The group known as Generation Y is 80 million people strong, and many of them don’t follow the worklife rules of past generations. Also called Millennials, these employees expect employment on their terms, and they won’t hesitate to find another job if the one they have is not fulfilling to them. Companies who want to retain these innovative, talented and open-minded employees are smart to offer them a clear plan for advancement. This was not the way things were done for past generations, but perhaps it should have been. Let’s take a look at Gen Y succession planning and how to keep Millennials on the payroll.
What Does It Mean?
It is practically unheard of for a large company, or even a small one, to offer a future-focused plan to new employees. Often, the process for promotions and advancement is opaque, so that many workers don’t know what to expect or what they are working toward. This approach will not suffice for Millennials. The workers in this generation are looking for clarity, goals and rewards to work toward. In fact, without rewards and recognition for completing tasks, they might be out the door in a few years. Gen Y succession planning involves presenting a simple, clear set of goals that the Millennial employee can strive for. Note, however, that workers have to agree to the process and outcome, otherwise business owners will not get the results they are looking for.
Chart Promotion Potential
A key tool for creating a concise plan for advancement is a performance and potential grid. It charts work performance on one side and advancement potential on the other. An employee can clearly see how they need to score on performance evaluations in order to achieve their career goals. Of course, this whole plan is contingent upon management’s ability to give reviews on a regular basis, ideally twice per year. Also, the advancement potential grid should be based solely on measurable factors such as job skills and performance, not intangibles such as ambition or personal values.
Be Clear With Terms
When presenting this type of chart during Gen Y succession planning, it has to be shown in clear terms. The HR director should use actual position names to describe each step rather than talk generally about levels and pay increases. When it is time of a potential move up, the employee needs to see that the promotion must be authorized by a number of different managers, not just one person in the human resources department. Again, adhering to a regular performance review schedule will simplify the process and keep the Millennial employee focused on the goal. He or she will also appreciate getting feedback on a regular basis.
Transparency is Key
Gen Y succession planning must be a transparent process, or companies will be less likely to retain Millennial workers. If a manager believes that an employee has a lot of potential to succeed in the company, he or she should tell the worker. That will motivate employees to reach the expectation set for them. Members of Generation Y thrive on continuous development from their managers as well, so the succession plan should include opportunities for additional challenges and education. The rubric for advancement in the company should be posted for all to see so that everyone knows what they are working toward. Any other practice could come off like an attempt at hiding something.
Most workers, Millennials or not, will have gaps in their knowledge that will need to be filled if they want to advance in a company. Any Gen Y succession plan should include additional training opportunities as well as managers assigned to making sure that happens. Managers also must be accountable for completing performance evaluations in a timely manner. Reaching the goals set in the succession plan is not purely on the shoulders of the employees. Supervisors also must play an active role in the development of their workers. Although this type of transparent, clear Gen Y succession planning may seem foreign to a lot of companies, it is what Millennials expect from their workplace. If businesses — both large and small — want to retain their Gen Y employees, this type of approach can reap great benefits and improve the company culture overall. It may not be what was done in the past, but it is the way of the future. In addition to creating a succession plan for Millennial workers, businesses can find out how to make fantastic hiring decisions and improve their companies using the resources at Mighty Recruiter as a guide.