MANAGEMENT: Why are all my new employees so needy? Why do they quit before their first-year anniversary when we are giving them everything!? Why are their career expectations so high? These “Millennials” are so frustrating!
Your new employee is placing himself into one of these four categories during his entire career with you, however, getting him to the top right box as quickly as possible and keeping him there is your challenge. And, believe it or not, it is very much in your control.
If you're like most organizations, you're scrambling to attract today's professionals. A lot of effort is being put into redesigning office space so they can work in a hip, open environment that encourages communication and collaboration. Companies are offering perks such as free snacks, volunteer days off or unlimited PTO, remote work options and holistic wellness options. They're upping their game on becoming more digitally relevant in social media so that these workers can easily connect and relate to the brand. And it's working. They are hiring more of the people they desire. And yet, they frustrate the heck out of management at best and at worst, leave.
The work environment is important and so is your brand but there are two things required to build and retain a highly productive workforce: a defined learning and growth plan along with structured coaching and feedback.
1. A Defined 1st Year Learning and Growth Plan
A recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers1 survey finds that opportunities for advancement in their careers is by far more highly prized by Millennials than anything else. Providing career-pathing, skills development programs, mentoring, trainings and other professional development opportunities that indicate how to advance in their careers will keep them engaged and contributing to your organization.
Plot your organization on the above 2 x 2.
Is your onboarding and learning plan structured and defined from day 1 through year 1? When your new employee starts, set the tone to make their first day amazing and provide a defined process to get them up to speed in their first 90 days. If you also have continued defined developmental opportunities that take them through their first year, then you have a best in class onboarding and puts you on the far right of this graph.
Or do you have a lot of “documents” and “information” that has been developed over the years and you hope the managers are using these to ensure the new hires have what they need to be successful? Or are you on the far left of this graph and get them on the phones or out in the field in a couple of days because you believe OTJ is the best way to learn and frankly, you need them to start producing?
2. Structured and Continuous Feedback and Coaching
All associates, and Millennials in particular, are hungry for feedback, both performance feedback and development opportunities. While there is a tendency to claim this as Millennials being "needy", it's really just reflective of how this generation learns. Feedback and Coaching – both timely and structured is necessary. It is not just sharing how they're doing versus expectations (KPI tracking), but what they are doing well and areas they can improve, along with suggestions on how they can improve. If they are not learning and growing in their careers, they are more likely to become bored and leave an organization if they’re not feeling fulfilled and engaged. Retaining these employees requires consistent time investment and coaching from their managers.
Train your leaders on how to provide effective feedback and on the spot coaching to their direct reports and hold them accountable to spending structured one-on-one time every week with them. Leadership development is required for successful employee development.
Butler Street helps organizations embrace and implement these best practices, so they are able to engage this emerging talent for the long haul. If you feel your onboarding and skills development programs could be improved, or if your leaders need some development in how to coach and provide feedback, let's talk. We'd love to help!
1 2017 PwC Report: Workforce of the future, The competing forces shaping 2030