Knowing your customers and planning around them is only part of mitigating risk and with Baby Boomers exiting the workforce, Millennials are on the rise and work as we know it is evolving beyond expectations.

By 2020, Millennials will account for over half of the world’s workforce and in most sectors, workforce planning will need to be in place to transfer vital knowledge before it is lost. Priorities have changed and what was important 10 years ago in regards to career satisfaction e.g. financial outcome has shifted towards creating a better work-life balance, having a real impact and feeling empowered with initiatives such as self-driven feedback.
 

A Shift in priorities:

The new working generation lean more towards – working to live rather than living to work. Flexibility is becoming more important than salary and the expectation for technology to support that flexibility is very evident. 
Organisations that have too many processes involved in decision making will lose the interest of millennials and will endanger themselves to being labelled outdated and regressive. Values that excite include, Empowerment, Enablement, Encouragement, Inclusiveness and Progressiveness.
 

Expectations:

The Millennial workforce expect to be viewed as partners in the organization who are included in decision making from the start, and are excited by being given the opportunity to engage, interact, and learn from their mentors and managers.  There is also a strong drive to seek opportunities that have a direct impact within the community.
If the path to progression isn’t a clear one and if real-time feedback isn’t an option, organisations place themselves in high risk of losing key talent. 
 

Workforce Planning:

Those who invest and make informed predictions of future talent requirements through effective workforce planning will exceed. Identifying future gaps in the business is crucial, however the challenge to attract, develop and retain key talent is where the focus needs to be.
 
As part of succession planning, create processes to allow for the transfer of knowledge to the Millennial workforce.  The age of retirement seems to be extending beyond the age of 65 for many, so the time to harvest collective executive experience is ripe in regards to shaping the next generation of leaders.
 

Cutting Through:

In the first instance, tailoring the messaging to reflect the attitudes of potential talent along with using relevant social media channels to syndicate communications such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Snapchat will ensure organisations are directly in front of their future workforce. Key phrases like work-life balance and workplace flexibility, career progression should also be included in messaging. 
 
Be transparent, in today’s social world where information is easily available, most people like to conduct their own online research. Organisations need to clearly state what they have to offer as Millennials are searching for information around culture, values, mission and purpose of the business.
 

Developing talent:

Research indicates that organisations are experiencing double the turnover of their Millennial workforce over recent years. To reduce this, smart companies are investing in retention strategies.  The clues lie in what is important such as progression and making a difference, in a Harvard Business Review 86% of Millennials believe it is important that their work gives back to the community.
 
Visible development programs are a great retention strategy, however even with regular training initiatives, consistent employment development is needed to keep talent engaged.  Developing a framework to facilitate two way feedback is essential for ensuring ongoing engagement and the identification of high performing talent. 
 
According to a US organisation,  Bersin & Associates, companies with fully integrated talent management strategies, processes and systems have half the rate of turnover, twice the rate of promotions and are 92% better at creating a pipeline of successors.
 
By implementing some of the ideas above and taking note of best practices amongst leading organisations, organisations can fundamentally reshape their potential talent pool for the long term.
 
(Acknowledgement to DTS Spade)
 
The Next Step works with organisations that seek to Buy, Borrow and Build talent.  
 

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