How businesses can successfully master the ‘talent gap’ in their company; 10 questions to find that gap in your company

A few years after the idea of ranking web pages by their inbound links came to Larry Page in a dream, the founder of Google wrote down his five rules for management. He was in his twenties at the time. Rule #4 was this: Ideas are more important than age. Just because someone is junior doesn’t mean they don’t deserve respect and cooperation.

This focus on ideas and the empowerment of younger generations had never existed before. Suddenly, it became apparent that young people have valuable skills and talent to offer.  Add in technology, and an entirely new economy emerges –the Talent Economy, an era driven by a collaborative, innovative, mobile, on-demand workforce fueled by ideas and information. 

Millennials (ages 23-36 in 2018) are the first generation of this Post-Industrial Era. As a result, they will struggle to comprehend why the bylaws can’t be changed, why decisions can’t be made on the fly, why they can’t have a seat at the decision-making table, and why it’s always been done ‘that way’.

This generation is now the majority of the workforce, outnumbering even the Baby Boomer generation, and will represent 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025. Knowing what this emerging market needs and values most is critical to your organization’s success.

However, engaging this generation of employees has become a difficult, if not impossible feat. XYZ University’s research of U.S. Millennials reveals they have spent more time than other generations exploring careers and opportunities for advancement for two key reasons:

  1. They are searching for jobs that tap into their Post-Industrial values for education and collaboration; and
  2. They are struggling financially, paying off student loans and seeking jobs that will allow them to support themselves financially.

The Deloitte Millennial Survey, which surveyed nearly 7,700 Millennials in 29 countries, revealed that 44 percent of this generation plans to leave their jobs within the next two years largely because:

  1. Young professionals feel most businesses have no ambition beyond profit; and
  2. Their leadership skills are not being fully developed by their current employer.
Let’s face it. Few companies are powered by innovation in the same way as Google. Hence, we have a problem: an ever-widening gap between Industrial Era-managed companies and a Post Industrial-raised workforce.

The institutions we inherited were designed for the 20th century, and they are unable to cope in this era of disruption. Furthermore, today’s workers don’t want to work in organizations with clearly defined roles, organizational silos, top-down management, or predictability.

If organizations want to recruit and retain young professionals and compete in the Talent Economy, they will need to evolve. Question and challenge the status quo. Disrupt. Work in collaboration with young professionals to innovate and bring new solutions to the forefront.

The path that brought you here is not the path you will leave on. Here and now, ideas are more important than age and disruption is the norm. You can choose to see this as a great challenge, but I hope you will realize it as a great opportunity it is instead.

Mind the Gaps Quiz

Does your organization have what it takes to engage the next generation? Take this quick quiz to find out.

Our workforce/members/volunteers know our organization’s purpose and why their participation matters.

o    True o    False

Most people would describe our organization as happy, welcoming, and fun.

o    True o    False

Younger people are frequently invited to share their opinions and ideas with the leadership team

o    True o    False

Our leadership team actively uses social media.

o    True o    False

We think and act fast as an organization.

o    True o    False

Most people would describe our leaders as innovative and inspiring.

o    True o    False

We allow employees time off for volunteering.

o    True o    False

Most people would describe our leaders as honest and trustworthy.

o    True o    False

We offer tuition reimbursement and scholarships to young people.

o    True o    False

We spend more time thinking about the future than the present or the past.

o    True o    False

If you answered false to any of the questions above, that likely represents a gap hindering your organization’s ability to engage young talent.

Want to learn more about how visionary organisations are redefining work and achieving greater success? Make sure to join us at the European Label Forum for Sarah Sladek’ presentation on Friday morning!

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