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Thanks God It’s Monday –
How the Search for Talents Affects Corporate Culture, Working Concepts, and Business Attitudes Toward Sustainability
By Jean-Noël Chaintreuil, founder and CEO of Change Factory

“Talented people are vital to our continued success, and we continuously invest in our associates, giving them the tools and training to succeed.” – Indra Nooyi 
Nooyi, who served as CEO of PepsiCo for 12 years and made the company’s sales grow by 80 percent, is one of the best examples to open an article about understanding the importance of corporate culture in the war for talent – and how it serves the company’s longevity. But how can you build long-term talent management plans in a world where the median tenure for workers aged 25 to 34 is 3.2 years – down from 10.3 years for employees aged 65 and over? How can you make sustainability part of your corporate culture in a way that will help you attract the best talents and create an environment that prevents job-hopping as much as possible? How do the attitudes of business leaders have to change so that company values are aligned with the values of its talented workers?

Let us start by setting one thing straight: Do not target young people. Do you need young people? Yes, of course. Did Apple poach Ian Goodfellow, a 34-year-old who was one of Google’s top AI researchers? Yes. Did they first poach John Giannandrea, a 54-year-old researcher? Most definitely. You can focus on young people, but do not overestimate the results of having a company filled with the same age group, as you also need more experienced talents – and their expectations have changed as well. If you want to answer young people’s expectations, do not forget two things: They are not as young as you think (Millennials have children and mortgages to pay), and they have come around to the fact that ping pong tables will not help them advance in their careers. Although you could at some point address baby boomers and Generation X members as groups with common interests and goals, Millennials have to be considered as individuals with different aspirations – or at least as sets of subgroups with different aspirations – all while their attitude has rubbed off on their elders.

But you will have to reconcile different time scales to address these aspirations in a way that serves your company:
  • company’s strategy and short-term goals that serve your long-term goals;
  • the relatively short-term goals of the employees who will stay, on average, three years in your company;
  • the long-term goals they strive to serve by working for you.
Think adapted compensations and benefit strategies, custom career paths, and identification with their leaders. If talents start seeing a position in your company as both a stepping stone to another position and a valuable experience in itself, consider what you can do to bring them both.
The era in which talents climb the ladder in one occupation – whether it be communications, human resources, or sales – and go from a junior or assistant position to a senior or head position is partly over. Career paths increasingly consist of two years spent in corporate communications, three years of entrepreneurship, one experience in employer branding, and one in digital project management. How companies adapt to this new paradigm is key for their ability to win the talent war. Adjust to that new paradigm by offering training and opportunities that will bring added value to your employees. 
Of course, some jobs include mandatory trainings, such as in ethics or confidentiality and privacy. But why would you offer training in communications only to communications officers? Then again, why would you even tell your employees what training they should follow? Of course, the company can still suggest the most appropriate trainings to reach a given goal, but why would you not empower your employees even more? Give them the possibility to access the whole catalog of courses they can attend – whether online or offline – and encourage them to actually make the most of it, which implies encouraging managers to happily allow their teams to take time off for training (for reasonable amounts of time, of course). 

Make your middle managers a key link to the growth of your company in the long run. They are the ones who are in touch with your employees on a regular basis and are therefore uniquely positioned to know what your employees want – and what they are actually planning for. But they cannot make it happen if they stay in their fields within the company. A network of middle managers will both allow for developing transversal projects and for creating more mobility opportunities for people within their teams, allowing the employees who want to change positions to do so within the company.
Making empowerment part of your company culture is the best way to help your employees grow – so they can make your company grow.
--> Read the full article with all their recommendations in the new edition of the Global Goals Yearbook 2019!
Global Goals Yearbook 2019
Münster 2019: macondo publishing, 172 pages
ISBN: 978-3-946284-07-9
Order hard copy  (cost € 25.00)
Read the E-book (free)
About the Global Goals Yearbook

The Global Goals Yearbook is a publication in support of the SDGs and the advancement of corporate sustainability globally. It offers proactive and in-depth information on key sustainability issues and promotes unique and comprehensive knowledge-exchange and learning in the spirit of the SDGs and the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. The Global Goals Yearbook helps to advance corporate transparency, promotes the sharing of good business practices, and, perhaps most significantly, gives a strong voice to the regional and global stakeholders that are at the heart of the sustainability agenda.
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