JB HOMER Retained Executive Search, specializing in executive search for technology and operations talent in a global market

In this President's Letter we invited Michael Gabriel to share his thoughts on:
Millennial Retention and Performance Management
How Can We Win?

Judy Homer
President, JB Homer Associates

Michael is the founder and CEO of Quantum Barometer, a company focusing on a mobile and web-based platform to encourage and better utilize staff feedback.He was Executive Vice President & CIO at HBO for 14 years, and a founding executive leader of the entertainment industry transforming HBO GO Internet Initiative. He is the inventor of 6 media and entertainment industry patents, and an advisor to university and industry technology councils.

Surveys show that 75% of millennials and post millennials expect to switch companies within the next year. They also comprise 25-30% of the workforce at many companies. It's arguably not possible to sustain operational continuity, nor build institutional knowledge, with that amount of turnover. This also drains incumbent staff time by continuously being involved in recruiting, training and supporting new hire onboarding and acclimation. How can we win?

There are a number of millennial attributes that are well established, all focused on their engagement. They are willing to say what they think, want their voices to be heard, want to make an impact, want flexibility in how they work with less bureaucracy, want to develop their skills with their work, and want continuous feedback. While we might be complaining about millennial retention, those attributes are actually quite positive in terms of business improvement possibilities.

And, just as with raising children or teaching students, proper engagement requires work and awareness of the parent or teacher. That's no different from growing our staff, helping them to continuously improve, and learning from their insight of inexperience. Their being unencumbered by the limitations of what isn't possible unleashes opportunity for us to improve our people, processes and technology, as sometimes our thinking of the art of the possible is limited due to years of being beaten down by unnecessary corporate processes established over time.

Just like the art of Ju Jitsu, we can turn the force of our millennials into an opportunity to improve our products and services, and subsequently our company. But it requires a dedication to establish a framework and platform for continuously engaging our millennials, as well as our full staff, with a dedication to listening to what they have to say, and responding appropriately. Don't shoot down their thoughts and fight their force based on why they are not possible before first engaging them to determine what could be possible and using that force to our mutual benefit.

What are your thoughts based on your experience with the challenges of millennial and post millennial retention and performance management?

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