Michael Rendell, partner and global head of human resource services at PricewaterhouseCoopers recently said the following:

“With the global economic downturn presenting organisations with serious immediate challenges, businesses need to work even harder to balance short-term pressures with long-term objectives. This means acting now to manage the demographic changes that will impact their ability to compete effectively. Eventually, in many parts of the world, fewer younger people will be working to support a significantly larger older population, making people supply a critical factor for business success and potentially changing the power dynamic between employer and employees.”

PWC’s 12th annual CEO survey, published earlier this year, highlighted the issue of Talent attraction and retention as one of the key issues facing CEOs (alongside climate change, growth and dealing with economic downturn).

Here are some highlights from the PWC survey:

  • * Tomorrow’s workers expect their employers to behave responsibly, with 88% stating they will seek employers with corporate social responsibility (CSR) values that reflect their own. Among UK respondents, this figure was 71%.
  • * “The millennials’ adeptness with technology brings benefits in terms of knowledge sharing, and savvy companies are already taking advantage of this by replicating Facebook-style sites in-house. But companies need to manage the reputational risks associated with this open and instant style of communication.”
  • * Globally, training and development is the most highly valued benefit for millennials in the first five years of their career – with one third of respondents electing this as their first choice benefit (aside from salary).
  • * Almost all respondents (98%) stated that working with strong coaches and mentors is important to personal development. Rendell said: “Most businesses only provide coaches and mentors to senior employees, but providing this kind of one-to-one development to new graduates could help ease the sometimes bumpy transition from university to the workplace, while breeding goodwill and engagement at a relatively low cost. Instead of reacting to cost pressures by cutting training budgets, organisations should ask if they are spending where it will be most appreciated and bring the greatest benefit to long-term business health.”
  • * The three most popular benefits for UK respondents are training and development (46%), cash bonuses (45%) and free private healthcare (29%).

Rendell: “The millennials want many of the same things from work as the generations before them so companies do not need to tear up their people strategies to manage the new generation of workers. What is new is younger people’s ability to mobilise into another job if their expectations and ideals are not met. To manage this difference, companies need to think creatively about reward strategies, using metrics and benchmarking to segment their workforce in a similar way to how many companies segment their customer base.

“We think CEOs are struggling with millennials because they need more information about what drives them, and because they need to adapt their traditional approaches to attracting and integrating employees. This means focusing on the things that millennials really want, such as training and development. Articulating employer brand and clearly stating corporate responsibility values will also be critical.

“The millennials’ expectations bring opportunities as well as challenges – those organisations that adapt fastest will be best placed to succeed in good times and bad.”

Source: PWC – quoted in Management section of Director Finance magazine.

This is one of our core focus areas at TomorrowToday. See our presentation on Making the Most of the Millennials.

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