Companies depend on a steady supply of skilled workers, which makes effective recruiting a distinct competitive advantage. With more than half the world’s population under 30 years old (which the World Economic Forum says is the highest in history), employers that understand what millennial workers value most will be the most successful in bringing them on board.
Remember, these are the kids who grew up with Amazon and the young adults who witnessed the emergence of smartphones and Uber. They’ve seen one industry after another upended by technological change. So it’s not surprising that, more than any preceding generation, millennials have vastly different expectations. That includes what they want from the workplace.
Millennials don’t expect to work at a job 30 years and retire with a gold watch. They value entrepreneurial work environments and the opportunity to continue learning. They want fulfillment and freedom, transparency and feedback. They seek out companies that do unique things. And it just so happens that companies moving to an Agile form of organization may be in the best position to attract the talent they need.
As it’s defined in the DXC white paper, “Creating the Agile Organization,” this evolving form of enterprise is characterized by its ability to recognize patterns of changing information and trends, and then respond to those changes quickly. Agile organizations embody many of the traits millennials like.
Millennials value a flat hierarchy and an open, team-oriented culture. This includes the use of collaborative teams, empowering tools and an openness to learning. Teams are a core component of the Agile approach, enabling organizations to leverage culture to strengthen resolve, adapt to disruptions and capitalize on new opportunities.
Continuous improvement is another key attractor. Millennials value organizations that are open to new ideas and are willing to tolerate failure, as long as it is followed up with learning and new responses. This is quite different from traditional management approaches that punish failure and discourage experimentation.
Millennials are often wrongly portrayed as self-absorbed. As it turns out, they are keenly interested in customer centricity. They’re attracted to organizations that can adapt to changing customer demands, requests, needs and feedback.
Both formal and informal training on a continuous basis are important. Millennials have come of age in a time of rapid change, and they understand the need to gain new skills on an ongoing basis. Agile’s multidisciplinary approach to training appeals to millennials, especially forms that encourage learning by doing, peer coaching and “learning to learn” approaches.
The Agile approach doesn’t fit every department or function — that is, an “agile” approach to finance is probably not advisable. And some business processes, such as product development and marketing, benefit from agility more than others. Overall though, adopting general Agile principles will help any business create an environment that is positioned to draw the next generation of talented top producers.
Learn how your organization can become more Agile through culture, business processes, customer-centricity and the free flow of information in “Creating the Agile Organization,” a paper by DXC and DXC Technology’s Leading Edge Forum experts.