move with it using your fantastic strategies!
Anonymous commented on 17-Feb-2014 01:15 PM
Thanks for your comment Jessica - I have to agree that rather than seeing Gen Y's as a problem to be fixed and pushed into an existing mould the best companies are those who are looking to adapt and flex to incorporate the new generations into their organisations. Each generation has much to learn from the other!
Mitch Tublin commented on 17-Feb-2014 01:23 PM
It is great - you have provided excellent solutions
to follow. One of the issues in implementing is as people are promoted and placed into titles/roles with leadership and managerial authority, they tend to do things the way they were done to/with them.
Tiffany deSilva commented on 18-Feb-2014 02:59 AM
Great article, Heidi! It is refreshing to see you offering some solutions and ways to adapt to the changing workforce. I can't tell you how many articles I've read that just complain about younger generations. Change isn't always a bad thing, in fact, it can be a big win for everyone involved.

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