As HR leaders, we have always struggled with talent pipeline particularly related to retaining &developing young, bright talent for future roles to bring more agility in the organisation. Mostly in organisations we have undertaken campus programs and lateral hiring of younger talent from the market in order to incorporate this spectrum which would lead in developing future workforce for upcoming business challenges.
This talent not only helps us with the same by getting groomed internally but also brings about fresh thoughts and present a ground for breeding what is so-called “A Millennial Generation”. There are a multiple definitions of Millennial Talent Pool and we observe diverse set of scientific comments supporting the same.
I am referring to my latest discussion with one of a leader of a large organisation which is into domestic operations and has bred traditional talent where we see a large workforce around the mid 40sage group and he has recently introduced the younger workforce with a small percentage which would help breed the Millennial Talent amongst the organisation that he is leading. I am in agreement with the concept that in today’s scenario it would be a misnomer to define Millennial Talent with the age spectrum but treat the younger workforce as a talent pool which would help developing the Millennial Work Culture within our workplaces and also assigning responsibilities to the greater depth in order to achieve our forthcoming business challenges which needs to be marked through this cultural paradigm shift.
With the above context, I am referring to the few not so traditional ways to manage this talent which becomes a catalyst for the change that we have talked about above. Attracting the talent is just a first step into this sphere, however, some of the below non-traditional ways would help us with looking into various spectrums to imbibe the work culture which is intended.
Ways of Working
With increase in the complexities at the workplace and the diversity of the talent infusion there is a clear need to amend the way we would like to view the work styles of people. It clearly scales from the flexibility of the work timings basis the work needs and personal needs. Millennial talent identifies itself to the work basis the personal and professional needs. The limitation is also not towards necessarily towards the timings but also expands towards where one need to work from does and how the discussions are emerging. A lot of new mangers initiate discussions around a café or a very unconventional place. The ways of working also demarcate the policy determination and how the workplace policies are determined in terms of the expectation of an employee conduct.
With the infusion of millennial talent, the major focus should be on provision of hands-on technology tools which would support them in their respective areas of work. The idea is not to dump the platform but to be up to date in identifying the areas where the support could be rendered in order to make the work flexible and direct efficiency. I did identify some of the HR leaders who have clearly demarcated technology adoption as a part of their strategic plan leading to user friendly portals for employee services and creating online platforms for annual assessment, development plans and employee insights. Some of the leaders also talked about introducing the Organisation Social Networking forums of collaborating with the workforce which is actually not around. The technology is further enhanced by increase in digital protocols not limited to WhatsApp groups, experience blogs, interactive portals and platforms for virtual interaction.
Job Content and Measurement
There is a clear paradigm shift in how the jobs are viewed in today’s scenario including the content to the measurement. As per my interaction with some of the HR leaders, the jobs are simplified into outcomes which measure from short term to long term result measurement and also from the nature of the presentation. Looking at this more deeply would demarcate that the Jobs need alignment with project based output with a clear structure; support areas and project Output stitched to the long term objectives of the organisation. The millennial talent clearly relates to the job matrix which makes them accountable with these project assignments and also provides them a platform for their development basis the reviews.
Work Life Environment
I would like to bring this to the attention as well as the work environment including the way the team member is expected to conduct himself matters a lot here. It is important to understand the work life of a millennial workforce before deciding the work protocols. Millennial talent likes connecting with similar minded people at the work place and explore ones hobbies. A hobby club is a wonderful platform cited by some of the HR leaders which has certainly helped them to retain this talent ensuring that their work life balance is maintained up to their own standards. Millennial Talent certainly would like to get engaged into activities basis their personal interest seeking overall fulfillment of their professional needs.
Protocols on Performance Assessment & Developmental Feedback
Millennial talent likes to bring about a lot of focus on frequency of reviews rather discussions with the manager while a focus is brought into how one is able to present oneself into future roles and be more effective in contribution to larger goals of the organisation. During my interaction, progressive HR leaders have specified increasing interactions even on a monthly level to incorporate the developmental inputs into the regular discussions which the mangers have with their teams.
Coaching and Leadership Development Inputs
Millennial talent certainly needs consistent inputs on their development. In some cases development inputs have been provided by giving them regular assignments which would help them understand P&L management of a small franchisee so that they get developed to handle large business in future and grooming also happens when they have a regular & planned interaction with their identified mentor within the organisation. Such assignments have certainly proved very beneficial in developing such a talent in the future.
FACTORS HELPING MILLENNIAL TALENT MANAGEMENT
In today’s challenging business environment, it is not a choice to ignore the growing breed of millennial talent as it’s a major catalyst for a change of culture within our organisations. Without a defined strategy it would be certainly difficult for us to sustain this talent pool. It would be very critical for us to adopt some measures like highlighted above which would help in defining the matrices for change. Business Leaders today needs to be coached in managing this change in their way of working to be able to absorb the demands of the future work mangers which would help in building their leadership pipeline for the future. Cross-functional work champions in each of the areas above help in developing a strategy in defining spectrums which need to absorb these changes. Basis my interaction with HR leaders across industries, some of the above projects are being worked in the direction of Organisation Improvement and have already been built into the core KPIs or Stretched Assignments for the identified change mangers with a concrete end state defined. Of course these projects have to be interlinked to the long term business strategy of the organisation to help deliver the desired results in future.
Author- Vikas Khokha has over 18 years experience in Human Resources, Sales & Marketing with an exposure to multiple industries like Office Automation, Telecommunications & Healthcare. Currently he is Director – Human Resources at Zimmer Biomet India and earlier he has worked with Bharti Airtel as Head- Human Resources. He has led large transformation projects like merger of internal units within the organisation, branching out of Business Units, amalgamation of the Key Business Units to the centralised workforce including policies and practices. Vikas was awarded ‘HR Excellence Award’ in 2015 for the HR best practices in Healthcare Industry in India.