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Leading the new leaders to greater engagement
Engaging the new majority
Recently, Deloitte University’s Leadership Center for Inclusion, in collaboration with the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, published “The Millennial majority is transforming your culture.” This piece highlights the pivotal role Millennials play in today’s workforce and their distinct needs. Our team found it engaging—no pun intended—for a number of reasons.
Taking notice of Millennials
First and foremost, while our colleagues focused this piece on the impact Millennials are having on culture (and we agree!), we felt that it also spoke to the immense impact Millennials are having on employee engagement overall. If culture is the way we do things around here, and engagement is the way employees feel about the way we do things, Millennials have shaken up the workplace by impacting both sides of that equation. The link between culture and engagement isn’t a new idea—in fact, we posted on the topic recently—but the imperative for organizations to take notice and adjust their approach to better engage this new majority has never been stronger, and the study does an excellent job of highlighting this dynamic.
Leadership is a driving force in setting and maintaining the culture and engagement via modeling behaviors and setting expectations in the workplace. As “The Millennial majority is transforming your culture” points out, the oldest Millennials are now in their mid-30s and “half of them are already managers with decision-making authority and direct reports.” The Millennial majority isn’t just impacting culture and engagement–it is driving both.
However, of this group, only 36 percent said they felt ready when entering the leadership role. Moreover, 42 percent of all respondents reported that they will need to work elsewhere to learn the skills and gain the experience necessary to achieve their career ambitions. As the article rightly points out, this could have a staggering impact on the talent pipeline of today and tomorrow.
This research suggests that organizations should seek ways to enhance their engagement with Millennials—and their entire workforce—by focusing on purpose, technology, and innovation, enabling employees to use more of their skills, and creating empowered well-being and work-life fit. The article is clear in that Millennials want this change to happen fast–yesterday, if possible. While some may disagree with this notion, we believe there is a way to jump start the transformation around culture and engagement, and that starts with understanding the organizational baseline, and following up with an “always listening” approach.
Making organizations "simply irresistible"
Deloitte’s EngagePathTM solution is powered by the Simply Irresistible Organization,TM which is built for the workforce of today—including Millennials. Deloitte’s years of research and experience with hundreds of organizations suggests that five main indices and underlying attributes work together to drive engagement and make organizations “simply irresistible” for employees.
- Meaningful work
- Supportive management
- A positive work environment
- Growth opportunity
- Trust in leadership
Underlying all these are collaboration and communications that promote simplicity. EngagePath is a flexible solution that is designed to help organizations better understand the drivers of engagement for their workforce, including Millennials, and develop targeted action plans rooted in human capital solutions to address needs and increase engagement—leading to increased individual and organizational performance.
At Deloitte, we believe that focusing on engagement is critical for today’s multi-generational workforce. Engagement should not be a reactive activity—rather, a proactive one—becoming a natural part of the fabric of company operations in an effort to challenge and retain talent.
Organizations need to be “always on,” which is achieved through engagement data use, analysis and action plans led by business leaders and HR. We encourage companies to be proactive in their engagement efforts. We know that leading companies make engagement a key priority, and as such, realize great results.