Many Connecticut businesses, particularly manufacturers, are concerned about how they will replace their aging workforce. These concerns are elevated by graduating students’ perceptions that some industries hold no future for a career where they can find prosperity and fulfillment.  While parents, teachers, government, and industry need to set accurate perceptions, businesses need to honestly assess their readiness to attract younger employees.  A wise mentor once reminded me, “Every time we bring someone new into the organization, the organization changes.” An organization that is slow to adapt to change will struggle with retaining talent.

The following is a list of five issues every company’s leadership team needs to consider:

A Sustainability Vision: Every employee needs to have a sense why the business exists and how its mission will impact the community around them. Clarifying how young people’s talents will support the mission during recruitment will raise favorable attention.

Consideration of New Ideas: Innovative companies take the time to understand suggestions that at first seem a bit strange. Growing up with evolving personal communication services has instilled a new world view with young people.  Companies with a process to hear these ideas and give constructive feedback will nurture employee loyalty.

Flexible Work Rules:  Today’s technology enables professionals to collaborate effectively when not collocated. Work rules that allow some flexibility for employees to address family needs and reducing commute time will be appreciated and valued.

Training and Development: The need for some level of training and development may seem obvious. But I have heard executives express reluctance to develop young employees for fear that they will lose their investment if the employee leaves. I have found, however, that companies that do not develop their star performers are likely to lose them if they don’t develop them. Training decisions are strategic.

Career Planning:  Regular discussions with young employees that identify their valued talents and identify realistic career goals keep them engaged and loyal. To set realistic goals, it is important the management team have clear understanding of strategic investments and succession plans.

At Accelerated Achievements we help companies address these points. I would enjoy hearing any questions and experiences you have had with employee retention.

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