One of the most alarming things about business today is how dramatically the workforce has changed in just the last 10-15 years yet how unresponsive business management has been to address it.
Talent is hard to come by and good candidates have choices. Outdated business practices will cripple your ability to hire and retain today’s best talent, but business owners may not know they have a problem.
Often they believe what has gotten their business to where it is means they should do more of the same thing to see similar success. But in reality, what got them there over the last 10-15 years will not get them to the next level and even could threaten their survival.
Business is people. Companies are people. So let’s take a look at the people in the workplace: multigenerational, multicultural, and millennial with more than half of the new college graduates female.
Women in the Workplace
Women not only make up more than half the workforce, unlike men, if they are the main breadwinner in the household, they are likely the main caregiver as well. Most of them are single-mothers.
This is not the case for men who are the breadwinners – they are not the main caregiver. As an employer, what do you think about single mothers? Do you think they may need more time off, are more distracted at work, or less reliable? You might be surprised to know that single moms often are the most committed, productive and career-minded employees. They have to be! Their family depends on them.
Consider that companies which have significant women leadership presence experience not only greater job satisfaction among all employees compared to those lacking in female leadership, but more organizational dedication, more meaningful work and experience less burnout. (Catalyst 2007. The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards)
If higher productivity, lower turnover and a happier workforce isn’t enough, consider that your business will benefit financially with more female leadership.
A study of Fortune 500 companies showed that those with the highest percentage of women on their boards saw an average of:
- 53% higher return on equity
- 42% higher return on sales, and
- 66% higher return on invested capital.
(Clerkin 2017. What women want – and why you want women – in the workplace, CCL Whitepaper)
Millennials represent one-third of the U.S. workforce. Millennials in general are desiring more interaction and collaboration (usually attributed as female leadership traits). In a world of impersonal social media, they want to feel they are a valued part of the organization, able to question for understanding, encouraged to come up with new ideas and to continue learning. When they do well they want to be recognized and are further motivated by it. The number one thing a female millennial is looking for in a company is the opportunity to advance.
Does your company structure illustrate that there is a path for success?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Could the people you are bringing in to the company see someone that looks like them or has as similar educational background present in the layers of management?
- If not, what programs do you have in place to assure their opportunity for growth?
If you want to be successful in this new world, your business needs to find its softer side – not just to be attractive to women, but millennial and multi-cultural candidates are looking for the softer, more inclusive characteristics in their employers too.
For them, a more considerate, compassionate culture means greater opportunity for success. Still not sure? Think about the fact that more than 80% of the buying decisions are made by either women or multiculturals. Women are a larger portion, but the multicultural segment is the fastest growing.
How will your business survive if you don’t understand them?
Or worse yet, if none will work for you?
How has your management style changed to keep up with the new workforce?
Comment below and share what has worked for you!