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Matuson Consulting // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results

We are almost halfway through the year. Are you on target to reach your business and personal goals? If not, this is the time to ask for help. Wait much longer and that window of opportunity may be closed.

I recently posted, “The Shocking Truth About Millennials” on my Forbes blog. Within 24 hours there were over 25,000 hits. Clearly I hit a nerve. This Millennial frenzy is a billion dollar business. Read on.

The Shocking Truth About Millennials

Companies are spending a ton of money trying to figure out how to attract and engage the Millennials, when all  along they’ve had the answers right in front of them. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review, written by Bruce Pfau, titled, What Do Millennials Really Want From Work, is quite revealing. According to Pfau, there is little in the way of empirical research to support this billion-dollar theory that Millennials are all that unique.

 “On the contrary, a growing body of evidence suggests that employees of all ages are much more alike than different in their attitudes and values at work. To the extent that if any gaps do exist, they amount to small differences that have always existed between younger and older workers throughout history and have little to do with the Millennial generation per se,” notes Pfau.

So what does this mean for businesses? That depends. Don’t change a thing if you are already doing the following:

Putting people first. Everyone talks about it. They say, “Our people are our most important asset.” That’s just a throwaway line for most companies. If this were really true, then how do you explain why so many companies lay people off the moment their stock shares start to slide? Wouldn’t they instead look at how they can grow their revenues while preserving human capital?

Focusing on purpose. People are constantly making fun of the Millennial’s search for purpose in their work. Usually those are the same people who are too lazy to find happiness or too risk-adverse to try something new when what they are doing isn’t working.

I recently had the pleasure of listening to Catherine D’Amato, CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank, talk about her path to becoming a food banker. D’Amato spoke about her executive team, who all came knocking on her door in pursuit of purpose. Not one of these people were Millennials. The lesson here is that purpose isn’t this new-age thing founded by the Millennials. It’s something that is important to most workers.

Providing regular feedback. Everyone seems to think Millennials are performance crazy, as we keep hearing stories about their constant need for feedback. Think back to when you first entered the workforce. You probably craved feedback, as did I. Most workers still desire feedback. The difference is that Gen Xers and Boomers have given up on this concept, since it hasn’t seemed to materialize. It’s the Millennials’ turn to make some noise. Perhaps they will have better luck.

Developing your people. Most people in the workplace want to improve their status. Yes, even those fifty-something people you may have on your payroll. Improving one’s status doesn’t necessarily mean yearning for a promotion. Growing in place is important for many. Take a look at the career development opportunities you are providing for your people. Are most, if not all, tailored for Millennials? If so, think about how to to change this so that everyone benefits.

And for those of you who aren’t quite measuring up (and you know who you are), take time to reflect as to why this is so. Then pick one or two areas to focus on and move them forward a mile, rather than trying to move everything forward an inch.

Let’s stop talking about how different Millennials are in your workplace. These generalizations are false and are distracting employers from the real work that needs to be done—Creating organizations where all employees love to come to work and where customers love to do business.

Three Unique Ways to Attract Talent

Oh my gosh. Is it me, or is everyone else sick and tired of reading LinkedIn posts that say, “We are hiring!” Have these posts compelled you to apply for a position with that company? Most likely not. Here’s why.

The way to attract people is to speak to them. Start here:

  1. Offer to speak at an industry association meeting and integrate compelling stories about your business and your team into that speech. In closing, offer to set up informational interviews with anyone interested in learning about the work you do.
  2. Give your business card to anyone who impresses you. Better yet, ask them for their contact info so that you can follow up with them to see if there is mutual interest in finding a way to work together.
  3. Routinely remind employees that you are seeking to hire employees who are as talented as they are. Have that conversation in the company lunchroom, during their performance review or even while the two of you are in line at Starbucks. And don’t forget to offer them a bonus for their employee referrals.

The “What if” Challenge

Last month, I offered members of my community the opportunity to earn a free download of my book, Selecting for Success: The Complete Guide to Hiring Top Talent if they were the first five people to share their “aha moments” with me after taking this challenge. (And yes, I did send him a book!)

Here’s how one small change can make a huge difference.

I took your AHA moment suggestions to heart and a week ago I started treating the part-timers in our org. in a much more friendly and welcoming manner. I was surprised to notice how most all of them brightened to the additional attention from a "veteran employee." Most of my peers just ignore or talk down to them.

(Hope I'm one of the 5  . . . . would love to have your book!)

Rules of Attraction: Your Monthly Tip on Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

Stop ticking off all the boxes related to your hiring process and instead go out there and make some hires.

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For more tips on attracting and retaining top talent, download a copy of Talent Magnetism. Call us today at 617-608-3633 if you’d like to discuss applying these concepts to your organization.

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Meet Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including General Motors, Best Buy, and, The Boston Beer Company, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

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