HR strategies should engage the next wave of millenial leaders

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 2 Feb 2016

Organisations can create a positive reputation through the voice of their employees, says survey

Millennials are the next generation of leaders, and they make up a third of the global workforce. As the modern workplace is changing, do organisations in the Middle East need to re-evaluate their approach to engaging this employee group?
 
With this question in mind, human resource solution experts Aon Hewitt Middle East reviewed their engagement data from over 23,000 millennials to find out what they look for in an organisation.
 
The data showed that the three biggest factors in engagement for regional millennials are a company's reputation, a sense of accomplishment at work, and its people and HR practices.
 
“Recent studies by global organisations have shown that millennials are continuous learners who thrive on personal coaching and development,” says Sophie Wolfinden, recruitment consultant for HR at Charterhouse.
 
“Businesses in the Middle East need to invest more heavily in training and development programmes to attract, and more importantly, retain millennials. The new generation gives as much importance to the values of a company and a collaborative work culture as to salaries offered. A company with a clear vision, a robust talent management strategy and a flexible approach will stand a far better chance of engaging and motivating their millennial employees.”
 
The Aon Hewitt study revealed that while the factors that affect millennials' engagement levels can also impact ‘Gen X’ and ‘baby boomers’, companies should be aware that there are generational differences.
 
“Regardless of the generation, any employee will benefit from a culture which is focused on developing, up-skilling and ultimately empowering their key talent,” says Wolfinden. “It is important to note, however, that employees require a bespoke approach when it comes to their development plans. A 'one-size fits all' strategy from HR is not likely to boost productivity and profitability, no matter the age of the employee. Each employee should have the opportunity to receive a detailed evaluation based on their individual needs and potential in order to increase their engagement.”
 
Another key finding from the research is that millennials are not afraid to express themselves, and can have a big impact on an organisations' reputation. Experiences, views and ideas are shared frequently with connections, in person and on social media, which creates a powerful public image of the organisation. Therefore it is crucial that organisations brand themselves as authentic and create a positive reputation through the voice of their employees.