Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation of Talent

By Allyson Patterson

Similar to marketing, knowing your target audience’s values surpasses demographics. What captures their attention, motivates them to action, and drives their loyalty? Displaying that your company actively supports individual employee values is key in attracting and retaining the next generation of talent.

Who will be in the workforce? 

The Power of Choice

Access will top ownership in a sharing economy. Workers prefer on-demand rental services over ownership. Popular in consumer markets, the peer-to-peer rental market is valued at $26 billion. Autonomy over how, when, and where they work will shape worker success.

Organizations can use principles of the sharing economy to rethink their space, furniture, and specialized technologies. Harnessing the power of the internet of things to connect, control, and improve every aspect of your workplace and facilities management can be used to empower employees to make better everyday decisions based on real-time data.

The Need to Belong

Workers seek a sense of belonging. The best determinant of success in college students is their sense of belonging, not their major or GPA. This also applies to the workplace, as a survey of 12,750 workers across all industries shows that high-trust organizations had a total return to shareholders that was 286% higher than low-trust organizations.

Organizations can foster community through purposeful spaces for collision and interaction. Formal mentorships and cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing activities can provide structure to community building. Happy hours and shared meals enable informal venues for simply getting to know each other better. Relationships are the heartbeat of business life, and friendships can shape the success of each employee.

The Desire for Purpose

Workers want to understand how their everyday work adds value to their organization’s purpose. Employees who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations, reported 1.7 times higher job satisfaction, and 1.4 times more engaged at work. Also, 77% of millennials said part of the reason they chose to work where they do is the company’s sense of purpose.

Workplace can showcase an organization’s social responsibility through storytelling in Environmental Graphic Design, social media, and employee communications. Organizations can hold internal project kickoff meetings to outline how each role on the project fits into the organization’s purpose, showcase employee success stories in a monthly email, or request and internally share client testimonials at project close.

The Desire for Balance

In addition to social responsibility, workers have a devotion to personal responsibility in well-being. Workers perceive health as a daily commitment to the mind and body. The WELL Building Standard® harnesses the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and well-being. The future workforce will not only value green building standards, they will expect it as the norm. The costly negative effects of current obesity and other chronic health problems show that the future workforce should proactively commit to their health and well-being.

There are many ways organizations can support balance in their employee’s lives. Some include: implementing flexible mobility programs, offering concierge services for many of life’s day-to-day tasks, providing healthy food options, fitness programs, holistic health screenings, and mental health resources.

Does your organization support your employee’s values? Asking employees for input on specific ways you can support them is a great place to start.  While individual motivation stems from a variety of places, autonomy, community, purpose, and balance are values that the next generation of talent will uphold. 

Click here, for additional insights on Attraction and Retention. 

Allyson Patterson

Allyson is a design strategist who specializes in organizational development. She supports clients by providing tangible workplace recommendations pertaining to the nuances of organizational culture, leadership styles, and team dynamics. She brings a fresh, imaginative perspective on the integration of technology into the built environment to support flexible work processes.