Succession Planning: Preparing for the Millennials

With the millennial generation now entering the workplace in full force, the pressure is on organisations to future-proof their business strategies to meet the next generation’s talent management expectations.

Millennials are expecting more from their workplace than just job security and a stable income. A recent millennial survey released by Deloitte revealed millennials, who will represent 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025, want to work for organisations that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills and wish to see them make a positive contribution to society. The study also revealed millennials believe businesses are not currently doing as much as they could to develop talent and leadership skills.

Fostering innovation

Millennials want to work for organisations that support innovation, with 78 per cent saying they were influenced by a company’s approach to innovation when determining whether they wanted to work there. Despite this trend, most millennials said their current employer did not greatly encourage them to think creatively. The biggest barriers to innovation raised included management attitude, operational structures and procedures, employee skills, attitudes and lack of diversity.

To encourage innovative ideas, whether with millennials or older colleagues, businesses will need to examine their culture and practices. For millennials, fostering innovative, out-of-the-box solutions is more a matter of business processes than individual genius. Almost 60 per cent of millennials surveyed believed that organisations can improve innovation simply by following established processes.

Attracting and retaining talent

In order to effectively bridge the generational gap, organisations need to focus on nurturing emerging leaders. The report found that more than one in four millennials have been ‘asking for a chance’ to demonstrate their leadership skills and 75 per cent believed organisations could do more to develop future leaders.

The report also highlighted that 70 per cent of tomorrow’s talent might ‘reject’ traditional business strategies, preferring to work independently through digital means. Roughly 70 per cent of millennials said they expect to work independently at some point, rather than being employed within a traditional organisational structure. While 52 per cent in developed markets expect to work independently at some point, this figure hits 82 per cent in emerging markets.

Prepare to face the demands

Ultimately, organisations need to be prepared to face big demands and high expectations with the next generation of employees. Businesses that fail to address these concerns may lose emerging talent, who will opt out of working for large organisations to work independently.

To find out more about future-proofing your organisation, discover some tips on law firm succession planning.

Azadeh Williams is an international journalist and editor with over 500 articles published in over five continents including Reuters and The Times (UK). A former banking and finance solicitor, she holds an LLB, BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney and an MA from the City University London School of Journalism. Azadeh currently lectures in business and professional news practice at the Macleay College faculty of journalism.

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