By Sundararajan Narayanan, Senior Vice President and Global Head of HR, Virtusa
With today’s younger generations becoming more and more connected through increased mobility, enterprise must take into account the changing expectations of Generation Y. Often called the ‘Millenial’ generation, they are the digital natives who use technology both inside and outside of work, every single day. A ‘job for life’ isn’t the primary aim of Millennials in a changing global employment market, and attracting and then retaining them in the workforce should be a top priority of HR departments, or they risk of losing the creativity and innovation that Millennials can deliver. Here are my top 10 tips for attracting and retaining Millennials, in order to utilise their potential within the workplace.
1. Open door to innovation
Establish platforms and best practices that allow Millennials to market, "sell" and get recognised for their creative ideas; rewarding innovation will help to fuel their creativity.
2. Variety: the spice of work
Encourage managers to allow high-potential Millennials to take on new projects and responsibilities. Organisations should consider dynamic rotation policies, internal job portals and other initiatives that offer the opportunity for growth.
3. Be flexible
Organisations that provide the ability to "weave" work into Millennials' personal goals and aspirations are more likely to engage them for the long haul. Telecommuting and flex time are no longer seen as work privileges, but as standard requirements.
4. Above all else, mentor
Generation Y yearns for supportive supervisors rather than authoritarians. Organisations need to build career counselling and mentorship programs that foster Millennials innate creativity.
5. Show the big picture
Millennials love to work in a transparent system that shows them how important they are. Consistent, one-on-one sessions with leaders should be ingrained to show how their roles tie into the big picture, and demonstrate how they support the broader business strategy.
6. Recognise and reward results
"Management by objective" resonates well with the Millennial generation. Consider implementing various talent platforms, performance management systems and robust learning portals that engage with Generation Y employees and reward their successes.
7. Find the high achievers
Let Millennials know they're important and valued. Quick appraisal is important to this group, so initiatives like referral bonuses, quarterly awards and badges can make all the difference.
8. Make clear career paths
Millennials like to plan ahead and progress in their careers — and today’s employment market is a competitive place. Organisations must provide training and development, mentoring, employee reviews and opportunities for internal advancement to hold on to their employees.
9. Be quick
Gen Y values speed. Multitasking is in their DNA, so establish regular means and channels to connect with this group. Consider using technology platforms that are familiar to Millennials outside of work, for example, enterprise social networks like Yammer, or internal search engines such as Vingo.
10. Know and use social media
Embrace and encourage the use of emerging technologies. Millennials tend to be ‘early adopters’ of new technologies or trends; they want to work for a company that's strong in social media and is an attractive ‘brand’ with a presence.
The Millennial generation are the future of enterprise, with their fledgling potential embedded within modern enterprise, the importance of fostering their talent is clear. With this groups’ experimental traits apparent within every aspect of their everyday life; the introduction of new and exciting technologies will only increase their engagement in the workplace and promote productivity. A wealth of revolutionary concepts constantly emerges in today’s workplace that can help to captivate a Millennial’s interest and promote a more positive working environment. Through employing these simple methods within business, we are able to learn from our Generation Y staff and see them prosper and revolutionise.