What can a business do to ensure that millennials and Generation Z employees, who now make up most of the workforce, are primed to excel in the workplace? That is a question we have taken seriously at Tarsus Technology Group.
There are job skills that are essential and, as employers, organisations have a responsibility to help them develop those skills – both for the advancement of these young people and the business itself.
I have made several interesting and noteworthy observations from talking and listening to a cohort of employees over the past two months.
Trust plays a fundamental role in cementing employees’ future in a business. Demonstrating confidence in someone’s ability and intent to perform work that leads to value creation, without controlling them, encourages them to share their talents, creativity, energy and passion. It also enhances teamwork and collaboration. When trust between managers and employees goes both ways, employees have the confidence and courage to make decisions. The result is that everyone is more likely to work together towards achieving the same business goals.
Giving new employees the opportunity to understand the skills required to perform different job functions, across the business, has the benefit of equipping them with a holistic view of the organisation. One of the people I spent time with said that she was amazed at how gaining exposure to every department in the business in her first year allowed her to learn so much more about her role as a business process analyst.
We have a strong, structured mentorship system in place to connect people, increase knowledge and build skills for the future. Creating opportunities for cross-generational learning, one of our younger employees said, inspires people to understand each other more deeply and with greater empathy. Having an accessible mentor can increase employee retention, boost workplace satisfaction and pave the way for professional growth.
Structured workplace support
In addition to mentorship, our graduate training programmes have proved to be popular with new recruits fresh out of university, or with little work experience in the real world. They provide an excellent way for graduates to jump-start their career. It helps to ease young people’s entry into the world of work and gives them the skills necessary to become part of the larger team. Our programmes allow graduates to experience multiple aspects of their role and the organisation as they rotate through the business. Once completed, the business is able to place them in the role that is most comfortable and appropriate for their skills and characteristics.
Direct contact with senior management
Multigenerational workplaces are the norm across nearly every industry and business. For young people, having access to senior managers and exco members is closely related to building trust. It fosters open communication and, more than that, being heard, encouraged to contribute and actively participate in discussions by senior workers makes it easy for newbies to share ideas, provide feedback and ask anything. As one employee noted, you don’t have to prove your intelligence before being given the opportunity to prove your value.
Corporate culture is a popular consideration for millennials and Gen Z’s, and it’s also a key component of thriving businesses. It must be well articulated and made evident. Young people like a “sense of belonging” because it helps to develop self-confidence and a feeling of shared identity, or a sense of “we-ness.” When people are easily able to align with your corporate culture, it is easier to create a loyal, motivated base of young employees. Alignment also means that strategic business goals and people’s cultural values and behaviours are mutually supportive.
The human factor
Regardless of age or experience, all people want to feel valued and significant. We want to be inspired by our work and feel that we are contributing to something that matters. Making young employees believe that you care about them, is fundamental to ensuring that they are able to shine.
[Photo by Andrey Popov on Adobe Stock]