While few organizations can claim they have mastered managing diversity, the complexity has increased with the introduction of more millennials and generation Z into the workforce. By 2025, millennials will account for 75 percent of the global workforce, according to Inc.com. Additionally, most workplaces will have five generations working side by side (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z/2020), which will require CHROs to manage extreme age diversity. How HR adjusts for these changes will be key to organization’s success.
Talent needs to be searched for differently, including everywhere in the organization.
To attract and retain younger talent, HR will need to take into account the environment they grew up in. They have been immersed in collaborative technology from an early age, and new generations are accustomed to sharing and connecting with each other, with an emphasis on mobility. They have a different set of expectations and characteristics; they desire on-demand learning experiences and are interested in performance enablement over performance management, demanding their employers articulate the purpose of the organization. At the same time, HR leaders will also need to find new ways to leverage more experienced talent, ensuring more established employees have opportunities to further their development.
Attracting and retaining younger talent requires a shift in strategy: they have a different set of expectations and characteristics.
Employee wellbeing as a core HR focus.
Leaders at the London event highlighted the significance of employee wellbeing programs. A focus on overall health is important to younger generations, and there is also a business component to this. Some HR departments have been linking hard metrics, such as financial productivity loss to employee stress for some time. There are newer measures, including employee Net Promoter Score, that are creating a shift in how organizations view traditionally "softer discussions" on the topic of employee wellness by linking them to attracting and retaining the best talent in the market.
Capturing institutional knowledge in a world of shortened tenures.
Gone are the days where employees build lifelong careers at a single organization. While HR anticipates more career moves, they need to ensure there are systems in place to capture the knowledge each of those individuals possess before they leave an organization. An HR leader at a Shanghai event explained that his company had to invest in building a stronger knowledge management platform to capture business knowledge from employees on an ongoing basis so they do not lose expertise and insights when an employee changes jobs.
Break the status quo mindset.
To both engage younger generations and to help re-engage more seasoned employees, an HR leader at the Oslo event suggested establishing a “start-up exchange.” Employees spend a year working for a start-up and they return with a refreshed way of working that enhances the entire corporate environment.