Engaging the Gen Y Employee in India - Nov 2013


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Employee Engagement, HR Consulting, Business, Gen Y , India, Mumbai, leadership, coaching, management , talent, hr, human resources,

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Engaging the Gen Y Employee in India - Nov 2013

  1. 1. Engaging the Gen-Y employee The article is drawn from the results of primary research conducted with 98 participants from different fields and industries. The views expressed belong to the participants and HR leaders from the industry. © WhiteLight Consulting Pvt. Ltd. 2013 Page 0
  2. 2. Introduction The global business environment, over the past 5 years has undergone tremendous change. Organisations have redefined their strategies and approach in the way they operate. To the external stakeholders and bystanders, this has been the result of the visible economic turbulence. While it does hold true, there has been another major change, a “Different Folks very gradual one and hence unnoticed. This internal change Different Strokes” generations. is the transition of the reins of organisation between The age of baby boomers has now passed. Gen-X employees have risen to the peak of careers and are now at the helm of organisations. This means that the rest of the show – from middle to junior level of organisational hierarchy – is almost completely driven by Gen-Y. But naturally, this new generation has come in with a new mindset and a new outlook towards matters. They have a different set of expectations from the organisation than Gen-X. At the top, the leaders have a fresh set of expectations from employees to tackle the turbulent times. While some expectations on both sides are met, the ones that do not meet create a gap, leading to one glaring question on both sides: “Are they doing enough?” © WhiteLight Consulting Pvt. Ltd. 2013 Page 1
  3. 3. The Gen-Y Mindset: During the research, the term that popped out for Gen-Y was “Fast Track”. They set a high personal goal, and wish to reach Top -5 priorities of Gen-Y: there in the shortest time possible. Gen-Y employees are own terms.  Alignment of organisational goals with personal goals They expect to be in a management position within three  Compensation highly ambitious with a desire to grow quickly and on their years of starting work. They want to be in an organisation that can cater to their aspirations, be it purpose, pay or  Work-Life Balance position. The highest level of engagement is seen when the  Career advancement personal goals coincide with the professional goals. Such  Challenging roles employees are all praise for their work and organisation, with the motivation to carry on more than 2 years. They want to be paid proportionally to the level and amount of work. Also, the work should relate to what they have learnt in the past – from their institutes and experiences. Graduates Work v/s Pay feel more comfortable when they get a feeling of being able to apply their knowledge. But when asked to pick one, money wins over work. 57% rated compensation at higher priority than challenging work. 43% 57% Gen-Y graduates value a higher level of freedom and autonomy, in the way they approach and carry out their work. While there is an expectation of hand holding to some extent, they like taking pride in accomplishments achieved on their own. There however, is a constant comparison between Compensation Challenging work training needed and training given. 43% of respondents said that they felt a lack in initial and ongoing training. © WhiteLight Consulting Pvt. Ltd. 2013 Page 2
  4. 4. Work life balance holds a dear corner in the minds of graduates. Long hours are not appreciated unless they serve the purpose of greater pay or greater growth. Most graduates hope to put in long hours to reach a certain position within a year or two before shifting to another organisation for a less taxing job. The message to be taken is that the time of loyal employees, striving for the organisation has now come to pass. Gen-Y engagement levels today stands a point there is satisfaction to contribute just enough till a better opportunity comes by. What Organisations Expect: From the organisational perspective, the demand from the “They are not kids anymore. In order to earn, in order to be valued, they should be first ready to deliver” Gen-Y employees is quite simple, “Do what you do best to improve either the bottom-line or the top-line”. Organisations have come to expect a large amount of zeal and zest from the younger employees, especially those falling within the age group of 24 to 27 years. The expectations however, vary depending on the role of the employee. While a fresh graduate joining the organisation at an entry level position – e.g. a software engineer – is expected to do tasks on time and be compliant of the policies, an employee joining at the junior management level is expected to shoulder a lot more responsibilities and contribute in terms of improving processes in addition to compliance. © WhiteLight Consulting Pvt. Ltd. 2013 Page 3
  5. 5. Organisations expect loyalty and commitment to the bigger cause. They want the organisational goals to precede personal goals. When it comes to remuneration, organisations expect a proportional return on the amount they have spent on an employee. They expect to derive apt value on the salary given to an employee along with the training costs and branding costs incurred. For career progression, all organisations want the employees to prove their mettle before they can step into leadership roles. Barring entry level positions, the policy of periodic promotion has almost ceased to exist. “They have to prove themselves in order to Progress” Organisations accept that a certain amount of attrition is bound to happen and is healthy to an extent. But that being said, they wish their Hi-Pots and High performers stay with the organisation for at least four to six years in order to deliver the desired value and results. From a learning and development standpoint, organisations expect the Gen-Y employees to be comfortable dealing with ambiguity and pick up lessons on their own. They should have the initiative and be alert enough to learn at each point. Gen-Y should be able to internalise and apply learning as soon as possible without it being pointed out. Knowledge sharing by spoon feeding is something which organisations wish to avoid. The question that comes to the fore is that in the current business environment, can organisations promise a fixed, periodic path of growth? If the answer from an organisation is no, then it’s up to the employees to create their own path. © WhiteLight Consulting Pvt. Ltd. 2013 Page 4
  6. 6. The Gaps: Points of Dissatisfaction:  Lack of Role Clarity  No alignment of roles with skill sets  Lack of growth opportunities  Low Compensation  Organisational Culture Role Satisfaction Gaps arise because of the lack of clarity and understanding of expectations from both sides. The biggest gaps arise between the priorities and perspectives of the organisations and the employees. Gen-Y employees are more self-centred and tend to focus on personal goals as compared to the organisational goals. Organisations wish the employees to have a long term perspective of around five years whereas employees do not think beyond two years at a stretch. The shorter tenure of Gen-Y employees in organisations can be linked to their dissatisfaction across certain areas like: career progression, coupled with unmet expectations on compensation and benefits and to certain extent, being 14% bound in their approach towards their work. While 85% of the respondents are happy with their current role, only 29% are definitely sure that they would carry on for more than 2 86% years with their current organisation. This staggering statistic poses a dilemma to organisations as to what they can do or improve to engage and retain these Yes No employees for a longer term. While they do their best, practices do not seem to have the desired effect in terms of Motivation to carry on for > than 2 years motivation and retention. 29% 71% © WhiteLight Consulting Pvt. Ltd. 2013 Page 5
  7. 7. Bridging the Gap: By bridging the gap between the expectations, organisations can pave the way for higher engagement and retention. Given the widespread nature of the issues, bridging the gap effectively can prove to be effective in creating a competitive advantage. The task however, is easier said than done. The gaps in this case are in expectations, which are different for all employees. While a “one size fit all” strategy is definitely out of the question, it is impossible for organisations to cater to every “Rethink, Redraw, single employee. Organisations will therefore have to rethink their practices in order to set up a halfway mark where both Retain”” the sides can put forth their views. Be it through internal communication, new processes or any other top-driven initiatives, organisations have will have to create a feeling of acknowledgement and hope in the Gen-Y minds. For only then will they be in a position to understand the organisations’ expectations and act upon them. For addressing lack of clarity, career progression maps need to be designed such that they give light to each role and highlight them as beacons an employee can look to in times of ambiguity. In conclusion, it falls upon the shoulders of the organisation, especially the human resource leaders to create a system for balancing expectations, for in the end, it is more feasible to retain than to recruit. © WhiteLight Consulting Pvt. Ltd. 2013 Page 6
  8. 8. About WhiteLight Consulting At WhiteLight Consulting, we differentiate ourselves through our vast experience in the design and delivery of programs that bring a strong return on investment – and we have the results to prove it! We bring a blend of creativity to traditional methodologies to drive effectiveness in our programs. Executive Coaching | Leadership | HR Consulting | Theatre | Business Storytelling | Employer Branding We Consult to Inspire! We Inspire to drive Results! Contact us at: WhiteLight Consulting Pvt. Ltd. Regus, Level 1, Trade Centre, Bandra Kurla Complex Bandra (East), Mumbai 400051. Phone: +91 22 61623250 Cell: +919820077876 Email : sandeep.kaul@everythingtraining.in Website: www.whitelightconsulting.co.in © WhiteLight Consulting Pvt. Ltd. 2013 Page 7