Personal development over title, career, company

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Personal development over title, career, company

Personal development over title, career, company

For two-thirds of generation Y, personal development opportunities are a major criterion choosing an employer. The chance to progress professionally and reinforce employability is essential. But equally important are development opportunities in other domains-recognition of talents not necessarily related to the professional sphere, realization of personal aspirations and ideals, etc. From this point of view, the aspirations of younger generations are radically different from those of their elders. Generation Xers (35-49) had already abandoned the belief in “lifetime employment.” The members of generation Y not only cannot imagine this concept, but are highly opportunistic in the way they manage their career. Employee loyalty has declined considerably (the tendency to jump around professionally is not negatively connoted here), and people find it perfectly normal to navigate from one company to another to reinforce or assert their skills and address new challenges. Diplomas and seniority are no longer the gold standard for pay raises and professional advancement. Generation Y employees expect to be recognized primarily for their results and the concrete impact they generate for the business. Google clearly communicates this vision in its affirmation that it values intelligent and determined people and favors ingenuity much more highly than experience or college degrees. Communities of expertise and strategic technical skills are increasingly valued. Career paths are no longer just a matter of moving up the hierarchical ladder, but include lateral progressions within communities of expertise or project leaders. Experts consequently no longer plateau at a certain point in their career. At Air Liquide, for example, people can advance within the expert community to a level just below the management committee. Not only is mobility encouraged internally, but also outside the borders of the company, along with plans to come back into the fold afterwards. Talent is increasingly managed according to individual profiles rather than job descriptions. Employees are becoming the architects of their own careers. This is happening at SAP, for instance, where personal development is presented as a cross between talent, interests and opportunities. People are thus driving their own career by identifying their personal skills and strengths, analyzing their objectives, building their personal brand, defining relevant opportunities, etc. Younger generations don’t want to be locked into strict job definitions. For example, a young person will seek a marketing role, rather than a job in “product marketing,” “pricing,” or “promotions.” The logical consequence is the simplification of HR models: fewer functions and job titles, broader scope of each professional community, and the demise of standardized mass production.

For up-and-coming generations, training is becoming a continuous process, alternating coaching, feedback, “on-the-job” training, and more traditional (digital and classroom) training. Indeed, younger generations like to pick and choose their own training itinerary-from the official company catalogue as well as from what can be found on the Internet. Coaching and mentoring, with a peer from inside or outside the organization, are becoming a key part of the training process. All in all, the right balance might be “70 percent on-the-job training,” “20 percent feedback,” “10 percent formal training,” according to Charles Jennings in his book “The 70:20:10 Framework Explained” (Forum 2013). Microsoft has learning circles where employees learn from one other. Everyone can participate or create hierarchy free communities to pool knowledge, experience, and know-how. New forms of mobility are emerging, naturally including vertical mobility within a single function, but also increasingly lateral mobility across functions, not to mention mobility across divisions or even outside the borders of the company, permitting a return to the organization afterwards. Finally, although some talent management models have largely focused on a select group until now, a growing number of businesses are now leaning toward an “everyone has talent” model. Talent management is hence not-or no longer—reserved for an elite group. At Elior, for example, the goal is to manage the talent of the whole workforce to develop the full potential of every employee.

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