It is important to note that an underlying characteristic that defines the next generation is a reliance on technology in every aspect of their lives—and the workplace is absolutely no exception.
As baby boomers continue to retire, many vacancies in your agency will be or have already been filled by the latest generations to enter the workforce: millennial and Generation Z employees. Current estimates forecast that millennial workers now comprise approximately 50% of the labor force, which is expected to increase to about 75% by 2025.
There is no doubt that recruiting millennials can bring hardworking, enthusiastic employees who are eager for new opportunities to your company, but recruiting and re-taining these workers is different than it was for prior generations. You can navigate this workforce transition by taking a strategic new approach to recruiting and retention.
Millennials want to be engaged by their employers and have a strong sense of what their organization stands for. They crave coaching, feedback and collaboration. And they want a work environment that is comfortable and inspires them to contribute without fear of being criticized.
It is important to note that underlying all of these professional desires is the major characteristic that defines the generation: a reliance on technology in every aspect of their lives—and the workplace is absolutely no exception. As such, independent agencies must invest in technology to attract and maximize the potential of the next generation.
Since many younger workers log on to social networking sites and other online platforms regularly, reach them using LinkedIn, job boards, career-building sites and industry-specific forums. Additionally, be sure to monitor your agency’s online presence on both social media and review sites such as Glassdoor. These are places younger employees are likely referencing to gauge your work-place culture before even applying for a job.
Next, look at your internal processes and workflows. The next generation is seeking efficiency and automation. They don’t want to be bogged down with hours of paperwork. They want—and quite honestly, expect—technology in the workplace that makes their jobs easier and more effective.
For independent agencies, there is an urgent need to reevaluate their current processes for increased attraction and employee retention. How can your workflows be automated and streamlined to not only set your employees up for success, but also better position your agency as a whole as the world becomes more digital each day?
Examples of technology solutions include systems for commercial insurance agents to improve job performance, digital prospecting tools for efficient and targeted lead generation, and an online learning management system for seamless, virtual training and onboarding.
Additionally, empower the next generation to better serve clients with the latest tech tools for marketing, communications and analytics. Consider an automated email marketing system to quickly and easily communicate with customers or a modification analysis program that uses technology to help uncover a client’s financial impact on their business.
The workforce is transforming quickly and so are the needs of today’s high-potential employees. By adopting technology to better support your younger employees—who may be savvier with these types of solutions—you might even jumpstart the rest of the company who can learn from the next generation.
Eric Bluhm is senior vice president of sales at Zywave.