The economic tsunami has likely beaten down your staff and made them wonder whether to stick around — right when you need them most. That makes now the time to rally the troops. And your challenge isn’t just to hang on to your staff, but to fire them up. Mary Karamanos, Montreal-based HR head for the Business Development Bank of Canada, says you can gain a valuable competitive advantage by ensuring your people are engaged enough in their work “to deliver that ‘strive’ component,” not just go through the motions.
5 ways to engagegeny
Bosses have always expected lots from their employees, but employees have never expected as much from their bosses as do the members of Generation Y — workers born from 1978 to 1994. Too bad you’ll need to count on these so-called echo boomers to replace the baby boomers as they retire. Here’s how to keep Gen Y staff happy, productive and engaged.
- Satisfy their craving to know their work matters by filling them in on the big picture and how their roles fit into it.
- Be accessible. Echo boomers value face time, whether talking with you in the office or hanging out with you at a company barbecue.
- Tap into the intellectual curiosity of this highly educated generation by engaging them in business challenges and offering incentives for good ideas.
- Recognize their lives outside work. Offering flex-time, gym memberships and activity days shows you support their overall well-being.
- Be genuine. Younger folks despise hypocrisy above all. If you tell everyone it’s time to tighten their belts, be seen tightening your own.
Lessons from leaders
“A leader wants people to experience his dream by doing what he tells them to do. And that’s probably the least effective way to get anybody to buy in to your dream. To feel the same passion as you do, your people have to put their blood into it, too. If you give them the opportunity, they might contribute to your dream and make that dream better — even better than you ever thought it could be. That sounds so damn simple. But it’s very hard to do what I’m talking about, because it goes against our nature.”