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Leadership

10 Tips for Managing the Next Generation of Talent

Get advice on how managers can help create an environment that motivates young employees to commit to a career within their company.


Get advice on how managers can help create an environment that motivates young employees to commit to a career within their company.

On average, Millennials spend about three years  at an organization before accepting a new role someplace else. This turnover trend has spurred an ongoing discussion among talent management circles about what motivates Millennials and Generation Z, and how to keep them engaged. Below are 10 ways to help your company show its dedication to the personal and professional development of new generations of talent, which may help them build a stronger commitment to the organization, increase retention rates and unlock their full potential.

1.        Provide meaningful work that connects to your mission and strategy. Ensure your employees feel challenged, and that it is clear how their work connects to the bigger strategy of your organization. This is the key to success for increasing employee engagement and productivity.

2.        Offer ample development opportunities and a range of new experiences. There may be a misconception that the new generations of talent place a high emphasis on compensation. While they want to be compensated fairly, many actually place a higher value on getting the right mix of job experiences. Encourage your employees to take on new projects while in their current role, and try to provide cross-functional assignments that will help them advance their careers.

3.        Define clear career paths. Make sure your employees understand not only where they can go in their current role, but also how their skillset can translate into other roles in the organization. Remind them that advancement does not always mean up—lateral moves, additional contributions, and added projects and experiences can also open up career opportunities and unlock additional skillsets.

4.        Promote curated learning. Employees are motivated to learn, so managers should make it easy for them to do so on the job. Curated learning—experiences made up of existing resources presented in a new way—allows employees to gain knowledge from valuable bundled content, without employers having to start from scratch.

5.        Be transparent, provide feedback and recognize accomplishments. Earn the trust of your employees by being open in meetings, sharing your expectations and providing immediate and frequent feedback. Be explicit with evaluations, link individual goals to company goals and recognize successes early and often. Employees value having an understanding of the company’s strategic direction.

6.        Encourage collaboration and connectivity. Generations entering the workforce today value working on highly functional and collaborative teams. They are looking to make lasting relationships and want to feel connected to both the organization and the people. Provide resources and opportunities that promote collaboration and inclusion—in person or via social networks.

7.        Provide coaching and mentorship. Help foster your employees’ personal growth by providing opportunities for them to receive career advice and guidance. Mentors and career coaches can help them play to their strengths and navigate challenges, as well as highlight how their capabilities may be used in different roles. Try to not let your employees become complacent.

8.        Promote opportunities to give back and the importance of exploring one’s passion. Employees should be able to bring their whole selves to work every day and feel like their passions and interests inside and outside of work are appreciated and encouraged by their managers. Whether it is giving back to communities or taking on stretch assignments—support their desire to do more and be more.

9.        Drive innovation and promote the fail fast methodology. Give your team the room to test, iterate and fail—then learn from their mistakes and try again. Ask them to explore new ways of getting things done and to share ideas. Give them permission to ask for help so they can practice innovating and being uncomfortable.

10.     Ask your employees what you can do to help them. We sometimes forget that managers are really there for employees, not the other way around. Their success is your success.

We have all read the research that says employees do not leave companies, they leave managers. Show genuine interest in the success of your team and each individual employee’s career. Go out of your way to demonstrate your commitment to them by providing experiences, real feedback and support. This is how you can help build a strong, diverse and inclusive culture, and create an environment that will motivate top talent to commit to a career with the company.

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