Exclusive interview recorded at the NeuroLeadership Summit with Ryan Smith, CEO Qualtrics
"20 percent of our employees have been with the company for less than 90 days." Ryan Smith
At the Recent NeuroLeadership Summit in Washington, DC, " Ryan Smith (Qualtrics) participated in a session with Tony Bingham (CEO, ASTD), Giselle Martin-Kniep (President, Communities for Learning), David Rock (Director, NeuroLeadership Institute), and Josh Davis Ph.D. (Barnard College), for a fascinating conversation focused on Designing Learning. Specifically:
What are we learning from neuroscience about designing leadership development initiatives?
In the conversation on-stage, Ryan provided the "real-world" example. In this Leadership Channel interview with Peter Clayton, Producer/Host of TotalPicture Radio, Ryan describes the culture of "radical transparency" at his company, why it's "okay to fail" and the unique way all of the employees stay connected - and measure their progress. (How many CEO's do you know who post their expense reports online for all employees to see?)
Watch the video now...
If you've not heard about Qualtrics you soon will: Ryan and his father, Scott Smith, bootstrapped their data-collection and -analytics company, from the family's basement to more than $48 million in sales last year. As CEO, he has led the company to the industry leader in online data collection and survey analytics. Qualtrics is one of the fastest-growing technology companies, experiencing triple-digit growth in the past four years. The company has more than 5,000 customers including 500 universities, BusinessWeek's top 30 business schools and almost all of the Fortune 500.
In 2012, Qualtrics received a $70 million investment for Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital, the largest-ever joint investment by these two firms.
Ryan is a frequent lecturer at the nation's leading business schools and is a member of the advisory board for the Masters in Market Research (MSMR) Program at the University of Texas at Arlington. He also serves on the executive advisory board of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Before Qualtrics, he worked at HP and Ford Motor Company and studied at the Marriott School of Management.
Stay tuned... the complete transcript of our interview with Ryan will be available soon!
It's unlikely there's ever been a more qualified speaker on the practical do's and don't's of linking recruitment strategy to business strategy.
What is impacting business strategy? Why is it different this time?"We are in the human age where talent is the major agent of economic growth. So we have to shift our mindset as recruiters to be supply and demand experts, versus job fillers." Mara Swan
One of the real highlights at the ERE Recruiting Conference in San Diego was Mara Swan's keynote -- titled Linking your Recruitment Strategy to Your Business Strategy: This Time for Real.A hard-hitting presentation -- with a senior executive's perspective and real-world experience on the current role of HR and recruiting.
Mara is ManpowerGroup's Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, a position she has held since January 2009. She joined the company as Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources in 2005 and has had a significant impact in both the human resources area of the organization and the strategy and contemporary talent development areas. Hi, this is Peter Clayton reporting
Welcome to a special Leadership Channel edition on TotalPicture Radio. Today podcast with Mara Swan is brought to you by our sister media company, Jobs in Pods - the podcast and vodcast featuring real employers talking about their jobs - and how to get them. Visit Jobs in Pods dot com - And Mention TotalPicture Radio and save 20% when you book your first jobcast - Jobs in Pods - the cleverest way to advertise your jobs!
According to Mara Swan, We Need to Rethink:
- What is a job?
- What is an employee?
- What is leadership?
- How do we pay and for what?
- How do we drive productivity and innovation through our people practices?
- What are the new ways of thinking about approaching work to accelerate business performance and and get access to the talent we need?
- What needs to be differentiated and why?
David Dalka interviews Columbia Business School Professor and author Rita Gunther McGrath
Is sustainable competitive advantage as obsolete as a... Zune? Are you at risk of being trapped in an uncompetitive business?
Welcome to a Leadership Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio. Today's interview is hosted by friend-of-the-show and guest podcaster David Dalka, Ecommerce business strategist, digital marketer and keynote speaker.
The surprise retirement of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer provides a perfect lead-in to today's podcast. Perhaps the most telling aspect of this story, as reported on the front page of the Weekend Wall Street Journal: "Steve Ballmer Who Faced Criticism Over Waning Growth, to Leave Within a Year; Stock Jumps 7%." I don't care how many millions of dollars you have (and of course Ballmer, college buddy of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has plenty of millions), that 7% number has to sting. Has Microsoft relied on the duo cash cows of Windows and Microsoft Office for too long?
In her new book The End of Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business School Press), Rita Gunther McGrath argues that it's time to go beyond the very concept of sustainable competitive advantage. According to McGrath, organizations need to forge a new path to winning: capturing opportunities fast, exploiting them decisively, and moving on even before they are exhausted. She shows how to do this with a new set of practices based on the notion of transient competitive advantage.
In short, strategy is stuck. Most leaders are using frameworks that were designed for a different era of business and based on a single dominant idea-that the purpose of strategy is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Once the premise on which all strategies were built, this idea is increasingly irrelevant. In 2000, the year Steve Ballmer took over the company, Microsoft had a market value of $603 billion. Today? It's $290 billion. Contrast these numbers with Apple: in 2000, the company had a market value of $18 billion. Today Apple's market value is $455 billion. (Source: FactSet The Wall Street Journal).
Think about it. Chances are the strategies that worked well for you even a few years ago no longer deliver the results you need. Dramatic changes in business have unearthed a major gap between traditional approaches to strategy and the way the real world works now. The End of Competitive Advantage is your guide to renewed success and profitable growth in an economy increasingly defined by transient advantage.
Mark Finn interviews Michael Beygelman, RPO President of Pontoon, at the HRO Today Forum in Philadelphia
"The role of the Chief HR Officer is being elevated out of necessity because of the economic environment and the complexity of society." Michael Beygelman
Welcome to a special Leadership Channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio. This is Peter Clayton reporting from the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia. We're at the HRO Today Forum, and just watched a facinating presentation with Michael Beygelman, RPO president, Pontoon -- and Kevin Werbach, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvia.
Their presentation was titled HR Gamification: Not Just Playing Games - and included Mike plugging in his iPhone to an LCD and showing the audience gaming enabled recruitment done real time on his mobile device.
Mike is interviewed by Mark Finn, co-founder and CEO of TalentBox.
This podcast is a new approach for us - in that it's both a podcast and a vodcast - a video interview. You'll find the links to the video version of this podcast right here on Mike's feature page. Enjoy!
Be sure to watch for Mark's exclusive interview with Kevin Werbach, co-author of For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business.
Stay tuned... a complete transcript of Mark Finn's interview with Mike Beygelman will be available soon.
From the HRO Today Forum, A conversation with Dennis Finn Vice Chairman, Global Human Capital Leader - Partner, PwC
"By 2016, almost 80 percent of PwC's workforce will be comprised of Millennials."
What does leadership of the next generation look like, and how will we build a workforce for the future?
Welcome to a special Leadership Channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio from the HRO Today Forum at the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, PA.
Joining producer/host Peter Clayton is Dennis J. Finn the Vice Chairman, Global Human Capital Leader at PwC. Dennis has a strong background in the area of cultural change, people and leadership. He brings both a diversity of experience as well as global point-of-view to his leadership positions. His keynote at the conference focused on on PwC's global generational study, NextGen, which was released in April 2013. NextGen represents the largest and most comprehensive study of generational issues ever conducted.
Demographics, technology, contingent workers, the erosion of trust, and the ever present debate on generational issues are just some of the topics this interview covers. "Work is no longer a 'place' - it's a 'thing.' Today, real work can be conducted anywhere." Dennis Finn
PwC's NextGen study dispels many of the myths about Millennials that have existed since they first entered the workplace. For example, Millennials are often perceived as being less committed to their work. In fact, the NextGen study revealed that PwC's Millennials and non-Millennials are virtually equally committed to the workplace. And while the report did find some notable differences (for example, Millennials have greater expectations around support and appreciation from their organisations than their Non-Millennial counterparts) it is both those differences and similarities that are compelling PwC-and likely other organisations-to sit up, take notice and accelerate their pace of change.
TotalPicture Radio's exclusive coverage of the HRO Today Forum at The Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia is brought to you by TalentBox, the leading talent focused digital interview platform. Save time, cut cost, improve quality, share and collaborate with others, four big reasons to start using TalentBox for your next hire. Visit www.talentbox.me and get started with a free 45-day trial today. TalentBox: Where talent meets opportunity.
Welcome to a special leadership channel podcast here on TotalPicture Radio recorded at the HRO Today Forum at The Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joining me today is Dennis J. Finn, the Vice Chairman - Global Human Capital Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwC). Dennis has a strong background in the area of cultural change, people and leadership. He brings both a diversity of experience as well as global point of view to his leadership positions.
Dennis, thank you so much for joining us today on TotalPicture Radio.
Dennis: Thanks Peter, great to be here and looking forward to the chat.
Peter: You participated in a panel discussion this morning with Peter Cappelli from the Wharton School and other executive leaders; very interesting conversation. One thing that you said that really stuck in my head was that there's a lot of people, a lot of talented people out there and companies really don't recognize the talent that they currently have in-house.
Dennis: Yes, I think the question you referred to, a person in the audience asked the question, what is talent and how do we measure it, and how do you make sense of the multitude of literature and messages -- and it's almost impossible for people to land on a definitive view of it.
We have 190,000 people in our firm at PwC all around the world, and I see great examples of where people didn't think somebody was highly talented or of huge potential; but then you put them in a slightly different environment, maybe with the right leader, maybe where they could find their passion and find what they really wanted to do, and all of the sudden we have a star on our hands and people say where did this person come from. How did we not notice that person before? I think what we've got to do is try and help people find what they're passionate about; give them an environment where they can perform; and then teach, help, and coach our leaders to figure out how to get that out of the current people they have because what you've just raised, my view is I see much more talent than I see fallen stars.
Peter: Another perspective that you shared on the stage this morning that I think is so important is that -- and again, this was referring to a question from the audience is that if you want to be an effective HR leader today you have to think globally even if your company perhaps is not a global organization.
Dennis: Yes, I know. I thought that was a great point made this morning by the whole panel. I'm not sure whether it's connected just to HR. I think it is a phenomenon for all people in business. If you want to be successful, then I think you have to have a global mindset regardless of where you are. I know that's difficult to get if you're in an organization or a company that is maybe in one town, but there's lots of things you can do to understand what's going on in the globe and around the world.
My point again would be for people who really are interested in learning new skills, being more effective, and giving themselves more marketability, then I would change organizations. I would change countries. I would change functions as often as you could without obviously jumping ship every five minutes. I think the opportunity to work in a different country or region, the opportunity to do different things and the opportunity to learn skills and build on your capabilities, I think is just super important going forward.
Peter: One of the things that was talked about in this session this morning is how the role of HR has changed over the last 5-10 years. From your perspective at PwC how has your role evolved over the last five years and what kinds of things are you working on today to help to create the next generation of leaders?
Dennis: Well, there are two things in there, Peter. Just hold the second part, the next generation of leaders, which I think is in itself a massive topic but we'll do that one. But the first part versus what was maybe what we were working on 5-10 years ago, I think with the multiple forces that are going on in the world, not the least of which is the rapid rise of technology and how that has transformed everything -- so you have these other forces of technology and the like and globalization, demographic issues, the rise of the contingent work force as well as mass pressure on margins, and people are asked to do more with less, people are asked to increase their output maybe without the same amount of resources. You've got this kind of pressure from the outside that's asking on the margins and pressures and stuff like that. At the same time you've got a work force now that has been enabled by technology that wants a different type of experience. So therefore, the nature of work that is done in organizations now needs to be disaggregated, and then we need to decide which parts of that work can be done through various mechanisms.
For instance, in PwC maybe 5-10 years ago we would have a traditional work force where everything is connected to an office or a client and the like. Now we're seeing much more a move to work that can be done in different parts of the world in centers of excellence and delivery centers. We're also looking at how we can use the rise of the contingent workforce so that we can not only play to what the market needs in terms of people who want to work in a different way, but we also need to increase the flexibility significantly in our own organization to allow people to work differently.
That allows them both (?) to stay with us longer. It allows them to live a life with maybe families and other demands. I think the summary of all that: we're looking at different workforce models. We're looking at significantly ramping up our ability to apply flexibility across the entire workforce. I think we're looking at ways to become much more global and much more connected including global mobility, which was always on the radar, but I think it's now well and truly on the plate.
Peter: Let's continue this with your perspective on how you're going to help develop the next generation of leaders for PwC.
Dennis: I think that's probably the single biggest challenge for us and for other organizations given it's very difficult for leaders to be able to navigate through the forces that are at play whether it's technology, generations, how to become more relevant, or how to take your cost base down. There are so many messages on leaders, it's difficult. At the same time, they need to create a cultured environment to create not only leaders of the future, but also to get the current job done.
At PwC we continue to invest heavily in leadership development, and we do that not only for the current leaders but we have programs in place so that leadership skills are built at all levels of the organization. You don't wait until somebody's in the leadership position to start to teach them those skills. I think, in particular, we're seeing a movement not away from technical skills, but instead of before 100% of energy on development would be probably more technical and specialized - now, that is the building of leadership and cultural relationship skills that are becoming much more important and again at a much earlier age.
Peter: I've heard a lot of leaders talk about hiring people based on fit within an organization because you can train people to do C++. You can train people in these various skill sets but if they don't fit into your culture, just hiring people because of specific skills really isn't going to give you the kind of quality hire that you're looking for.
Dennis: Yes, I think that's a great question. In PwC we had 1.2 million applications last year across the globe, which is an amazing number in itself; and then you think how do we process 1.2 million applications. We hired about 50,000 people last year. When you bring somebody into the organization, there are a number of things you're looking for -- the continuation of the culture and skills and the programs that you have, and the building of your entity to make it stronger and more effective and more differentiated. At the same time, if you just hire exactly the same people you already have, then you're really not getting the richness of new thinking. You have to find balance between to what degree can you stretch that boundary, and I think that's the challenge for all organizations.
If I hire somebody and whether it's one person or 50,000 people, we're hiring them to bring in something and maybe we're hiring them to bring in something we don't have, so just to bring in stuff that we already have defeats the purpose. I think when you join an organization, you want to be able to get something from that organization that you can then blend in with, but I would encourage all candidates and employers of candidates to look for what is the uniqueness in the individual or in the group of individuals that you're looking for that adds to the mix of your organization. And in time, your organization, if you add the right people with that extra difference, that extra difference eventually will add to the whole value proposition.
Peter: I think that's a great point and to your point I think people - hiring managers often go out and look for people that they're just comfortable with, that are like them, that have the same background that they have and so you're just continuing the same thing. You're not bringing in new ideas and energy into the organization.
Dennis: When I hire somebody personally, one of the things I say to them is I expect to hear something about you. If I drop you into our world and hear nothing, good or bad, then I wonder, have you added to the gene pool or you have you just blended into the fabric of the environment. You can say well maybe that's good maybe it's not good, but when I hire somebody I'd rather hear noise on that person -- even if the noise is this person is doing some things wrong. It shows me that there's energy and there's something there that we can either correct or even listen to because they may bring something that we haven't thought about.
But the worst thing I could do is hire a person and then hear nothing. I want to hear that they're doing great, they're not doing great, or that they're challenging. I want to hear something. Otherwise, it's like dropping a pebble into a lake, and then there's no ripples and so what happened. Where did you go? Why did I hire you? I want you to come. I want you to bring the thing that you've got. I want you to be authentic, and I want you to challenge what we're doing in a positive way to make us better.
Peter: Speaking about authenticity, that is certainly a topic that millennials are very interested in and very keen about, and PwC just completed a massive study on generational differences and the millennial generation. One of the headlines that really struck me from your study, Dennis, is by 2016 almost 80% of PwC's workforce will be comprised of millennials, so that's a staggering number.
Dennis: Yes, it's staggering but it's exciting for us -- people don't know or understand often that we're 190,000 people with an average age that's moved from 27 to 29 as turnovers came down, which is a great thing -- it means people are staying with us longer. That gives us enormous potential of energy of this generation which is incredible -- the most technical savvy, the most change agile, the most global mindset, and the most connected to the environment than probably any other generation of its time. We're very excited with our people and what they have to bring.
Peter: There were a lot of myths out there about millennials that your study really debunked.
Dennis: Yes, just to put it into perspective, it's been called now the biggest or the largest generational study that's ever been done in the world. It's 44,000 people, 300 detailed focused groups, interviews. We've had our live jams with the millennials with the leaders directly. It was over a two-year period. It was academically backed up by our great friends from London Business School. Lynda Gratton is a great authority and thinker in this space, and Sue Mohrman from the USC, plus a whole range of other professors and academic gurus who made sure that whatever we studied over this time we weren't drinking our own Kool-Aid or making up the story as we went along. It was a remarkable two years. We've just published the first wave of the findings, and probably one of the most significant myths of all is that this generation is not as engaged or as committed or as prepared to work as hard as other generations in the same workforce. You hear that a lot around the place.
Peter: Yes, you do.
Dennis: I can tell you that it was totally debunked from us from the study. It was 100% confirmed that this generation is equally committed, that there is no difference that they are totally prepared to work as hard. They are totally prepared to be as engaged and put the effort in.
The other things that we discovered that they're leading the way in many cases, not only for their own generation, but they're helping the Baby Boomers and the Xs kind of voice their opinion. As an example, we had 66% of the entire population across all generations said that they needed and wanted more flexibility.
Peter: Is that global?
Dennis: Global, across the entire world. We can talk about differences in countries later on because we also found some of that as well, but this is across the entire workforce. Again, there's a mass need for flexibility across the entire millennial and non-millennial generation. People want to have the ability to have a life. They want to have the ability to move their hours. They want to have the ability to work from wherever they need to work from to get the job done. The classic line that is coming through now is that - I'm sure many people listening would understand -- going forward, work is a thing not a place.
Ten or 15 years ago we went to work. We get in a car or a train. We went to work. Now work is a thing. It's not a place. You can work from anywhere and technology has enabled that. There's multiple things like that that I think has generated lots of discussion around what drives this generation versus other generations. The other key point I would think that is also interesting that probably of all of the fields that we studied, we did discover that we're much more alike than not. I would say almost 85% of the areas -- regardless of generation, even regardless of country, across the entire globe -- are very similar.
Peter: To me I find that so fascinating that people in Asia basically have the same concerns as people in the US or people in Brazil or people in the UK.
Dennis: Well, I think first of all the thing that was generically different regardless of geography was even though the same things are important to both groups (either millennials those under 33 or that mark versus those over 33), the same things were important to all. However, the waiting and the relevant ranking of what was important was different. Flexibility is important to both groups, but very important for the millennials. Team support, being in a team environment and being part of a team, also extremely important. The ability to be recognized and appreciated for what they did was massively important.
Peter: The annual job review with millennials is sort of like...
Dennis: It doesn't stick. Doing a job and waiting for somebody to call you in an office to review a piece of paper that has been written two days before or once a year is not going to wash. I think this generation wants real time feedback, they want to get it as it happens, they want it more regular, and they want to be appreciated for what they've done and what their contribution is.
There's a point that I just wanted to make on that. We'll come back to what the non millennials want, but the other myth is that the millennial generation are happy to have all discussions about business via social media. You think that people would say yes that's totally true -- they want that. We found that that is true for lots of things, but it's not true for career discussions.
Dennis: Right, 96% of the entire millennial generation across the entire globe said that for career discussions, when it was about themselves and their development and the things that affected them, they wanted it face to face, which is where again some of the leaders and managers were trying to have performance management and coaching discussions via email and text. I'm not sure that is the right way.
Peter: What are some of the differentiators across the globe with this study?
Dennis: To the question of are millennials the same across the globe, I think the answer is both true and false. I think the things that we just talked about are true and generically true. They all want more flexibility. They all want more appreciation. They all want recognition. They all want to be part of a team. However, in areas maybe where the culture is very strong, you see slight differences -- places like Japan, India, maybe even South Africa - particularly, some of their thoughts around social corporate responsibility and the environment is stronger in areas where maybe they've got more challenges. So the social corporate responsibility senses more important I think to them in some areas than others. We're still working on that piece of research as we want to understand in more detail the next wave of the insights. We're just starting to break it down by country and understand when a country's culture trumps the kind of global mindset.
Peter: How do these millennials want to get to the next level in their careers? What are some of the triggers? What are some of the things that they're looking for PwC to provide them as far as training or perhaps ex-pat assignments?
Dennis: The last one in particular triggers ..... across the entire population there is a significant increase in expectation or desire to be part of global mobility -- 37% put it as one of their highest and strongest expectations of joining; where for non-millennials, it was down in the low 20s. You have a population that both have a global mindset, want a global mindset, and want to join organizations where they can go and experience different cultures and travel with the organization, so global mobility is high on their list. In terms of other things -- career development and opportunities in compensation, which is also very important for them as it is for everybody else -- transparencies extraordinarily are both needed and expected.
Peter: Back to social media again.
Dennis: Back to social media. The idea that you think you can have secrets about what one company pays versus what another company pays is nonexistent. I would encourage all organizations in the world to be massively transparent about the decision-making around compensation, benefits, why you pay the people what you pay, for what reasons, how they move up the ranks and be very transparent about that because...
Peter: Glass door is.
Dennis: First of all, all generations benchmark their compensation on the net and how millennials are much more likely to discuss their compensation and really test it with the outside world much more than the non-millennials.
Dennis: Compensation is only one example of transparency, but to your question of how do you get on in here? How do you move up the ladder? What do I need to do? You cannot be thinking you've got a black box and that only human capital knows. You have to be transparent and show them a path and some will decide to take that path and some may not. That is also an option, but they want those options.
Peter: Are the PwCs of the world providing different types of options for advancement back to this whole discussion around flexibility.
Dennis: Well, I think we're providing much more now than we did 5-10 years ago. I presume and believe we will do it in the next 5-10 years and continue that story. The point there I was making earlier about how to build your capabilities is to challenge yourself and have the courage to do different things. One of the great advantages of PwC is we've got 190,000 people in 156 countries in approximately 700 offices all around the world doing massively different things, working for the best clients in the world whether you're doing auditing, assurance, tax work, or you've been advising. There's such a variety of opportunities not only do the kind of things we do, but to do it with clients who are all different from entertainment clients to banking clients to government to sporting companies to healthcare.
It's one of the great advantages that we have actually. It's complex to manage and it gives us all the things that you would expect when you manage something of that size, but there's so much opportunity and people can join us. You can have 50 roles in your lifetime -- all different, in different countries, in different areas. When you go to different offices around the world and you see the brand of PwC, it's amazing to go in and see a whole bunch of different people talking different languages doing similar things for major clients globally.
Peter: I want to return to something you touched on earlier which is retention. What did you discover in the study regarding retention? Obviously, that is top of mind. We're at HRO Today. Every conference I go to in recruiting this year there's a major focus on retention.
Dennis: It's a great question. We did with our friends from USC and London Business School tried to put some science around the decision to stay or go. What determines that decision making process? We found a bunch of factors that when you get all the data in, you start to categorize it. We basically found two groups of factors. The first one we call the environmental factors of which there were four. Let me just step you through them. The first one balance the work load. I want a life. I want to be able to do my job and do a great job.
Peter: That seems to be really preeminent with these millennials.
Dennis: Again, going back to the earlier conversation -- it's actually very important to everybody. I think the non-millennials, the rest of us like me and you, it's what we want as well, but I think they're just more vocal about demanding it. But as soon as you scratch the surface, you see everybody wants it. That includes a balance in your work and life, the impact on your work load, and the ability to manage what people are asking you to do. That was factor one: balance the work load. Factor two is doing meaningful, engaging work. The ability to do work that is both interesting and meaningful that supports your development, and that you're doing something with a purpose.
Peter: They want that immediately when they join an organization. They don't want to wait five years to get a good assignment. They want to be doing something meaningful from day one.
Dennis: Again, so does everybody else. As you probably get older and you put up with it more, but I think again this generation is leading the way for everybody in saying why are we doing this work? What purpose does it serve? Why do I do this? What value is it adding, which goes to the appreciation?
I read somewhere just recently - I think it was in a TED talk - when people don't have meaning or they don't feel that their work is purposeful or that they're not getting appreciation or recognition for what they do, it's the equivalent of taking someone's work and shredding it without reading it. If you don't acknowledge what they do or if you don't show/connect it to a bigger story, then effectively you're asking people to do stuff that nobody cares about. That is demoralizing. It turns people off. It turns millennials off faster than it turns the rest of us off. But to me that's then the challenge to all leaders to help create the understanding of the purpose of what we do and why and how it fits into the broader community. You can get two groups doing exactly the same thing -- one with a leader who does that, and that person's team thinks that they do have meaning, they do get recognition, and they do understand the importance of what they're doing. The next team doing exactly the same thing with a leader who doesn't point that out: they feel like there's no meaning, nobody cares about what we do, do we add any real value, and as a result engagement is down in that team. People leave and the story goes on.
Peter: Just to the importance of communication today and the fact that I think leaders really need to pay attention to this and really need to make the effort to communicate with their teams, the importance of the work that they're doing, and the results of the work that they're doing.
Dennis: I think it's a leadership challenge -- even though it's more prevalent at the millennial area because they're more intolerant to lack of purpose and lack of meaning. But if you go through organizations there are huge challenges - way higher in organizations where people have kind of lost their purpose and don't really know why they're doing what they do anymore. You kind of hear stories of people just deciding one day to go and do something totally different. I think it's on everybody in leadership positions and organizations around the world to try and understand and put context into the meaning and the purpose of your entity. And therefore then breakdown how everybody in that entity then plays a part in the achievement of that purpose -- because without purpose, then your relevance is questioned.
If your relevance is questioned, you're ultimately irrelevant. If you're irrelevant, it's not a good word. You don't want to be irrelevant. So that's three of the things we've talked about -- balance in work load, engaging meaningful work, and the third one is people and teams. They're millennials and non-millennials alike, but again more dominant in the millennial area. It's important to them to be part of a team and have supervisory - a good boss, a good leader of that team, and that team to work together in a cohesive way. Again, it's similar for non-millennials, but the millennials particularly had a large emphasis on that. Then finally of these factors that are environmental, competitive peer and job opportunities. You cannot disregard the need for compensation, but at a level of compensation just playing a bigger part.
In fact, we found that you're more likely to jump ship if other factors are not right from a millennial standpoint -- particularly flexibility, cohesion, the ability to do their work and wherever they want to do it from. But if compensation is way off whack, they'll leave for that as well. You need to look at this thing in totality. Those were the four areas: balance work load, engaging meaningful work, people and teams, and competitive peer and job opportunities. There were three other areas that we found will be called emotional drivers. These were: (1) thriving, (2) the sense of commitment, and (3) how satisfied you were with your job. The first one, thriving, was how the role that you were doing and your contribution, to what degree were you bouncing out of bed in the morning to get involved in this thing.
If you felt that was a high level and your sense of thriving was high, then you're much more likely to stay. This concept of are you thriving or are you just existing in the business. The second one was the commitment to the entity. If you're committed to the business or the organization and there's great purpose in what you do, again that is a major factor. Then the last one is how satisfied you are with the function of the role you personally play, in other words your job satisfaction. If you add the four environmental ones to the three emotional ones, those factors collectively determine whether you decide to stay or go. We then mapped out who was most at risk, which generations were more likely to place more load on different things, and that gave us many of the learnings we're talking about.
Peter: Is there anything in this study that really surprised you that really struck out that you were, wow, I didn't expect to see that?
Dennis: We need to understand that all generations generally want the same things. Everybody wants to have purpose in their life. Everybody wants to have flexibility. Everybody wants to have the right compensation. Everybody wants a great boss. Everybody wants to work with a great team. Everybody wants to have a purpose that get them out of bed and excited in the morning, right?
Peter: Right, yeah, that is not unique consideration.
Dennis: Since time began I think that is generically the same. However, what is the higher ranking for each group I think is interesting? For instance the autonomy, in the same way that millennials have a higher need for working in a team, appreciation and recognition, they have a less need for autonomy, which I thought was surprising given technology was now going to free them up to work from anywhere. The non-millennials, GenX and Baby Boomers, had a much greater need for autonomy. They want to be left alone to do their work.
There are many things that are in the report and we can go through them or you can read them on our PwC websites. Probably the most important thing for me: I have three kids, 28, 26 and 23 -- all of them I believe are massively committed and engaged and are more talented than me and have more energy. I'm glad that the study has confirmed that this generation is as committed because the opposite I don't think did not resonate with me, and given that we have 190,000 people and we're the world's biggest professional service firm, I think it's good to know that we've got the right caliber of people. I also think as well when I think about this generation, they're children of the web.
Dennis: Handling the complexity of technology including the changing work environment, how jobs are changing, how to get a job now, what kind of job would you want, how is your career going to look......so much ambiguity versus maybe when we were looking. You could pick a career path and you thought that's the way it was going to be.
I think they're a remarkable generation. I'm proud to work with them in our firm. I think what we've learned here is that the millennial generation is almost fighting the fight for what the rest of us want. But just they're a bit more vocal about it, and they're less intolerant to just kind of keep your head down and do what we did. For that we should kind of thank them, and also understand that in the end, great leaders harness the power of all generations regardless of where you are.
To that maybe we should also reflect on the Baby Boomers and the older folk. We're living longer. We're around. We have great skills. There's a mass shortage of talent worldwide. While they have great experience, not everybody studies the Baby Boomers. It's almost like a word for those folk in that category that I think is just a mass group of talent that, together with the younger generation and the GenX, I think we have all the right skills to do what we need to do. I just think we got to put them in the right place at the right time and invest in technology to connect them all together and wrap it up with great leadership that can inspire, motivate and win the hearts and minds of everybody going forward to do something remarkable in the world.
Peter: Great Dennis. Thank you so much for taking time to speak with us today on TotalPicture Radio.
Dennis: Thanks to you Peter, and I look forward to doing it again and enjoyed the chat.
Peter: Thank you.
Dennis Finn is the Vice Chairman and Global Human Capital Leader at PwC. You'll find this interview in the Leadership Channel of TotalPicture Radio. That's totalpicture.com.
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