Last month, I had the great pleasure of being part of a super panel at the inaugural Thought Collective at The Muse in New York City where about 30 leaders of digital marketing, HR, and technology met to talk about talent. All seem to be struggling with the same question: “How can I increase my chances of attracting and retaining awesome talent in my organization?” Trying very hard to not use “the M word” in our sessions, we exchanged ideas about what is working and what’s not when it comes to hiring this new generation of ‘digital natives.’ There are a few things that are quite clear:
- We all need them. If your business is not undergoing a digital transformation right now – trust me – it will be, and to be honest, it should be.
- There are not enough of them to go around. Some of the amazing leaders I work with at top universities are running really hard to churn out as many “enterprise-ready digital gurus” as possible. They are reconfiguring traditional majors, inventing new ones, and creating very cool capstone programs to get people ready for work. It’s not enough.
- Companies are investing a ton in employer branding. Everyone is scrambling to be seen as THE place to be.
It’s more than just perks
Often times, conversations turn to perks: Which perks will give us the best bang for the buck? Which perks are important to the new workforce? How far do I need to go… pay for full gym memberships, get everyone a Fitbit or both? It is more than just the perks - what really brings people to work? At Sitrion, we love our pool tables and Colorado’s and Germany’s finest microbrews, as seen by the well-stocked refrigerators in Denver and Oldenburg. But what really brings people here is our mission to “Make Work Better,” the interesting work we do, and how we operate as a company around our core values.
Now hear this...
ALL employees care about what your company stands for regardless of their generation. I bet you are already on the right road to articulate and communicate your values, so here are a few tidbits of advice for getting your employees to embrace and internalize them:
Make them real – Don’t develop a list of your values just so you have something to put on your website or paint on the walls of your hallways. Most importantly, employees are looking for ‘authenticity’. Posting values that you don’t really believe or put into action is much worse than saying nothing at all. (If this is your situation, please stop reading and go back to the drawing board now.)
Make them memorable – Our brains are already trying to pack in a lot of information. Keep your messages around values simple, short, and to the point.
Repeat, repeat, and then repeat again - Bake your values into everything you do and everything you communicate in company meetings, blog posts, and employee communications. Share stories of your values in action at work and make them easy-to-consume and accessible to everyone. And what’s the most efficient channel for doing so—reaching them where they already are… on their smart phones. Leverage their mobile phones to send frequent and compelling messages around your values and culture. You’ll ensure they are reading them and are engaged and aligned.
Leave no stone unturned - no one left out! – Last week I heard a sad story about a company that cannot reach over 20% of their workforce through traditional HR communication channels (email, website, Intranet). YEESH that’s a lot of people when you are talking about a small company but imagine a global organization with over 100,000 employees! Again, through your employee’s mobile devices, everyone can be reached anytime and anywhere. Even your deskless workers and workers on-the-go will be connected to your company’s values and culture. Keep your values front and center with EVERYONE on your team.
Upcoming webinar on values
This topic is extremely important, especially as the war for talent continues to get more and more aggressive. So I invite you to join me for an upcoming webinar on August 24th, where we’ll discuss 5 critical steps to engaging your workforce and how to leverage the digital workplace to develop active advocates of your brand and company values. Make sure your people are connecting to your values at precisely the right moments and internalizing them more and more every day. Sign up now!