Article

Leading a multigenerational workforce with a Junior Advisory Board

Back in 2020 at Deloitte Consulting in Switzerland, we decided to launch the Junior Advisory Board (JAB) to empower and engage the younger generations of our workforce. The board consists of 12 juniors selected from different areas of the business to represent their peers and drive initiatives to help make Deloitte Consulting a better place to work. The JAB reports directly to the senior leadership to ensure the juniors are represented and heard when important decisions are being made.

Struggling to connect with and give a voice to the more junior generations of your organisation? Not able to get the right input from the Gen Zs or millennials to represent and consider them when making decisions?
You are not alone; many organisations are asking themselves how to better lead a multi-generational workforce.

For over a decade, Deloitte has been analysing the evolution of global key trends of the younger generations through our annual Gen Z and millennial survey. Here are just 3 ways that creating a junior advisory board can help tackle some of the main issues we see many organisations facing today.

1. Empowering - increasing the retention of your juniors

Gen Zs and millennials are driven to act and make their career choices accordingly. The unprecedented circumstances of the past few years have prompted many people around the world to rethink their priorities, leading to the Great Resignation. This trend may stay with us, with 40% of Gen Zs and 24% of millennials saying they would like to leave their current job within the next two years.

Gen Zs and millennials aren’t afraid to speak up to ask for change, but it’s critical for employers to listen to their people, across all levels, and implement their feedback, especially in the quest to retain talent. Of the 52% of Gen Zs and millennials surveyed who feel empowered to drive change within their organisations, 89% of Gen Zs and 90% of millennials say they feel a sense of belonging.

Empowering people across the organisation helps for a more inclusive environment. Having a junior advisory board shows that there is a clear priority within the organisation to enable everyone to speak up and have a voice, no matter the grade or hierarchy.

The JAB offers two-way communication with senior leaders to actively encourage idea generation and feedback from more junior members of the workforce, rather than always cascading decisions down from the senior leadership. We have seen this come to life with our JAB members who have been at the table in some of our most critical and important meetings, including our regional level leadership meetings and our 2025 strategy conception. This empowered our junior talents to take an active role in important decision making, whilst also giving them an opportunity for upskilling in future-proof ‘human’ skills such as curiosity, insight, empathy, and resilience1.

2. Aligning to values - ability to transform the organisation and make an impact on society

A junior advisory board is a platform for millennials and Gen Zs to challenge the status quo, to bring ideas aligned to their values and make changes they want to see within their organisation or in broader society. It nurtures inclusion and distributes accountability to help collectively transform the organisation and drive the change through meaningful action.

Millennials and Gen Zs have long pushed for social change, but many of our survey respondents now feel the world is at a pivotal moment. After a period of intense uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, political instability, racial discord, and severe climate events, the younger generations around the world are advocating for change and determined to hold themselves and others accountable on society’s most pressing issues.

According to our 2022 survey, nearly two in five millennials and Gen Zs say they have rejected a job or assignment because it did not align with their values. As an employer, if we want to transform, we must listen and give these generations the space and tools to make a difference and drive change aligned to their values. Over the last two years alone, 10 initiatives have been launched by our JAB, with six addressing talent topics ranging from onboarding experience to alumni programs. The board is not just an idea generating platform, but one which empowers juniors to launch initiatives and to bring them to life in areas which matter most to them.

3. Belonging - creating a sense of community

Often the junior generations share the sentiment that they are not heard within their organisation, that their employer is indifferent and does not consider or value their interests and concerns as a community. 32% of Gen Zs and 33% of millennials say decisions are made from the top down within their organizations and employee feedback is not often acted upon. This can often lead to disengagement as well as feeling a lack of integration within their own organisation.

It can be a daunting prospect to step directly to senior leadership. A junior advisory board acts as a point of contact for juniors to express themselves in an open and frank way. The junior advisory board then gathers and identifies trends in concerns, questions, and interests to have solution-oriented discussions with senior leadership. They then feedback to their peers to emphasize that they are heard, and their input is considered and acted upon. Regular events, connects and opportunities to exchange helps facilitate such discussions and nurture a sense of belonging and community within the wider junior community. Our JAB has launched, organised and facilitated numerous events, including ThinkTanks and Bring Your Voice lunches with senior leadership on given themes enabling discussions across hierarchies.

Investing in our younger generations is something many organisations see the importance of, but do not necessarily actively address. Here at Deloitte Consulting Switzerland, we have seen the positive impact the JAB has made and believe that this is a solution that enables juniors to also make a difference. They should have a voice in shaping the company they might be leading one day.

Equally, by providing these kind of experiential development opportunities to young talent we are accelerating their growth through hands-on experiences and projects that show tangible impact and help to build our leaders of the future.

Why not take the opportunity to build a platform to engage and develop the younger generations of your workforce?

Interested to hear more? Please reach out to us so that we can help you explore or start your journey and share more of our experience and insights.

Did you find this useful?