Monday, April 28, 2014

Leadership: attract & retain millennials or fail!

This work by Marcelo Bernardes (@marcelobern) was originally posted on LinkedIn.

Over the next decade, many organizations are at risk as they fail to attract and retain the very professionals necessary to keep them "alive".

Here is why

The workforce is changing:
"By 2025, millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce and by next year (2014), they will account for 36% of the American workforce." (Forbes)
"Millennials want to work for organizations that support innovation. In fact, 78 percent of Millennials are influenced by how innovative a company is when deciding if they want to work there, but most say their current employer does not greatly encourage them to think creatively." (Deloitte Millennial Survey)
So organizations will need to find ways to bridge any existing gaps with millennials, as those unable to cater to this millennial desire to innovate will struggle to attract and retain millennials, and may be unable to secure their own existence.

The enemy within

For years, a lot has been said about the inability of large organizations to innovate. In a recent article, Steve Blank, states "Every large company, ... is executing a proven business model". So, it should come as no surprise when large companies "... have a hard time with continuous and disruptive innovation.", continues Blank (Inc.). Does it sound familiar to you?

Still, organizations like 3M, and Google are widely recognized for their effort to promote innovation from within, also known as intrapreneurship, or corporate entrepreneurship (Wikipedia).

So, could intrapreneurship be just the tool to attract and retains millennials, and solve this conundrum? I say at the very least, it is worth educating yourself about it, after all, the future of your organization might be at stake.

Intrapreneurship 101

Although with a significantly smaller media coverage than its counterpart entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship reference material has been around for decades, and is still being created and fine-tuned as we speak. Here are two recently released books on the topic:
If your organization would rather focus on the greater good, social intrapreneurship (Wikipedia) might be a better fit. In this case, The League of Intrapreneurs is a great starting point for you. In particular, their Cubicle Warriors Toolkit, is a great resource which can be used to guide your own social intrapreneurs.

And finally, for curated articles on intrapreneurship and related topics, feel free to join us at Innovate Within (@InnovateWithin), where our goal is to keep novices and experienced intrapreneurs alike up-to-date on the latest information about intrapreneurship, and uncover areas where intrapreneurship concepts may be worth exploring within your organization.

The healthy intrapreneurship "side effect"

Once your intrapreneurship program is underway, engage millennials and gather their feedback. And make sure to measure the program impact on employee retention. Including questions about the program on your regular employee surveys and exit surveys is a great way to track progress, and fine-tune the program.

It could also be of interest to track other business results, after all, a well oiled intrapreneurship program should increase your ability to create value from within and improve your organization social accomplishments and bottom line.

What is your take? How is your organizations attracting and retaining millennials? Do you have experience with intrapreneurship programs? Feel free to use the comment box below to share your experience and point of view. And please follow me, if you would like to be automatically notified when I publish new articles.