“We hear a lot about how we need to adjust to the new generations of employees, but we never hear about how they can adjust to our company culture. It can’t just be a one-way street, right?”
– Mobility & On-Boarding Manager, Aircraft Manufacturer
We have a number of clients who share this frustration – they want to attract and retain Gen Y (and younger) but don’t want to change everything just to fit around this new generation (and neither should they!).
A big challenge with integrating younger generations into company cultures is if “the way we do things around here” is seen as ‘old fashioned’. Young talent like to feel they are part of evolving cultures, so the “here is our culture, learn it, live it” old-school way of induction doesn’t sit well with this younger generation.
So what can you do? Below are just a few ideas that we’ve seen work with our clients:
– Ensure that “the way we do things around here” — leadership behaviours, systems, symbols, values — is introduced with some history (e.g. this is why this is important to us, this is where it came from etc etc).
– Allow young talent to add to the cultural norms. For example, we ran an interesting group session recently where the group were allowed to ‘Keep or Bin’ company values, and had to explain/debate their thoughts – the results of which were very interesting.
– Make sure that company values aren’t just some text on a piece of paper. The values need to follow through into everything the organisation does (e.g. do interviews include questions based on the company values? Are performance reviews based on them?).
This is just a starter for ten…..we can talk for hours about Gen Y! Contact us if you are interested in continuing this conversation.