Employee retention is a hot topic for companies trying to keep an edge in the market. In fact, large corporations usually staff designated departments in an effort to cater to today’s rising professionals. It’s not the post-baby boomers who are causing all the commotion. Rather, it’s Gen Y employees who are driving company culture. If you want to stay ahead, you’ve got to ditch traditional hierarchy and learn how to invert the pyramid.
Those from Generation Y are also known as millenals. By common standards, these are people who were born between the mid 1980s and the mid 1990s. The work culture of this demographic is unlike that of prior generations. It’s highly influenced by technology and the trends of urbanism. The average Gen Y employee is: – Comfortable and proficient with technology – Excited about change and motivated by personal passion – Very open about his or her personal and professional life – Eager to collaborate and exchange new ideas and information – Heavily involved and driven by social media – Mobile, adaptable and easily bored
Employees Over Customers
Members of generation Y are the future CEOs, presidents and industry experts, and companies are quickly realizing the need to reinvent their entire cultures. In an effort to invert the pyramid, some businesses are effectively putting employees’ needs ahead of their customer. Essentially, they are running two separate businesses, and this is the reason that human resources is a rapidly growing field. This employee-focused concept may seem counterproductive, but it’s actually good for business. Millennials themselves are big consumers, and they care about how a company treats its employees. Waste is frowned upon, and work-life balance is praised. You’d be surprised at how many young people today refuse to do business with greedy companies.
What Corporate Ladder?
For the Gen Y workforce, a career doesn’t mean what it does for the older generations. The biggest change is their refusal to acknowledge traditional hierarchy. In other words, millennials have no interest in the corporate ladder. Instead of seeking power and praise, it’s all about innovation and personal passions. More people are inching closer to that live-to-work lifestyle, but they demand a balance and meaningful jobs. They want to be doing work that is satisfying, interesting and useful to society. Companies who are learning to invert the pyramid are also learning that money and titles are not the only factors that drive the young workforce to excel on the job. This is not to say that millennials don’t like money. Of course they do, but they also appreciate diversity, inclusion, autonomy and an encouraging environment.
It’s All About Transparency
To invert the pyramid is to get everything out in the open. Unlike the traditional practice of hoarding power, transparency is the motto of many young employees. Startups and big tech companies are pioneering this idea by giving all of their employees full access to their corporate books and financial information. This makes people feel empowered and part of a team. When they know what’s going on internally, they’re more driven and willing to contribute to improvement. More importantly, companies that invert the pyramid and choose to be transparent are actually creating another level of accountability. Both manager and associate have all the information, yet junior employees are usually the ones creating the most value for the organization. These are the customer-facing, production line and IT-type roles. In an inverted system, managers are equally accountable to their employees.
The Community Approach
Generation Y has been raised in the age of information. They constantly seek knowledge, and they want that knowledge to be available to everyone. Some companies have experimented with web-based communities through which employees can share just about everything. Users can log into personal accounts where innovative dashboards track insurance benefits, vacation days and team projects. Most of these communities also allow for personal interest discussions. The idea is to let people share ideas about both work and play. Some companies have gone a step further and allow users to submit formal complaints or suggestions through these online networks. The submissions are then routed to the appropriate department where a manger will address the issue and respond directly back to the employee. It’s this type of transparent, innovative collaboration that motivates the younger generation. If you want your company to be a place where Gen Y employees want to be, you need to invert the pyramid and start thinking like they do. Set aside those traditional forms of management, and focus on mutual accountability, community and total transparency.