Companies adapting to young employees who don’t like to learn in the traditional way anymore, see things short-term and need to be entertained represents a challenge in today’s market.
Engagement for the young generation in Romania was the hot topic debated at the second edition of the HR Executive Learning Breakfast organized by Romania-Insider.com and Ideograf. Delia Rotaru (Sofonea), HR Director of retailer eMAG and Cosmin Alexandru, Dean of The Entrepreneurship Academy inspired an audience of over 30 HR directors, general managers and entrepreneurs who gathered at the Maastricht School of Management headquarters in Bucharest on May 16.
Employers need young employees to learn many things that are not taught in schools, such as commitment, proactivity, seriousness, and responsibility, but, above all, they need them to learn how to learn, said Cosmin Alexandru. But for the young generation, the learning process needs to be short termed. "Young people don’t like long-term; they don’t want a 5-year objective path. Long term commitments get them away from us”, said the Dean of The Entrepreneurship Academy. So companies have to adapt their goals, processes, and outcomes with a short – term in mind.
The young generation learns interactively, their attention span is small – as they were educated like that. They also learn well from others, with role modeling from peers. Companies need to help young employees gain clarity and support them in setting goals which link to their real selves, and not to their claimed values, added Cosmin Alexandru.
Romania’s largest retailer eMAG, which has over 4,000 employees and where the average employee age is 27, has managed to keep up with learning who their young talents are while growing in size in a short period of time, by setting up an engaging program for the whole company. Called Future 25, the talent acceleration program called on everyone in the company to apply and show their high potential, says Delia Rotaru, HR Director with eMAG. 25 people were selected into the two-year program of workshops and courses, creative breakfasts and learning evenings with eMAG managers.
“We turned it into an adrenaline – filled process and we filmed everything, we communicated internally and were very transparent. We event sent black cabs to the doors of the winners on the day we announced it. The young generation needs a lot of entertainment”, said Delia Rotaru.
The way we keep the young generation engaged is to attract them with what projects they will do this year, and break down our long-term view into short – term goals for them, she added. “We have 3-month planning with objectives and results and everyone knows what they need to do in three months”, Delia Rotaru added. “You communicate the long-term strategy in small steps.”
To cater to the young generation, we have to reinvent organizations as learning organizations and help young employees re-learn how to learn. Sometimes, we need to even re-design jobs for which we are unable to find candidates, and split one job that was meant for a senior into two jobs for juniors, and teach them the rest, added the eMAG HR director.
Getting young staff engaged in designing processes and what they want out of HR is a way of keeping them even if the organization is small or does not have a lot of funding.
The HR Executive Learning Breakfast event on May 16 was made possible with the support of Maastricht School of Management in Bucharest, and thanks to sponsors 7Card, Nespresso and Sweeteria.
The next event in the series will take place on June 25. For additional details please contact Ms. Irina Chirileasa, [email protected]
The HR Breakfast Executive Learning represents a series of monthly morning events which create a platform for a meaningful exchange of ideas & HR best practices. Topics of future events include motivation, mindset for success in organizations, innovation, organizational culture and managing performance, among others. The audience includes Romanian and foreign HR executives, directors, entrepreneurs who want further inspiration and knowledge on the HR front.
Romania-Insider.com is the most read English – language news and features website dedicated to Romania, read by 300,000 unique readers from all over the world on average every month. It is published by City Compass Media, which also publishes a yearly expat and travel guide in English, and a premium executive press review service in English.