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Talent Management Excellence Essentials January 2015

Inspiring Your Future Workforce How to lead and engage Gen Y and Z effectively By Prof Sattar Bawany & Adam Bawany Every generation is unique with their distinctive values, priorities and beliefs. When a new generation enters the work-force, it affects the existing workplace symmetry as management, human resource personnel and older employees have to learn new management strategies and approaches so as to better un-derstand, engage and inspire them. Oftentimes, this results in tension and an us-versus-them mentality. In the spotlight in today’s workplace are Generation Y (Gen Y), while Generation Z (Gen Z) on the verge of joining the corporate world. Understanding the challenges that executives and managers face within their organisations when they deal with younger generations, Centre for Executive Education (CEE Global) embarked on a research study to bridge the gap between generations and help employers overcome managerial challenges positively, while accommodating the needs of the various generations, their diverse viewpoints and working styles. In this study, we explore the unique values and belief systems that these two generations embody, their attitudes to work and life, their highly ambitious and inquisitive nature, and how to best fit them in organisations locally and around the world in the context of today’s economic reality and diverse workplace. At the same time, we examine their loyalty level, and suggest ways to establish better understanding with them to foster greater collaboration and cohesion within your organisation. This article provides an overview of the key findings and im-plications for organisations in leading and engaging these next generation of workforce RESEARCH AREAS & METHODOLOGY Attraction: What do Gen Y and Z look for in an organisation? Retention: What factors will attract Gen Y and Z to remain in an organisation? Engagement: What do Gen Y and Z value in their bosses? How do they like to be lead? Work Culture: What work environment and culture suits them the best? Survey data was collected from 304 respondents from both Gen Y (aged 20-34 years) and Z (aged 16-19 years) in Singapore during the period of September 2014 to January 2015. Their views were obtained via an online survey and the results were further validated during focus group interviews. RESEARCH FINDINGS AND IMPLICATIONS Attraction: Gen Y make employment decisions based on the company websites where they learn about the job openings and their prospective employers. On the other hand, Gen Z select their organisations through recruitment/staffing firms. Other avenues like online job boards, social networking sites, news-paper ads and leads from friends and relatives figure less and in varying degree for both generations. To Gen Y, career growth/advancement are their primary concern followed by job satisfaction, while for Gen Z job satisfaction is a priority. The latter also value career advancement and a posi-tive work environment. For Gen Y, salary is important whereas Gen Z favours other benefits such as health insurance, dental care coverage and annual leave. Consideration for bonuses, both fixed and variable figures more prominently in Gen Z than Gen Y. Gen Z prefers greater flexibility in working hours, telecom-muting facilities or a work-from-home arrangement, with Gen Y favouring the traditional hours and method of working. Gen Z ranks the location of office as very important while both generations value the company leadership, the organisa-tion’s reputation and brand recognition (including employee value proposition) equally well. Conversely, job titles and in-house training are not major areas of consideration for both Gen Y and Gen Z. Retention - Gen Y tends to switch jobs if they are promised higher pay, while Gen Z is more swayed by better perks and ben-efits. An equal amount of ambition is visible in both generations. For both generations, commuting distance and dissatisfaction with immediate supervisor had the lowest influence on their decision to leave a job. When it comes to loyalty and longevity at work, Gen Z gen-erally expect to stay in their current position for at least 3 to 5 years. Gen Y, however, is less hopeful. Engagement: Both Gen Y and Gen Z value immediate manag-ers who have the ability to coach, mentor and guide them. This quality is followed by effective communication skills, listening power, flexible leadership style, open-mindedness and the capacity for respect and appreciation of subordinates for both generations. Work Culture - Gen Z prefers a more flexible dress code and are more comfortable in business casuals. Gen Y are more flexible and are willing to dress according to the situation. Gen Y and Gen Z both value similar aspects of the work en-vironment. Having a perfect work-life balance has been rated as important by both generations, but having a good office space does not really count in their eyes. For both these generations, working with state-of-the-art technology systems is the last thing on their mind. The only exception is that while Gen Y favours working with a supervisor that they can respect and learn from, Gen Z places working with people they enjoy as a top priority for an ideal work environment. RECOMMENDATIONS CEE Global recommends the following key areas with regards to attracting Gen Z graduates and engaging Gen Y employees at the workplace. Recruitment Apart from ensuring that job openings are advertised on their corporate websites, organisations must remember that Gen Y prefers online job boards whereas Gen Z prefers social networking and recruitment/staffing firms when looking for career opportunities. 14 Submit your Articles Talent Management excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 01.2015


Talent Management Excellence Essentials January 2015
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