Developing a Workforce Strategy for the Future

Young Professionals

This post was written by Chaz Gerads, Director of Client Solutions at Keyot.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. workforce will consist of 75% Millennials and GenZ by 2030. There is no denying it, workplace culture is evolving faster than ever as the ‘Zennial’ (Millennial & GenZ) population continues to increase. Their generational norms, diverse life experiences, views of the world and desires in an employer are significantly different than previous generations. In order to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace and retain top talent, organizations need to change their approach to managing these generations. In this blog, I will highlight some of Keyot’s helpful hints to engage, lead and learn from these young professionals.

To begin to understand how to manage Zennials, let’s first dive into the key themes of their upbringing that influence their workplace expectations:

  • Digital: These generations grew up with technology at their fingertips. From the iPad they watched YouTube videos on during their toddler years to the instant news and trending influences provided through social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., this is a generation of individuals that are highly tech savvy and have become accustomed to instantaneous results.
  • Risk Averse: Having grown up through major economic events such as 9/11 and the housing market recession of 2008, Zennials yearn for environments that provide a strong sense of security.
  • Humanitarian and Team-Orientated: 93% of Zennials say a company’s impact on society affects their decision greater than all other variables when deciding who to work for. These generations were brought up in a transformative time, with stories of improving collaboration, inclusivity and sustainability in the workplace often making headlines.

We’ve captured 4 helpful ideas from our clients, and our own experience, that can help you engage your current and prospective Zennials:

  1. Allow for a flexible work environment. The idea of being tied to a desk 40+ hours a week is not attractive to these professionals. Leveraging the capabilities of today’s robust technology landscape to enable a more flexible work environment, such as work from home capabilities, creates a sense of ‘work-life’ balance among Zennials, without losing productivity.
  2. Put employees first. Invest in them through on-going development and keep them informed. Ensure they understand both your vision and your company’s vision, and make sure they recognize how they can add value. This is especially important during unique, challenging times when your organization can benefit from their creative solutions. (e.g.-  the current COVID-19 pandemic).
  3. Connect them to your brand. Engage Zennials in the fulfillment of your mission and purpose.  As previously mentioned, these young professionals are making career decisions based on the impact your company is having in the communities you serve.  It’s critical that you make sure your Zennials understand the connection between your products and services and the impact they have on those around you.
  4. Create a culture of collaboration. Zennials focus on the greater good – even more so than previous generations of Boomers and GenX’rs. They want everyone to succeed – they’re focused on “we” rather than “me”.

Adapting your workplace to incorporate these helpful hints will not only allow your organization to more easily attract and retain the next generation of talent, they will provide your organization with a competitive edge in the marketplace.

If you’re looking for creative solutions to engage these young professionals, we can help. Over the last 8+ years we’ve partnered with numerous organizations to combat the talent gap concerns that keep leaders up at night. Keyot’s Crew212 program is a launch pad for young professionals. We deliver the best and brightest coming out of universities across the country and provide them with over 200 hours of structured training during their first year as a consultant. At the end of their engagement, you can convert your Crew212 consultants to full-time employees of your organization. There is no time like the present to begin building your workforce strategy of tomorrow!

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