Written by Khadija Hamouchi
The opening article in last month’s inaugural issue focused on the contributions of not-so-unexperienced youths in the workplace. The often dubbed “Generation Y” or “Millennial Generation” makes up our precious innovation-makers and warrantors of sustainability. Let’s imagine you’ve just hired one of our intrepid young workers: She or he has been performing above average. Great! Things are going swimmingly for the time being. Your next challenge would be: how do I unleash, nurture, and retain this promising individual?
Unleashing talent doesn’t just demand higher-than-normal emotional intelligence, it also demands time, communication, and consideration. It requires an innovative approach to one’s leadership style by making space for relationship building. Look into establishing “get-to-know-each-other” meetings. Invite your employee to share personal and professional achievements that may have slipped under the radar. Take these successes and integrate your findings within new projects and tasks, but you’ll be surprised how quickly a person can grow professionally if they bring a bit more of themselves to a project.
Norman Cousins once said, “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
Nurture calls upon concrete actions. Call upon your employee’s participation on side projects, and give them the necessary space for professional growth. If the latter is a bit complicated, refer them to some activities and organisations outside of work that they could join.
Retain. Losing talent is a loss to your enterprise. A pay check at the end of the week and a “Good job! Keep up the great work!” aren’t enough to keep someone professionally motivated and fulfilled. Millennials are willing to work for the greater good in a secure, free, and supportive environment — who doesn’t? Good work is often its own reward, but sometimes a little extra “oomph” is needed to keep the extra talented; show your appreciation by being open about opportunities for career advancement.
These three principles require more than just stellar Human Relations practices, they also require leadership of care, they require one to envision something better. Whether a person is labelled “Generation Y” or “Generation X”, we’re all part of the same alphabet and we all require professional motivation and fulfilment to really put our best foot forward.