The Next-Generation Workforce: Knowledge and Talent Retention

You may be interested in an article on the NASA (Academy Sharing Knowledge) website. It contains some guidelines that are relevant for Generation "Y" (The "Millenials"), not only in the "developed" but also in the developing world. The article was written by By Daniel W. Rasmus


Knowledge and Talent Retention

Millennials consider their knowledge and skill more as a source of employment mobility than of career growth. Many see their knowledge as personal and portable, not organizational and collective. When it is communal, it is very communal, openly shared across their networks without regard to boundaries.

Social networking sites often reflect a disregard for boundaries and an open, exploratory view of learning, where the search for an answer, the journey itself, is as well documented as the conclusion, if a conclusion is ever arrived at.

Microsoft has developed the following guidelines that may help organizations retain and attract millennial talent:

  • Create engaging environments that inspire, challenge, and motivate employees
  • Integrate millennials into a variety of projects, assignments, and career opportunities
  • Favor flexible work schedules, locations, and arrangements (telework, work at home, and job share)
  • Use the diverse experiences and backgrounds of the workforce to create innovative work environments that challenge assumptions and create new opportunities
  • Harness personal talents and skills by creating opportunities for people to contribute in a variety of roles
  • Involve them in collaborative, team-based projects and environments
  • Allow and support the pursuit of personal and social outside activities
  • Create effective training and mentoring opportunities
  • Harness knowledge created “just in time” through personal networks and recognize contributions from new methods of work

Of course, organizations should take their own cultures into account when preparing for the millennial workforce, but they will need to take a hard look at their behaviors and values and decide if they are worth retaining if they limit access to the knowledge and skills of the next-generation worker.

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