The Danish alphabet has more letters than the English alphabet, and that’s probably a good thing as our young generations are grouped under different letters, such as generation X, Y, etc. But it seems that the complexity in having these generations in the organisation increases as we move further down the alphabet.
The most recent concept that seems to comprise all letters in one is the faithless.
The faithless as a term comprises generations who are more consumeristic than committal in their approach to the job market. They shop for jobs and therefore can’t be counted on for very long in any given position. They will soon be moving on to the next job.
If you genuinely believe that you are housing the so-called faithless, or unfaithful, employees, then you are facing a great challenge.
The challenge is to become an attractive workplace so that young people gain more faith in your organization and loyally stay put for longer – or to create a lasting platform that ties the young ones to the company so that they will return after having sought new adventures elsewhere.
You should welcome the knowledge that they bring to the company if they return someday, and we must therefore redefine what faithless or unfaithful means in a job context.
We are approaching 2020, and it is no longer valid to compare our young talents and their seniority to that of the older generations who stay much longer in the same jobs. The older generations are a more stable resource, but they don’t have the same ability to bring in the high level of new energy and cutting edge thinking that the young generations contribute with as the older generations see less and therefore develop at a slower pace.
The young so-called faithless contribute to educating their older colleagues with more innovation power, and the older generations can, in turn, share their experience and cultivate the young so that they can achieve results in a more scalable way when they first enter the job market. The synchronous education and cultivation are interdependent and necessary in securing the digital development of an organisation.
Hence, if you can get the young talents to return someday, you might win the jackpot. Because the young generations are not afraid of a steep learning curve. They seek and demand it, from job to job, but they happily return to a company – and contribute to taking it to the next level – if they still feel loyal to the company and have been treated with respect and therefore consider themselves part of the family.
In that way, one could argue that our younger generations are neither faithless nor unfaithful. They are, in fact, very faithful, and we need to keep that in mind while they are still with us. And while they are uncovering other opportunities outside the company, we can maintain the good relationship, e.g. via alumni and other business networks so that our young talents want to return someday and feel welcome to do so.
Founder of the Global Voices project. Belongingness officer and an experienced People Executive.