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If You Can Endear, You Will Endure

3 Strategies to become an organizational Talent Magnet

McKinsey coined the phrase “the war for talent” - in 1997! Fast forward 20 years and the war for talent is even more intense today.

A Deloitte study on human capital trends in 2014 found executives were struggling with leadership gaps at all levels—from first-line supervision through top leadership (more than 60 percent of all companies cite “leadership gaps” as their top business challenge). Adding to their concern is that the baby boomers are retiring in large volumes; with some organizations expecting to lose 30 percent of their workforce by 2018.

Per a 2015 SHRM, Harris Poll and Career Builder study, the top workforce concern of CEOs is the skills gap. In fact, 60% of CEOs believe that not having qualified people holds them back and prevents their organization from meeting their strategic goals.

We know two things that can answer this gap:

  1. The Millennial generation (those born between 1985 and 2010) is huge by any calculation — more than 100 million people, and dwarfs the last large generation, the Baby Boomers.

  2. It is critical to become a “talent magnet” and create a steady pipeline of top people. Those organizations that endear themselves to the Millennials will endure.

Three strategies that will help you become a talent magnet:

1. Purpose: More than salary, position, culture or any other factor, there is one thing that Millennials want from employers: a sense of purpose. All organizations exist because they deliver value. It is critically important that you can communicate what we call “The Main Thing” or the purpose your business exists and that you reward and recognize behaviors that support this. Making a profit is a given, but being able to connect why you do what you do to your employees is more important. It is the reason the Millennials will come to work for you and, the reason they stay. What’s your purpose?

Here are some examples of companies that communicate their real purpose:

Southwest Airlines: Connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.

New Balance: Committed to moving the world physically, emotionally and intellectually

2. Leadership: New hires (Millennials) rarely get to work closely with experienced middle managers or upper-level executives. Normally they are supervised by first-line managers who tend to be the least experienced; often these managers lack the knowledge and skill required to develop their direct reports. Therefore, many new college graduates begin their careers in business under the worst possible circumstances. Since they know their abilities are not being developed or used, they quite naturally soon become negative toward their jobs, employers, and business careers and they leave.

Are you developing your leaders to develop your Millennials? Organizations that endear themselves to Millennials have both an accelerated career path to management (young managers) and a focused training to give them the foundational management skills to move from player to coach. Thus, the Millennial employee connects to the young manager and also experiences how their manager cares about them personally as well as their professional success.

3. Fun: It’s a deciding factor. A full 60% of 2015 grads -- and 69% of 2013 and 2014 grads, who were also surveyed -- said they'd rather work for a company that has a "positive social atmosphere" even if it means lower pay. I can relate to this as I nearly left a company early in my career because the team dynamic was no longer fun. This company hired a person that wasn’t a fit and the social atmosphere of the day-to-day work changed drastically. It’s not that fun replaces work, but rather, if you are going to go “all in” every day, it had better be enjoyable! Companies that create an atmosphere that allow associates to connect with each other and not take everything so seriously are the ones that win.

Do you have the ability to connect to Millennials through Purpose, Leadership, and Fun?

At Butler Street, we help companies and their people grow. We can help your organization develop a plan to endear yourself to attract and retain talent and ultimately endure. Companies that implement our strategies outpace the market and have a lot of fun doing so!

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