perational efficiency is at the top of most corporate agendas – but how many

organisations are willing to discuss talent management? Frankly speaking, not very many. It’s not necessarily because organisations fail to view talent management as an important aspect of business development. However, it is very often because their understanding of managing talent is limited. Many employers tend to view talent management as a process of acquiring and recruiting the right people for the right job, and then letting their manag- ers ensure that they do it. Sounds too good to be true? Tat’s because it is. Talent management is a continuous cycle of engagement and improvement which, if done right, ultimately results in talent retention – creating a win-win situation for both employees and employers. No generation has demonstrated

the importance of effective talent management better than the millen- nials, also known as Gen Y. Te 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey1

has recently

shown that two out of three Gen Y employees expect to leave their current organisation by 2020. Needless to say, this presents organisations with a sig- nificant talent management challenge. So how can organisations address this challenge and make it work for them?

Adapt your offering

More often than not, the solutions to internal challenges are as simple (or as complex, depending on how you look at it) as external challenges. What do businesses do when consumer demands change? Tey adapt their offering to suit consumer demand in order to retain customers, as well as attract new ones. Well, employees’ demands have

changed – and they have changed drastically. According to Deloitte2


Gen Y currently forms 35 per cent of the total workforce in the UK, with trends indicating that this number is only likely to increase. Terefore, organisations can simply not afford to ignore the development of their Gen Y employees. Gen Y operates very differently to the generations preceding it, and it is not just about its rapid grasp of technological innovation. What is it about then? In

order to navigate the learning and

development of Gen Y, organisations must first shed the preconceived notions that they have about

millennials. Some examples include: 

 

 

Tey think they know more than they actually do.

Tey aren’t open to feedback. Tey don’t want to pay their dues.

The millennial mindset As our recent masterclass3

on manag-

ing Gen Y has shown, understanding the millennial mindset can seem daunting, making it tempting for employers to dismiss this generation and stick to what they are comfortable with – that is, preferring to work with Gen X or Baby Boomers. It is essential to understand that

while some Gen Y colleagues might seem easier to work with than others, what many of this generation have in common is that they come to work with a desire to ‘work hard and play hard’. Tey want to give it their all and get the very best out of their job. Tey tend to believe that they have control over their career trajectories and are therefore unlikely to settle for a role in which they are not fully satisfied. Tey are not a ‘disruption’, as they are often perceived to be, and will not simply go away. Te fact is, in 10 years’ time, Gen Y will be the majority in your workforce. Deloitte estimates4


Gen Y employees will comprise 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025. As a senior leader, how you

shape your organisation and strike that balance between traditional principles and new ways of working will ultimately depend on your own approach and leadership style. We often hear that stress trickles down in a workplace – well, so do attitudes. If you view your Gen Y employees as a hindrance rather than an asset, so will your managers and supervisors who do not belong to that generation. In order to successfully manage

Gen Y employees, it is critical to first understand their thought-process, their goals and, most importantly, how their contribution can give your organisation an added advantage. Here are some key takeaways that can help you get the best out of your Gen Y staff.

Tey walk in the door with sky-high expectations and little experience. Tey only want to do the best tasks.

See the potential

Fear of embracing change may threaten your ability to see the potential in a Gen Y employee. Tink about your own – conscious or subconscious – prejudices. Do you find yourself unable to trust them simply based on their age or their tendency to experiment? Tanks to their parents’ investment in their education, Gen Y employees are often smart, resourceful, talented and, of course, educated. Yes, they might be hungry for knowledge and

When handing a Gen Y employee a task, show them how it contributes to the wider business

might want to get on fast, but that is not necessarily a negative trait – think about how this dynamic attitude can help boost your team morale or secure new business opportunities.

Focus on leadership development

Once you begin to see the potential in your Gen Y employees, do not be hesitant to envisage them as leaders. Gen Y – rightfully so – expects to be trained up and prepared for a business and economic environment that is in a constant state of flux. Te millennial generation might be free spirited, but organisations should not misunderstand that for a lack of ambition. Tey may not necessarily work for money, but they still aim to get to the top of the corporate ladder. According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 survey5


59 per cent of UK organisations state that they are not ready to meet the leadership development needs of millennials. Tis needs to change if organisations want to successfully retain quality talent. Mentoring millennials is essential, which is why organisations need to take them into account when investing in learning and development programmes. One way of doing this is to show them the big picture often. When handing a Gen Y employee a task, use this as an opportunity to show them how the specific task contributes

 | july 2016 | 15

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