There is a lot of focus on how millennials want to work at an organization where they can make a meaningful contribution, something that is relevant not only to the organization but important to them. Is this unique to millennials? I would argue no. What is different is that millennials today are choosing employers based on this value, whereas Gen X and Baby Boomers may have not. It’s not too late for employers to help all of their talent find that individual purpose and meaning so that they too can be personally and professionally fulfilled.
How do you do this?
Take the time to understand the unique potential of every employee
In the past, many organizations have focused primary on the top 5% – 10% of their organization, or their high potentials. As the global economy improves and the “war for talent” accelerates, we must have an attraction strategy that brings the best talent. At the same time, we must equally focus on developing our internal talent if we are to safeguard the skills and competencies we need for the future. We face a significant talent risk if we do not offer meaningful development to the remaining 90 – 95% of your talent population.
One of the biggest challenges organizations face today is the ability to grow our people fast enough. As our business changes rapidly and our workforce becomes more and more diversified, a constant shift of new roles and organizations is required to stay ahead of the competition. In order to understand the talent you have you must spend time with them to assessing their talents and their potential.
2. Help your talent realize their passions
Over the years I have spoken with many people who are struggling because they do not love what they do. This is having not only an impact on their motivation and contributions but it negatively impacts those around them.
It is my firm belief that you should only do what you love. To fully engage talent, help them identify what motivates and inspires them and then help them realize that in their organization either through their role or other opportunities within the company will positively impact them, their team and your business.
3. Avoid a one size fits all approach to learning
Learning management strategies have evolved. Gone are the days of expensive and ineffective traditional learning, sitting in a classroom for multiple days with the hope that your employees will take away what they learned and bring it back into the work place.
Today, learners need to be able to learn where and when it works for them and they expect learning to be tailored to their needs. Through technology we can customize almost every aspect of our lives. From the moment we wake up until we go to sleep, technology gives us personalized choice through the apps we use, devices we carry, information we choose to access.
Learners expect the same ease of customization and organizations must respond if they are going to accelerate the development of their talent to respond to the rapidly changing business world.
Talent Management strategies must move away from a general “one size fits all” approach to a more customized and tailored set of offerings based upon individual needs.
4. Internal opportunities
What if someone is clear about their talents and their passions but really in the wrong role? By taking the time to understand what your people are good at and what they love to do you are best positioned to then support them in finding the right internal opportunity.
Internal talent acquisition strategies must mirror external strategies. Recruiters should hold as much intelligence about internal talent as they do about external. Sourcers should be reviewing the internal landscape to find the best fit for open roles. To do this effectively, you need to ensure you understand your talent and that you have the technology in place to allow you to mine your own talent population.
5. It all comes down to leadership
At the end of the day you can have the most leading talent strategies but if you do not have engaged and accountable leaders, you will not realize the opportunity to maximize the engagement and contribution of the talent you currently have. Leaders simply must take their role in developing amazing talent as top priority.
Millennials have reinforced the idea that engagement and discretionary effort is maximized when an individual can leverage their talents, realize their passions, by working for an organization that allows them to do what is meaningful to them. What companies need to capitalize on now is not just creating this for millennials but ensuring that all of their amazing talent can do what they love to do each day. This will help your organization and the world run better!