What Millennials Really Want In 2017 | The HR Tech Weekly®

What Millennials Really Want In 2017

What Millennials Really Want In 2017 | Woobe

Conventional wisdom holds that Millennials are entitled, easily distracted, impatient, self-absorbed, lazy, and unlikely to stay in any job for long. Furthermore, they want free food; they want unlimited vacation; they want to run the company two days after they arrive. But, on the positive side, they’re also looking for purpose, feedback, and personal life balance in their work. Companies of all kinds are obsessed with understanding them better. Let’s talk, for once, about the positive attitudes:

  • Millennials will sacrifice salary for a better work environment: 25- to 35-year-olds said they’d be willing to give up an average of $7,600 in pay for a better situation at the office, such as more career development and a healthier work/life balance.
  • Millennials want to work for the greater good: 73% of Millennials seek meaningful work at an organization with a mission they support. In fact, a remarkable 90% say they want to use their skills for good, suggesting that Millennials seek workplaces with a culture of altruism that enables them to give back. Millennials also care about workplace culture, with 77% noting it is just as or more important than salary and benefits.
  • Millennials want to be entrepreneurial: giving your employees the flexibility and freedom, where possible, to be their own boss with a focus exclusively on results, produces greater employee engagement, loyalty and ultimately better business results.
  • Millennials want to be coached: they crave and respond to a good, positive coach. Overall, Millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees. Their number one source of development is their manager, but only 46% thinks that their manager delivered on their expectations for feedback.
  • Millennials want to design their own career paths: an essential component of Millennial employee engagement is letting them have a voice in how their careers are structured. The one-size-fits-all approach to building careers simply doesn’t work for Millennials’ ambitions. They desire amazing, personalized experiences and the chance to prove their abilities and quickly rise through the ranks. Unlike the traditional career paths, which tended to be more linear, Millennials are forging nonlinear and unique career paths that are aligned with a personal sense of purpose.

Leaders are increasingly turning their attention to the millennial generation, whose attitudes and preferences may profoundly reshape workplaces and society. Like those in every generation before them, millennials strive for a life well-lived. They want good jobs and they also want to be engaged in those jobs. In addition to finding engaging jobs, millennials want to have high levels of well-being. They also want a purposeful life and active community and social ties. Are millennials getting what they want out of work and life? Not so much. Gallup’s latest report, finds that millennials struggle to find good jobs that engage them. Millennials have the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment and only 29% of employed millennials are engaged at work.

Their overall well-being nearly matches that of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, meaning millennials have not been able to forge better paths for themselves, and that’s because of the corporate environment that is not ready to deal with this generation. They need to teach them the social skills that they are missing because of the digital and hyperconnected world they live in. Relationships are built on little things and, since trust doesn’t build in one big event, they have to create mechanism where they allow for the little interactions to happen. To achieve this, you can’t rely on the current social tools or add a new one because, as a matter of fact, too much connectivity kills connectivity.

The key it’s to bring back real human contact but, for large organisations, the only available solution is organising big corporate events which unfortunately aren’t effective. That’s because when you put 100 people in the same room, and hope they will talk, they tend instead to stay with people who already know. A better solution would be organising 25 small events of 4 people each:  that’s how you create new links between people. Unfortunately, finding the right person at the right time for these events is a nightmare without the right tool.

Woobe solves this problem with an innovative approach: managing profiles (age, seniority, departments, etc.) instead of individuals and adopting push communication instead of pull communication. In few clicks, and in less than 5 minutes, you can create a campaign of hundred micro-events! Watch how simple it is in this video:


Source: What Millennials really want in 2017 – Woobe

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The Benefits of Employee Engagement

I Love My Job

Employee engagement is when employees act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. It is already clear, with this definition, that employee engagement is something that all the leaders would like to see in their employees, but let’s go deeper in our analysis.

Let’s look at the cost of a disengaged workforce to better understand the significance of employee engagement:

  • Effect on work: the disengaged employee tries to evade work, struggles to meet deadlines and is reluctant to accept additional responsibility.
  • Effect on co-workers: the negativity of a disengaged employee, demonstrated either through rants or complete withdrawal from participation, affects the team morale.
  • Effect on customers: every employee, whether an organization likes it or not, becomes its ambassador. And a disengaged employee either by actively de-selling the organization, or by complete apathy towards their work, product, process, organization, helps create disengaged customers.
  • Effects on productivity: disengaged employees seldom push themselves to meet organizational goals let alone contribute to innovative practices at workplace. Since they do not believe that their work contributes to the organization, they evade completing tasks thereby affecting team productivity.
  • Effect on personal life of employees: a disengaged employee is seldom able to shake off the lethargy and perform in the current organization or land a job of preference. This leads to pent up frustration which may ultimately affect his personal and family life.

Avoiding these costs should be already enough to make employee engagement a priority in any serious company, furthermore an engaged workforce will grant these benefits:

  • Employee satisfaction: if employees are engaged with the company their job satisfaction levels increase. Employees that are engaged and satisfied are very invested in the success of the business and have a high level of commitment and loyalty.
  • Productivity: engaged employees are often top performers, those committed to ‘go the extra mile’ to achieve business success. As an employee becomes more engaged their absenteeism lowers and their motivation increases leading to increased productivity.
  • Retention & recruitment: employees who are engaged significantly lower the company’s turnover. Simply put, when employees are satisfied and engaged they are far more likely to stay with the organization, plus, businesses that have a highly engaged workforce have an increased ability to attract new, qualified employees.
  • Innovation: engaged employees perform at a higher level and bring passion and interest to their job, which often leads to innovation because they strive to efficiently create new products, services and processes.
  • Profitability: companies with more engaged employees tend to have higher profitability rates. The more engaged your employees are the more efficient and productive they become, lowering operating costs and increasing the profit margin.

Clearly the organization benefits, but what about the individual? As an employee, why would you care about being more engaged if it only means you have to work harder and the company reaps all of the rewards? Fortunately, employee engagement is a win-win for the both the employee and employer. Here are a few reasons why you, as employees, should choose to be engaged in your work.

  • Safety: engaged employees have a decreased chance of experiencing an accident at work. When you are engaged in what you do you tend to follow safety procedures more diligently and don’t lose focus as often, thus leading to fewer safety incidents.
  • Better health: employees that are engaged have lower stress and higher interest levels throughout the day. Conversely, disengaged employees are more likely to be depressed than those who are engaged.
  • Happiness: employees can be happy but not fully engaged in their work, but those who are fully engaged in what they do are much more likely to also be happy.
  • Pay and advancement: engaged employees perform better than their peers.  Engaged employees not only work harder, but also work smarter and are able to produce better results. This helps them to earn higher wages, receive faster promotions, and market themselves for better career opportunities.
  • Better home life: if we are disengaged at work, it’s pretty tough to make the switch to an engaged home life. That’s why engaged employees are far more likely to be engaged outside of work as well.

One way to boost employee engagement is to foster real human contact between employees. The current most used solutions fall short as far as creating new relationships is concerned: in big events employees tend to regroup with their teammates. A really effective solution may be organising “micro-events” but for large corporates the administrative burden is often to high to bear.

Woobe makes organising a campaign of hundreds of micro-events not just possible, but even easy. The HR manager selects in few clicks the profiles and the period over which the events will take place and the invitation are automatically sent to the employees based on their agenda’s availability.

Source: The benefits of Employee Engagement – Woobe

Future of Work: Using Gamification in the HR

Gamification in HR

Gamification takes the essence of games attributes and techniques that game designers use to engage players and applies these to a range of real-world processes inside a company and to non-game experiences to motivate actions that add value to the business. Gamification is transforming business models by creating new ways to extend relationships, craft longer-term engagement, and drive customer and employee loyalty. It works because it leverages the motivations and desires that exist in all of us for community, feedback, achievement and reward.

Gallup’s latest research shows why companies are increasing their interest in gamification.The Gallup study finds 31% of employees are engaged at work (51% are disengaged and 17.5% actively disengaged). But what is most interesting is how this data compares when you apply a generational segmentation. It turns out Millennials are the least engaged generation with only 28.9% engaged as compared to 32.9% for Gen X & Boomers.

So how can various processes in human resources be “gamified” to provide an opportunity for employees across the generations to increase their levels of engagement, collaboration and recognition in the workplace?

  • Think strategy first: identify and articulate specific business objectives you are trying to achieve with gamification;
  • Understand what motivates your employees: gamification is 75% psychology and 25% technology;
  • Engage employees at the emotional level: more than points, badges and leaderboards, gamification engages at a core emotional level.

HR departments process different kind of tasks, let’s highlight the most likely to be gamified. Take recruiting, for instance. Games offer a natural and fun way for people to explore and learn more about a company and its culture. The recruiting and talent acquisition arenas have experienced the most success to date with incorporating gamification strategies to engage with potential candidates and give them a taste of day-to-day life within a company.

It’s not just recruiting where HR can get into the game. In the landscape of corporate learning and development programs, gamification has potential as well. Interactive games drive employee participation and enable the transfer of educational content in a fun and appealing way. The rewards and incentives built into gaming plays well with performance management, which is a key factor in keeping employees engaged. Companies can employ gamification elements when designing performance plans to entice employees to participate more fully in their own performance planning. This level of HR gamification in performance management is still in its infancy but has the potential to drive high performers to new heights and ultimately enhance a company’s business performance.

Somehow, despite promising success stories, many companies have not embraced gamification as a meaningful solution to industry challenges. Some of the most common barriers to adoption include:

  • A belief that gamification is too expensive. However, companies do not necessarily need to develop a full-fledged game or gaming software to take advantage of gamification.
  • Older executives do not buy into the strategy. Whether your company operates under board management or a chief executive officer, some old-school managers may not understand or approve of gamification in the workplace. Check with the Millennials in the company and get their help in making the case for gamification to the GenX/Baby Boomers.
  • Lack of understanding about gamification. Many businesses today still don’t understand how it works or the range of benefits that accrue to incorporating game-like incentives into workplace activities. More and more companies are using it and talking about the benefits though; so it is becoming easier to explain gamification and to demonstrate its value to those who still don’t get it.

Gamification lead to the one thing that HR just can’t get enough of: data. The increased data generated from gamifying these HR processes means that HR professionals will have more ways than ever to measure the effectiveness of their programs and to make real-time adjustments. Gamification has potential as an important component of a company’s overall HR strategy. The fact is companies that don’t incorporate gaming principles into HR practices risk it being “game over” as the competition passes them by.

Woobe is the best tool for HR professionals to manage and improve internal networking. A solid internal network is required to implement successfully the New World of Work in your company, gamification included. Once again Woobe is on the edge in the future of work: thanks to the mobile application available to all the employees, and the ability to carry out surveys, the more employees use the platform, the more they get points. The HR will therefore have the right support to include gaming features to real-world processes.

Source: Future of work: using gamification in the HR – Woobe

How to Avoid the Traps of Hyperconnetivity

Our society demands connectivity. Through constant Facebook and Twitter updating, texting and the like the millennial generation has become all too adept at “staying in touch“. Technology has allowed us to maintain relationships. Now, not only are we able to keep in touch with old friends, but we can also work alongside people with whom we may never have the opportunity to shake hands. Within living memory, computers have moved from the environments of enterprises to devices in our pockets. Social media have trumped traditional media. Most recently, the cloud has appeared making massive amounts of data and applications available anywhere there is a connection to the internet.  The result of all of this is that today we are faced with the phenomenon of hyperconnectivity. The term refers not only to the myriad means of communication and interaction, but also to its impact on both personal and organizational behavior.

The effect of hyperconnectivity is that the limitations of time and space have largely been overcome. Experience is virtualized. You no longer need to be in the same room, or even the same country, as your colleague to accomplish what used to require face-to-face contact. Hyperconnectivity creates new business model opportunities and new ways of working: Web 2.0 social tools and the hyperconnected workforce are eroding many old work paradigms, from work locations to work hours. Workforces are becoming more virtual, and the 21st-century workforce will need to utilize various technologies to stay connected to one or several business networks. In addition, the workforce will need to utilise collaboration tools and techniques to increase productivity and engagement. In this manner, benefits such as enhanced productivity and improved decision making can be realized.

Hyperconnectivity will also impact the organization of the labor force. Major structural changes will include shifting patterns and proportions of workers who are part-time, share jobs, and telecommuting from any location. Plus, since these technologies and the related hyperconnected tools are here to stay, HR departments must learn how to deploy them effectively to their organization’s’ advantage. Policymakers and business leaders must surmount significant challenges if they are to ensure that the workforce is ready to be able to manage the increased pressure and stress levels of working in an ever-connected environment.

The best way to deal with hyperconnectivity is with its exact opposite, something that in last years is going missing: real human contact. In a corporate environment this means fostering internal networking opportunities for those employees that, otherwise, would never meet. To do so, large organisations have always relied on team building activities and enterprise social networks. These solutions, while being very effective for other purposes (corporate culture and document sharing), are not very useful to boost the creation of new links between colleagues.

Woobe provides an innovative solution: campaigns of micro-events. Rather than organising a big event with 1000 people you will be able to organise 200 micro-events with 5 attendees each. Woobe’s algorithm randomly selects the attendees with a matchmaking system between the profiles set by the HR manager (department, seniority, etc) and the employees’ corporate agenda availability (Outlook or Gmail).

The attendees are going to meet new colleagues in a friendly and informal environment, such as a lunch or a footing after work, where real human contact is genuine and new links will be created. In this way, employees are going to be engaged in their worklife and they will avoid the traps of hyperconnectivity: stress, anxiety, burnout and depression.

Source: How to avoid the traps of hyperconnetivity – Woobe

The HR function is in the middle of a process which will change it forever

the-new-way-of-working

The New Way of Working (NWoW) is rising and the reasons behind this are in the latest trends in HR: Autonomy, Accountability, Flexibility and ICT.

Most companies are following or are planning to follow this trend, and for good reasons! But before speaking about the benefits, it is better to understand what this trends mean with some examples.

When we talk about autonomy we refer to the proliferation of small independent teams as well as virtual teams. Accountability refers to the empowerment of all the employees, while flexibility is well represented by telecommuting and home-working. ICT obviously concerns all the new tools that information technology offers to help us get work done.

NWoW is all that, but why should the HR implement it? The answer is because this holistic approach results in a better performance than each single trend considered; that is autonomy, accountability, flexibility and ICT are more effective if implemented all together.

So let’s talk about benefits, real advantages, something that make NWoW worth in the eyes of the executives.

Here are the three benefits in our opinion:

  • better productivity: because employees work more and better when they evaluated for the results they achieve, and not just for the time that they spend in the office;
  • more innovation: because if employees are more engaged at work they will feel more involved and go the extra mile to find new ideas
  • more attractive: for the best talents on the market, the future generation (aka Millennials) will be asking jobs which offers this features, so NWoW is the key to attract the best employee of tomorrow.

The road to NWoW is paved also with some challenges to overcome:

  • loss of social links: remote work can reduce the relationships between the employees;
  • less collaboration: open spaces can make collaboration more difficult;
  • individualisation: can occur if the employees are obsessed with their goals;
  • silo mentality: when thinking of silo mentality people will most of the time think of a lack communication between departments, yet it is not that simple and it requires an in depth analysis.

Silo Mentality

Silo mentality is a mind-set present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.

Traditionally organizational structures were set up with silos to enable specialization towards a specific activity. In the 20th century this method was successful because managers focused on their efforts and rarely had to take in consideration the organization’s other activities. This is no longer applicable nor efficient in today’s ever-changing, fast-moving and information craving workplaces.

Organizations need to get away from the silo mentality because coordination across departments is where opportunities to create efficiency, change, and innovation lie.

But how could it be prevented, not just once but in a systematic way?

First and foremost, it’s to the management and leaders to generate cross-silos efficiency by addressing contextual issues at the heart of the organization. All collaborators will need to have a common goal to advance in the same direction. Once the management is set on the right track, they still need to find a way to engage and motivate the teams towards the goals.

Secondly, it is necessary to find a coherent and systematic solution to reach out to the departments and be able to select the people that need to meet each other. Chances are that the silo mentality will dissipate as more people doing a variety of jobs with different mind-sets start to understand each other’s mutual reality.

Solutions

To complete the overview on the current situation I am going to describe what the companies are currently doing, the usual solutions, to break the silo mentality.

The three main solutions which most companies are putting in place are: team building activities, enterprise social networks and company’s dinners.

All these solutions have proven to be reliable for many years, but it is finally time to expose their limits: they are gathering always the same usual attendees, they are very hard to organize and manage because too many people are involved, and often people tend to regroup with their team without having any contacts with the other colleagues. Furthermore, these current solutions fall short as far as participation rate and employees’ engagement are concerned, and at the end of the day Silo mentality will be still an issue.

So the question is: how to go beyond these limits and, at the same time, drive high participation rates and employees’ engagement? Well, the answer is “frequent micro-events”, that is events which are repeated several times in a given time frame and with a small number of attendees.

In this manner the HR manager can improve cross-silo contacts, get high participation rate and solid employees engagement.

Admin Costs

Yet organising these kind of events might be quite difficult for large companies, with hundreds or thousands of employees. The HR will be overwhelmed by the number of variables involved to plan the events… and handling the last minute cancellations might be even worse. They need the right tool to help them complete this task.

Woobe for instance, is a tool that will give HR a the possibility to organize long-term and specifically designed small-group events over large groups of individuals.

It is an effective, long-term and scalable solution that can design inter- or intra-department campaigns with different objectives and separate goals. With only few clicks, and in less than 5 minutes, the HR will create a campaign. Woobe will send automatic invitations to employees, according to their calendar availabilities and the criteria defined, such as department, age, seniority, etc. What Woobe is not is “yet another tool” for the employees: they will receive invitations in their regular “outlook” calendar.

With Woobe, a company can easily and economically organize micro events to break down the silo mentality, initiate a sense of cohesion and a corporate spirit that will drive success.

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