Loneliness, Gen Y + Employee Connectedness: The trifecta of opportunity

There was an interesting article in The Age newspaper recently speaking about the social isolation or loneliness of so called Gen Y. Despite having significant social media connectedness, the article suggests younger people still experience a social loneliness. Wow what an opportunity for organisations who employ Gen Y!

Why? Because, employers find themselves in the position where if they can create meaningful/productive relationships with their young staff (relationships that if you take the lead of the article Gen Y aren’t currently getting) they can reap the benefits of increased Employee Connectedness. The benefits of increased Employee Connectedness (EC) can be massive and very influential. However, for an employer to take advantage of this opportunity they have to be smart enough to know that it takes more than a –

  1. One-size-fits all solution
  2. Snappy employee website and employer branding with a nice catch-phrase
  3. Blatant attempt to buy employee commitment

We recently heard about a hospital that, in an attempt to better retain graduate nurses, offered them part-time positions (a direct response to the Gen Y rhetoric of “they like flexibility”). This had no impact on turnover and only achieved one thing – higher staff costs! Why? Because there was no net Employee Connectedness gain (I would imagine such a move would actually decrease EC or at best delay it’s development). 

Employers who are willing to assess and view their organisations through an EC lens will soon start to see two things very clearly 1. The things/people that are eroding EC and, 2. The opportunities that exist unique to their organisation to increase it. 

When it comes to increasing EC we encourage organisations to think big, but act small. That is, think big about the degree to which you believe EC can be increased and the resultant improvement in turnover, motivation, employee word of mouth promotion of employer etc.  Think small about how you will increase it. Not everything has to equal a new program or another org structural change. EC is built in the micro of organisations. It might be that you re-design your learning and development slightly in order to increase EC. It might be that your induction processes are changed or your performance management processes are altered to promote EC more directly.

For those that employ ‘Gen Y’ and who are prepared to look through an Employee Connectedness lens, there is great improvement that awaits…

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