After some very good conversations with some young professionals I started to reflect on organisations that I have been part of over the course of my career. I found the need to be a contributor and to feel part of an organisation was just as important to me as it is to young professionals today.
Looking back in time, without ageing myself too much, I saw that some of the organisations that I worked with did a decent job of including their employees in planning where the organisation was going and how it was going to get there. Some started down that path and then faltered, falling back on their old ways of getting the job done at all costs. Some did an admirable job at including their employees even to the extent of shaping a national vision championed by the employees, only to now having digressed to shaping the future at the senior level only.
Picture an organisation that is going through a number of mergers and acquisitions. They are growing at a rapid pace. Organizational change management does not exist, but they make an attempt at involving employees in the planning process. They even go a step further and take the Strategic Plan with all the goals, objectives and key actions and break that down for the employees.
Now one would think that was good enough, but they then worked with their employees to create personal mission statements that were linked to the Strategic Plan. The sessions that they held for the employees explained the Strategic Plan, the development of a personal mission statement, and an awesome discussion on values. However like a lot of organisations, this became too cumbersome of a task to continue and it too faltered. They were great out of the starting gates and part way down the track, but quickly fell back in the pack.
Fast forward this picture to the Year 2015. Our ageing workforce continues to retire at alarming rates. The talent shortage that was once a water cooler conversation is now a reality and it has become an employee’s market. Employees can now pick and choose the organisation that they want to work with.
Our young professionals as part of their selection process in finding an organizational fit are looking to be part of a company that seeks their input on the direction that the company is going. They also want to understand how their role is seen as contributing to the goals and objectives of the organisation. They want to be able to confirm that their values will be aligned with the values of the organisation or as closely aligned as possible.
The challenge that your organisation will have is to decide whether you want to come running out of the starting gates and keep moving forward at a steady and consistent pace, or do you want to start fast and falter quickly. If you choose the latter then you risk losing valued employees to other organisations that can meet those needs.
What do you want to do?
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