Can anyone please share their experiences on the best ways to engage young professionals in the workplace?
I specialise in Talent Management and Employee Engagement with a specific focus around young people.
I've found that there is quite a bit of negativity around employing and engaging young people, and I'm working to encourage employers to engage young professionals.
I'm therefore interested in experiences, case studies and best practices in effectively managing young professionals.
We run an Employee Engagement, Leadership and Culture Assessment company which can come in and help you engage the young professionals. By using our Assessment you can identify the gaps and align your strategic plan with it.
The results from these assessments will help you on the way to engage the workplace.
The best way to keep your employees engaged is to make them trust you.Employees remain in the organization because they trust you and not the company.
Secondly the need for a sound ethical orientation in your dealings is necessary.
Thirdly, youngsters today are upwardly mobile and therfore you have to streamilne your HR policies, especially your retention policies to keep them on board.
Fourthly you got to be prepasared for a high turnover among the youth hence have a recruitment back up plan
Wish you the very best
there is a wealth of info out there on this topic.
I would start here: http://www.gen-we.com
I am also happy to have a conversation on the topic with you if you would like.
STEP 1 Ask:
a. What do you enjoy about what you do?
b. How did you decide on this profession?
c. Where do you want to be in (1, 2, 3) years?
d. Who would you like to meet in your profession?
e. When can we talk again?
STEP 2 Listen…
Well, younger lot is smart and ambitious. You need to respect that. If you involve them, empower them (in line with their competence, of course) and encourage them, they will be inspired enough.
The basic universal rule of WIIFM is even more applicable to the young generation!
I'll answer as a Professional Leadership Development coach/trainer and a parent of a millennial that has had an amazing track record from age 19-23, without any formal college education.
Leadership principles apply to all people of all ages, background, race, religion, gender, etc. However, practices apply only in certain situations.... too often that's all someone knows, the practice that worked in one situation, but will not work in another situation.
We first have to believe in them. Then, we have to develop them. Lastly, we have to bet on them.
If we do that, I've found that they take care of the rest. A true leader that is taking full responsibility for the team is doing one of three things: making it happen, allowing it to happen, or preventing it from happening. Everything rises and falls on leadership.
I brought my son into my Leadership Development and Lean Manufacturing Consulting business at age 19. In a matter of weeks, he was training and leading/facilitating cross-functional teams made up of 6-10 people that were 2-3 times his age through Lean (Continuous Improvement) week long events. He did this twice with me mentoring him. After that, he was by himself in one facility and I would be in another state in another facility. He was leading teams every week and getting tremendous results.
At age 19, I paid for him to become a John Maxwell Team Certified Leadership coach, trainer, and speaker. He became a student of leadership principles and influence. By the time he was 20, he knew more about Leadership and Lean than most people that I come into contact with at any age.
At age 23, he's been earning a six-figure income without a college degree for several years now. At 19, he was just under six-figures. How was he able to do this?
Like I mentioned earlier, I believed in him. I developed him. Then, I bet on him. I gave him a reputation to uphold and he met the challenge. He did the hard work of reading and studying lean and leadership books constantly. In 4 years, he has read 50 or more books on leadership. The majority of people of any age haven't read one.
I love to work with the young crowd. They are usually the most energetic and most willing to change on my teams. When you train and develop young people on leadership principles, they don't have a lot to unlearn. They are able to start out with the right mindset. However, there is usually a lack of good leadership models for them to follow. Having a position or title does not make someone a leader. Having people that "want" to volunteer to follow them is the key. Not having people that "have" to follow because of position or title.
I hope that sharing my personal story has helped in some way. I believe I can do anything with a young team faster and easier than I can with an older more experienced team. The young teams are usually curious and open to learning while the older teams are more likely to already think they have the answers and also tend to think they know it all, and we are wasting our time with training and discovery. However, they don't know it all or have all of the answers....that's why we usually have the problem in the first place. :)
The young people tend to love the challenge. The older people tend to be bothered by the inconvenience.
There are a lot of good ideas here! And some excellent suggestions. My "two cents" is based on the college interns that I have had the privilege to work with. They are extremely team-focused and enjoy making a difference outside of their specific work responsibilities. Many of them are active in our Community Service Committee and that seems to be a growing trend in companies as they take on more people of that generation. Once you can get one or two of the young people on board, it can spread just as easily as the negativity! Perhaps empowering a small group with certain responsibilities can help engage the rest of the age bracket. I hope all of this has helped! Do let me know if you would like some specifics, such as the great turnout we had for a charity dodge-ball tournament!
Give them the tools of their job of course, so they can do it well, but also give them some creative outlet in whatever form that can be, so they have at least some platform to do something outside of what they've been told. Young people want to innovate, they want to create their own paths, but if all we're doing is showing them paths already made, without the opportunity for them to create their own, we are not fully utilizing what they can offer. The environment can't be stuffy either, it should be set up to support a dynamic, free form creative mindset to always keep that option open.
Hi Susan, Great questions. I would suggest that you look into www.pelocity.com. I would like to encourage you to speak with Founders Dr. Les Krieger or Steve Pollan. They have much experience with your concerns. They are also the founders of Assessment Technologies as well. www.assessment-tech.com. They are an Industrial Organizational Assessment Firm. They also offer free training in certain assessments for HR professional like yourself.
Intergenerational issues are critical to address. I believe they will be of great service to you. Both website above will go a long way in offering you lot's of very substantive information. I have worked with and partnered with Assessments Tech for 25 years.
In "The Servant Manager: 203 tips from the best places to work in America" chapter 3 presents 11 tips associated with understanding yourself and others, chapter 4 presents 24 tips regarding communicating effectively, but most importantly chapter 12 presents 12 tips on how to manage diversity. A real focus is on generational differences.
In a nutshell comment here I will paraphrase commentary and offer the following regarding millennial interactions.
1. Offer specific praise at least once a week to each individual.
2. Provide the necessary resources they need - that is from their perspective - don't micro manage
3. Give them a chance to lead a project, a team or some other activity where they can shine as a hero.
Having taught management training to managers over an 11 year period, been a manager at all levels over 25 years and having contacted the 50 best places to work, receiving feedback from 30 and actually working with a dozen, the book presents some excellent advice on a host of topics including your question.