Service organizations that rely on a great deal of informal collaboration may be in for a rough ride when their employee base becomes increasingly millennial.
A number of years ago, Art Kleiner put forward the theory that every organization has a “core group.” This group is the collection of individuals whose blessing is required to get things done. If the core group wants it to happen, chances are it will. Conversely, without this group’s support, any initiative is sure to fail. Even if you are in the core group, you have to lobby fellow core-group members in order to move anything forward.
More recently, discussion have arisen over the shifting demographic wave of the millennial cohort. These digital natives are purportedly a completely different breed (“Aren’t all younger groups different?” one asks, only to have smart HR-types state, with a trace of dread, “No these ones are a different kind of different.”) The need for transparency is one consistent expectation that emanates from this group.
So a rock-and-a-hard-place situation can arise as the informal group that drives the success of the organization may have to respond to a growing chunk of employees who want to have this explained to them. If this were a private club, one would dismiss the group as crass: “Pay attention and figure it out for yourself!.” Yet ignoring their pleas for an explanation is risky when the future success of your organization depends on attracting and retaining talent from this exact group.
Measure of Success is launching a “playbook” product that aims to identify “how it really works” by looking a core performance elements. This is a senior team/ core group document that attempts to articulate the important parts of the business and culture, without destroying the particularities of any organization. Informally articulating direction, approach and performance measures among the core group can help in relaying a consistent message to those newer to the workforce.
NOTE: This was originally posted in the LinkedIn discussion group for CAAP Community for Branding Professionals in September of 2015.