Interview meeting at “Dream Company”
(12 noon, Monday)
HR Head of “Dream Company” who happens to be from Gen X, meeting a fresher for an open position in his team. Extract of one of the questions he asked -
HR Head: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
Management Fresher: I want to be sitting on your chair, clearly to be HR Head of this company or some other company.
Wondered what's with this response? For people who come from Gen X and some part of Gen Y, they may find this response to be impractical and may even label the candidate with carrying attitude and unrealistic aspiration. But when you look at this from the current generation perspective, they find it normal as they pretty confident and believe in themselves and have bigger aspirations. For them job does not mean monthly paycheck, it is the mean to fulfill and live their purpose. Very recently I met a young fresher who had quit his company within few months of his joining as he could not find alignment of his purpose with the job he was offered. This is a big loss for the company. When I went deeper into this issue, I discovered that his functional leader who belongs to Generation X was not able to appreciate his aspirational need and wanted him to learn and contribute in what was offered to him. This difference in thinking among generations require a good amount of orientation and sensitization. HR needs to do a lot on orientation and sensitization of these multi-generational workforce so that they could appreciate each other’s perspectives and could work effectively under one roof like a family.
India has more than 65% population either as Generation Y/Millennials or Generation Z. what does it mean? It means that this generation will be commanding the future. They are redrawing the rules of society, corporate world, and indeed politics. Generation Z is about to enter the corporate world. With this new generation entering the organization, the rules of the organizations need to be redefined as well. Organizations must need to gear up to make changes to make it future ready for its own benefit and advantage. Some of the suggestive changes are listed below –
Purpose-based Job: With the enhanced employability focus in the academia and exposure to ‘learn by doing’ and ‘e-learning opportunities from across the world’, Millennials and Gen Z have become more aware and clear of their needs and aspirations. Unlike their parents, job does not mean a source of monthly income to them but they look at alignment of their purpose with the job being offered.
Very recently, I came across a fresher who onboarded us a couple of months back, he came back to us and mentioned that he was not liking his job as it was not aligned to his purpose and he quit. Probably we would have never imagined this in earlier generations where somebody would leave their first job citing reasons like this and become jobless. There is a need for organizations to understand and appreciate the different thinking and thought process of new generation and offer them alternatives where they may find alignment to their aspirations.
Empowerment on Job: Micro management will not excite or engage the new generation. They will soon become disengaged and the price organizations will pay for this would be huge. Managers need to be orientated and trained to become more empowering Managers. Accountability shift with responsibility is imminent. The new generation does not appreciate Bossy term, they need somebody who could coach them and empower them and also mentor them so that they are successful.
Regular Performance Dialogues: Regular performance dialogues are essential today. No surprise feedback conversation at the end of the year. New generation appreciates constant conversations on their performance. They need instant feedback. I am glad that there are many organizations which have already moved away from annual review process to regular dialogue based performance process.
Feedback vs Feedforward: Most of the times, performance discussions are based on what went well or bad in the past which is feeding the ‘back’ and rarely it moves to feeding the ‘forward’. The new generation requires developmental discussion where the discussions are happening around how to enable them reach their aspiration. What are the key and critical expectations from their job and role in future. How their strengths can further be leveraged and what developmental support is to be provided to enable them overcome their improvement opportunities.
Promotion vs Growth: Mere career progression/promotions would not make individual feel happy or satisfied. Growth means continuous learning and hence companies must need to detach title progression with growth alone.
Limiting people to same job for long will not help, providing opportunities to people to rotate their jobs, leading newer assignments, attending career focused learning programs and conferences will rather be looked as Growth by them.
Preferential based Rewards System: ‘One size doesn’t fit all’, offering standard reward framework to everyone may not be the right approach. HR needs to relook at its offering, benefits basis preferences or segments of the population. One example could be to look at CTC structure and make it flexible so that within same CTC, people have opportunity to distribute their compensation to different components basis their liking. This will create a sense of empowerment and satisfaction among the Millennials and Post-Millennials.
Listening vs Active Listening: Sounding listening through engagement surveys once in a year is not sufficient. They are a vocal lot with an enormous opinion, hence would prefer an environment where their voice matters and is heard. So companies need to become creative in lending their ear out to them through various platforms and initiatives and this would definitely make them feel wanted.