Talent Management and Tomorrow’s Leaders

Posted by Elizabeth Pearce on Wed, Mar 07, 2012 @ 03:16 PM

Forbes has recently published two excellent articles about Millennials in the workplace which EVERY Talent Management Professional should read. Most of the world tends to think about the multigenerational workplace as a diversity issue, but the two recent articles come from different perspectives and highlight some major issues that talent managers (and Human Capital Risk Managers) need to focus on.

Both articles are focused on the Millennials: Workers that are 30 and younger today. As a demographic group, Millennials are about the same size of the Baby Boomers. The generation between the Boomers and the Millennials, known as Generation X or Gen-X, is significantly smaller. Members of Gen-X are also significantly more likely to leave large corporations. (Click here for a blog about why they are leaving.) So, as the Boomers approach retirement, corporate leadership is going to fall to the Millennials.

Millennials and Gen-Xers are sometimes called the Digital Natives, which is why the recentForbes CIO Network Forbes article, 5 Ways Gen Y Is Changing Your Business, Like It Or Not appeared in the Chief Information Officer column. The essence of the article (again, let me emphasize that everyone in training and leadership development should read the entire article) is that this group is changing the workplace. The changes will accelerate as Millennials come to dominate management and are groomed for senior roles.

Millennials are changing the technologies that are used (such as instant messaging and social networks) and the devices that are used. Forrester says that 70% of iPads and 50% of smart phones used in the corporate environment are owned by the employees. The article discusses the risk and rewards of having the latest filesharing tools and having workers never be off the grid except when asleep. But as managers of Human Capital, we also understand the risks.

The second article, from a few months ago, was titled Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders: the Expanding Roles of Millennials in the Workplace. The article is based upon an interview with Lauren Rikleen of the the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, which is designed to create a more dynamic, inclusive, and strategically aligned workplace.

Rikleen’s focus is more in alignment with themes that Talent Managers are familiar with – but her focus was on how Millennials use technology and what they value in their jobs. The article has some gems for motivation and employee retention. (Click the titles to go directly to each article).

In the interview, Rikleen talked one of our favorite themes the generational differences in the workplace, she also profiled the eight characteristics of a millennial leader.

Unfortunately, for Talent Managers, neither article really focused on what Mentor Resources thinks is the most important factor: How do you transfer the kind of knowledge gained by experience (the tacit knowledge of how to get things done in your organization) between generations. We believe the only real solution creating mutually satisfying bonds between the highly skilled and experienced older worker and the younger, ambitious Millennial. Mentoring Software programs are a solution, if (and this is a large IF) the match is good.

If you haven't already read our white paper on Mentoring and Generational Diversity, we encourage you to click here to download it.

But that reflects our bias. Mentor Resources is the provider of WisdomShare, the best mentor matching program on the market. But don’t take our word for it, we recommend a small trial program, where you can see for yourself.  Talk to us about your organizations needs or concerns.Click me  

Topics: talent management, Age Diversity in the Workplace, Learning, Knowledge Management