Rising number of millennials in today’s workforce has definitely altered the idea of an ideal workplace. Well educated and highly self-motivated, millennials seek constant challenges and rapid growth. After baby boomers, millennials are the next largest active workforce for another 20 years. The two generations are absolutely unlike each other in their priorities and expectations. Millennials have a totally different professional outlook and they lay strong emphasis on individual performance, potential and preferences.
In fact, the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2015 claims that more than 50% of the millennial workforce in India is dissatisfied in its current role and is likely to switch jobs in the next two years. Lack of personalized attention, decreasing work-life balance, lesser leadership avenues, and limited opportunities for customized training were amongst the major causes of discontentment with the current role. Not really satisfied with common rewards and recognition programs, millennials demand a personalized employee experience and lateral opportunities for professional advancement.
Thus, an increasingly different outlook is guiding the boardroom nowadays; corporates have been trying different means to conform to the changed paradigms. The more recent lot seeks a fine balance between financial and experiential mementos that they earn during their professional journey. Identifying this as an opportunity, some organizations are really doing better than the others at retaining their workforce and keeping them engaged.
The AON Hewitt Total Rewards survey (2012) highlights how these high-performing companies are striving to offer employees an adequate combination of the transactional benefits (common financial benefits extended to all employees) and transformational benefits (more personalized & experiential growth opportunities) by categorizing “everything an employee gets from an employer that they find rewarding” in a 2x2 total rewards framework.
Today, HR leaders are revamping their rewards framework to recognize the outshining teamwork and yet focusing intently on the stellar individual attempts within. They are laying merit on the achievement of common objectives, but not overlooking the individual potential and input. Aiming to achieve big goals-offer bigger motivation-and create yet bigger recognition framework for the truly deserving, companies are trying hard to improvise the overall cultural experience.
Resultantly, we witness inclusion of various motivational drivers such as adopting smarter enterprise technology, investing in skill-enhancing training programs, competing for workplace likeability certifications, creating cross-functional promotional opportunities, making employee friendly websites (i.e. blogs, videos, podcasts etc.),creating open platforms for candid conversations with senior management, and introducing reverse-mentoring. HR leaders are working hard on deploying and developing solutions to enhancing employee experience. Simultaneously, they are also designing individualized career path that are aimed at delivering work-life balance to the millennial talent.
The aim is to re-engineer a more cohesive engagement and rewards strategy, which could harness the energy and full potential of the millennials. This generation of ‘here & now’ doesn’t believe in waiting for a yearly appraisal to devise their growth strategy; they look for instant feedback, immediate correction and on-the-spot recognition. In these dynamic times, an organization also benefits from quicker performance reviews and course-correction on a real-time basis.
Since an ongoing review system enables closer mentoring of the employees' behavior and real-time alignment to organization’s strategic goals, this impacts performance and improves the output manifold.
This explains the proclivity towards more frequent review discussions and regular goal-setting exercises in many high-performing organizations, especially in the service Industry. Organizations are doing away with the year-end appraisal and review systems. For example, at HCL Infosystems we are transitioning into a weekly self-evaluation system that initiates an ongoing dialogue between the individual and their manager.
This real-time cohesive engagement between the managers and their teams, is enabling a palpable shift in the conversation from hygiene financial aspects of rewards to more motivational experiential reward elements around environment and personal development. Forward looking organizations are reinventing their work environment both in terms of tangible aspects like open-office layouts, flat-structures, infrastructural support to address personal chores, telecommuting, flexi-hours, etc. as well as more subtle cultural interventions like sensitization workshops for leaders and managers, investments in technology to create more relevant employee dialogue forums. This provides the millennials an excellent opportunity to take accountability and ownership, perform to their full potential and continuously raise the bar.