Issue No. 26 Oct. 23, 2014

How important is it for your company to recruit and retain millennials?

Judging by the efforts of major companies throughout the world to do just that, it�s critical.

Millennials � born roughly between 1982 and 2000 � already make up a substantial proportion of the workforce, and the percentage will continue to grow as Baby Boomers retire.

Millennials also make up a highly desirable segment of the consumer market. Successful companies are working hard to understand millennials� habits and expectations of the workplace, and are adjusting their practices to those expectations. These leading companies simultaneously challenge millennials to do their best work and make them feel at home.

The Center for High Performance has created futurecraft™, a new executive education offering, to help leaders craft a future-state work environment for their companies. Please read on to learn about some successful approaches of high-performing companies to motivate and inspire their youngest employees.


LinkedIn's path to employee engagement

Companies throughout the world are using hackathons to recruit, onboard and retain employees. See how LinkedIn uses this technique to engage employees.

Watch more CfHP videos.

What are you doing to attract millennials?

At YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., employees relax and seek inspiration on the job by practicing on an indoor putting green, riding around on a Segway or hitting the swimming pool. At Las Vegas-based Zappos, the world�s largest online shoe retailer, each employee designs his or her own workspace, reinforcing the company�s emphasis on individual style. Workers at Facebook, in Palo Alto, get their creative juices flowing by skating on an indoor rink or playing DJ with sophisticated audio mixing equipment.

This is not your Baby Boomer's workplace.

These offices are designed not only to provide a functional space for employees to work, but also to spark creativity and innovation. And the physical environment is only one aspect of what employers need to consider when trying to attract talented young workers.

Knowing that candidates and customers alike are using social media to make decisions about where to work and do business, HR departments throughout the world and across industries now utilize social media as a primary recruiting tool. Recruiting via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other online channels enables businesses to find candidates who fit the company culture. Simultaneously, time-to-hire and recruitment costs go down, while the quality and quantity of candidates go up.

An increasingly popular tactic to energize younger employees is the hackathon. In these events, small teams or individual employees take a break from current assignments and work on their own ideas. LinkedIn holds �hack days� once a month, giving engineers across the company a chance to participate and submit their ideas online, from wherever they are. The software development firm Atlassian holds 24-hour hackathons every quarter, during which employees can work on anything they want as long as it relates to the company�s products.

While hackathons are most often seen at tech-oriented companies, they are showing up in other businesses as well. Smart companies can use this tool at different stages of the employee lifecycle for different objectives: to generate interest among interns and other prospective candidates, onboard new hires or boost engagement among current employees.

Mentoring is another area where new practices are emerging. Traditionally, an older executive would mentor a younger employee, with an emphasis on career development. A newer approach�reverse mentoring�gives newcomers an opportunity to pass along what they know about social media, consumer culture or the latest technology to senior executives. In the process, younger employees can gain valuable insights that help build their leadership and management skills. Cisco, Johnson & Johnson and GE are just a few of the organizations that have employed reverse mentoring.

Take Your Parents to Work Day is an ironic twist for millennials who visited their parents� workplaces as children. Employees now are invited to bring their parents or grandparents to their job and show them what they do. Such events are common in other countries, such as India. Now U.S. companies as different as Google and Northwestern Mutual have begun using the concept.

In addition to being a gesture of respect, there are good business reasons for bringing parents into the workplace. Many millennials remain closely connected to their parents, even asking their advice about jobs. If parents come to view the employer favorably, it likely increases the chances that their millennial children will stay with the company.

Companies are using every means possible to attract and retain millennials, understanding that their future depends on it. What is your business doing?

For more information about futurecraft™, please contact Susan Lucia Annunzio.


Are you ready for futurecraft™?

Millennials thrive in a very different work environment than past generations. futurecraft™ takes you on a virtual tour of forward-thinking companies and gives you a window into future-state best practices. You will learn what your company can do to attract and retain emerging top talent, and to draw loyal millennial customers to your business.

CFHP Center for High Performance

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