Increasing iWorker engagement is a critical challenge for executives who want to lead their organisations to greater productivity and continued success. But the global workforce is being reshaped by the infusion of new and younger employees. And this means that attracting, engaging and retaining top talent requires new and different strategies.
According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace, the vast majority of workers do not feel engaged at work, and a good number 1 of them actually feel “actively disengaged.” 1
At the same time, the global workforce is growing younger — by 2025, three out of four workers will be from the Millennial generation.2 How do we attract new and better engage all our employees What is it they’re looking for in a company or work environment?
A perfect storm
Shifts in how organisations optimise their workforce may have begun with the downturn in the global economy, but now they’re being driven by dramatic changes in technology (cloud, mobile, Big Data, etc.) and user behaviour (both inside and outside the organisation). And rather than reversing as the economy improves, these trends will continue to evolve and impact the way we do business.
In fact, innovation focused solely on technology has been challenging employees and business’ capacity to change for some time. Digital technology is advancing at an exponential rate while people and business processes adapt in a more linear fashion. This is one reason organisations struggle to cope with increasingly complex, technological ‘solutions’ and take a long time to tap their full potential.
Combined, these trends represent a critical juncture — namely, in how information flows through the enterprise and, more importantly, how it can be put to productive use. If you are to be successful moving forward, optimising information processes will need even greater attention.
Millennials can play a key role
In our perspective, the younger Millennial workstyles are especially unique in terms of access to and use of information:
- Born into a digital environment they are more comfortable with using new technologies;
- They expect immediate access to information at work, just as they do in their personal transactions;
- They expect to use the same, smart mobile devices for work and personal life ?and to not be bound to a desk;
- They rely more significantly on experiential knowledge than on static information acquired through research.
We believe smart managers can capitalise on these differences in pursuit of two fundamental business objectives. First, to help design and adopt more effective information processes. And second, to foster a more innovative organisational culture that attracts and retains top talent.
Properly encouraged and supported, Millennial input can help you build more productive information processes — processes that help employees, say, serve customers more effectively. This not only yields benefits for specific functions or lines of business, but also helps the organisation as a whole by engaging topperforming employees more deeply and positively.
Tapping the “hidden talent” of Millennials to help optimise business processes acknowledges the genuine complexity of successful technological innovation – the people component and the broader business context. Innovation requires an approach in which the development of new technology is firmly grounded within the context of people who are supposed to us it and the business from the start to finish. Too often, the human context for the latest technology innovation is added as an afterthought.
Benefits across the board
“Millennials want to work for organisations that support innovation. In fact, 78% of Millennials are influenced by how innovative a company is when deciding if they want to work there, but most say their current employer does not greatly 3 encourage them to think creatively.”3
Engaging and attracting top talent, particularly the analytical talent, you will need to make your organisation more productive and competitive, will continue to be a challenge. More diligently enlisting Millennials to help with designing and implementing better information processes provides twofold benefits: It makes your processes — and, by extension, your business — more innovative and effective; and this, in turn, makes you more attractive to emerging talent.
No one knows your processes better than your employees do. Learn more about how they can help with improvements in ‘Finding productivity right under your nose.’