How to Exit Your Millennial Employees

Two weeks ago we hosted our first Learnitect Breakfast Roundtable Series and welcomed COOs and Heads of People from leading fast growing tech companies Benivo, Deliveroo, Salesforce, Mastered, Freshminds, Yoyo Wallet, Pockit, Circle and Cisco.

This is part 3 of a three-part series sharing the best practices for attracting and engaging Millennials captured at the event. Find Part 1 and Part 2 here.

The “exit” part of the employee lifecycle is an often overlooked opportunity. When managed well, employee exits can be done with a positive feeling on both sides. Former employees can be a future customer or referrer of future employees and business opportunities.

A comprehensive “alumni” programme may include a LinkedIn group, events (social or business-related) and employee newsletter.

Here are some more practical best practices for managing exits:

  • Do not keep employees that are a bad fit for their current role. Roles and responsibilities change as your company grows. If the employee is no longer a good fit, the best thing to do is to let them go. This also applies to employees with a toxic attitude. Failure to let them go may poison your organizational culture.
  • Keep exits positive – celebrate your former employee’s contribution. Be conscious of the morale of the employees that remain.
  • Inform the rest of the team together, if possible. Bad news travels through the grapevine fast.

How to Retain Your Millennial Employees

Two weeks ago we hosted our first Learnitect Breakfast Roundtable Series and welcomed COOs and Heads of People from leading fast growing tech companies Benivo, Deliveroo, Salesforce, Mastered, Freshminds, Yoyo Wallet, Pockit, Circle and Cisco.

This is part 2 of a three-part series sharing the best practices for attracting and engaging Millennials captured at the event. Find Part 1 and Part 3 here.

Employee retention is the most challenging part of the employee lifecycle. Average tenure at start-ups tend to be short and even established corporates have trouble retaining their Millennial talent.

Adobe is one of the many companies doing away with formal performance reviews, replacing the process with regular feedback. However, the practicality of doing away with formal documentation on ratings and rankings may not be right for every organization.

Easier wins include providing social budgets for specifically designed groupings (e.g., cohorts starting at the same time, teams that rarely work together, mentor-mentee budgets) or totally randomizing it (e.g., regular “Mystery Lunches” with randomly picked participants). Other great ideas include allowing employees to spend time on business improvement projects and allowing each employee a small budget to pursue their interests (with the requirement of sharing what they have learned).

Here are some more practical best practices for retention:

  • All employees should be clear about their career paths. Confusion over career path is one of the most common frustrations of start-up employees. Millennial are hungry for continuous professional development.
  • Maintaining transparent communication may be challenging as not all messages are suitable to be shared. Focus on keeping everyone informed of the company vision.
  • Feature an employee in your staff newsletter/all-hands. Keep it light hearted and fun so people can learn about each other.
  • Create simple processes/tools (e.g., forms, apps) for employees to document important conversations (e.g., feedback and goal-setting). This creates accountability. You may want to consider opening the goals to everyone to create ultimate transparency.
  • Create expectations that feedback could be both positive AND constructive. Have managers set examples of soliciting constructive feedback. Share stories of how constructive feedback help people grow.
  • Consider reviewing performance based on desired behaviours which are aligned to the company values. Displaying true ownership of work and mastering stakeholder relationships are two key skills to have in any ambitious organization.

How to On-Board Your Millennial Employees

Two weeks ago we hosted our first Learnitect Breakfast Roundtable Series and welcomed COOs and Heads of People from leading fast growing tech companies Benivo, Deliveroo, Salesforce, Mastered, Freshminds, Yoyo Wallet, Pockit, Circle and Cisco.

This is part 1 of a three-part series sharing the best practices for attracting and engaging Millennials captured at the event. Find Part 2 and Part 3 here.

Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Their attitudes towards career and work are different from previous generations. These differences have already been influencing how workplaces are designed.

Research shows that 71% of Millennials are currently not feeling engaged at work. Companies with engaged employees experience significant improvements in performance and profit.

We have identified 4 Millennial career themes:

  • A longer career: With retirement age going up, Millennials are likely to work longer than previous generations. There will be increased demand for career flexibility (e.g., job rotations, lateral moves) and Learning and Development will have to be more customized to individual needs.
  • Authenticity and wholeness: Millennials expect two-way and transparent communication with the Management. It is still a challenge to decide what messages to share with the entire organization and the best way to share it.
  • Digital natives and hyper connecting: Remote working will continue to increase. Millennials are already hyper-connected and are starting to feel the burn-out being constantly on.
  • Prefers experiences over things: While still driven to work by financial incentives, Millennials may appreciate an investment into worthwhile experiences (e.g., L&D programmes) vs. giving them the equivalent in bonus.

On-boarding your employees well is a key opportunity to create employee goodwill and confidence.

Companies doing this well include Mailchimp with their comprehensive onboarding programme and Breather with their fantastic onboarding kit.

Here are some more practical best practices for on-boarding:

  • A great interview question is to ask about how the role can help them prepare for their next role, even if this is outside your organization. Millennial employees are unlikely to stay in one job forever, so your mission is for both parties to get the most out of the experience.
  • Invite “Ambassadors” from each function to introduce their team as part of your onboarding programme.
  • Get the incoming cohort to regroup after month 1 for a social. This helps strengthen cross-functional bonds.
  • Check in at appropriate milestones (Month 1, Month 3) to identify roadblocks and frustrations.
  • Improving the onboarding process (e.g., building/improving the onboarding kit, onboarding training) can be a great side project for new employees.

Learnitect, the Masterplan

The first graduate job I had was with McKinsey, over 10 years ago. Within six months it was clear to me that I had already learned more on their graduate training programme than I had in three years as an undergraduate at Oxford. There’s something fundamentally wrong with education if the top universities cannot deliver as much educational value as an employer can. Ever since, my firm belief has been that further education needs a fundamental overhaul.

In March this year it was finally time to do something about it and I started researching how. Over 2 months I spoke to a huge number of CEOs and Talent Managers, who likewise complained at the readiness of graduates entering the workforce. Grads lacked even the basic skills needed to get a job done, unable to use powerpoint and excel effectively, unable to read a P&L, and in some cases needing guidance on how to turn up on time and dress appropriately.

At this point I was lucky enough to meet May Kwong, who was thinking along similar lines, and together we founded Learnitect. Our modest goal was to completely reinvent adult education. An ambitious goal that would require a Masterplan …

Step 1: Train Grads, Make Money

Running an alternative to undergraduate degrees straight off is not a credible proposition. Offering graduate training on the other hand is – we’ve seen what best in class looks like, and May has been running successful programmes for leading tech companies such as Expedia, Deliveroo and Groupon for the past two years. Delivering graduate training allows us to demonstrate the quality we can offer, start building an education brand, and generate enough cash to fuel our ongoing mission.

Our target market is fast growth tech businesses, which increasingly appeal to Millennials, but do not have the graduate schemes of professional services. We can offer them an amazing faculty with first-hand business experience, and have designed a super practical curriculum to teach the skills needed in the fastest growing companies. We deliver our training in a blended fashion with both face-to-face sessions and online content, for a premium experience at an affordable price.

All in all we think it’s a compelling service, and if we’re right, there will be no problem funding Step 2.

Step 2: Build a Bigger Lever

If you want to change the world then you need to have scale. And in today’s world scale often means technology. We don’t see face-to-face teaching ever disappearing, but the high engagement that it drives is accompanied by high investment in time and money. If we don’t keep face-to-face teaching lean, then high operating costs will prevent us from reaching many potential students.

Indeed, we consider ourselves delivery agnostic. Face-to-face workshops, digital content and everything in between has a place, and we need to figure out what is the right blend to deliver the maximum impact in our students for the minimum cost. Being a tech-first business doesn’t mean that we do everything online. It means that we use technology to do everything as well as possible.

With technology driving scale in our operations, community and ultimately brand, we should develop the critical mass to take on Step 3.

Step 3: Continuous Lifelong Learning

We believe education shouldn’t be restricted to a certain point of your like, but continue throughout it. Step 3 is the realisation of this goal – a modular curriculum that allows individuals to continually develop themselves. This modular approach also means better visibility of what a career looks like. We can suggest training to reach a particular goal, or show people where nurturing a particular interest leads. That means giving them a route map to their career path, as well as the tools to get there.

It also means that we can strike at the principal failing in adult education – the undergraduate experience. £27k for spend three years learning stuff that you won’t use in your career is not a good use of your time or money, yet it’s the default option for the UK’s brightest school leavers who will lead the companies of tomorrow. If we designed the experience from scratch, it would look very different.

Instead, imagine an apprenticeship where you got to work at Google, Facebook or Amazon. Where you rotated through different departments, mixed theoretical education with practical experience and got paid for the work you did. After 3 years you would have a phenomenal skillset to start your career, a better sense of which roles appealed, and a much healthier bank balance.

So this then is the ultimate vision of Learnitect. An organisation that facilitates your personal development and career achievement from the time you leave school onwards. To help people find and fulfil their true potential.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If this mission resonates with you, help us out by:

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