Make Work Cultures Fit The Needs And Aspirations Of Young Adults, And They Will Stay Here

Replacing baby boomers who retire presents a continuing problem for companies in the Pittsburgh region. And there is no easy solution in sight. Our universities and colleges attract many young students to Pittsburgh, but after graduation they leave in droves for jobs elsewhere.

The Coro Report of April 2003 showed that between 1980 and 2000, the population of 20- to 34-year-olds in the 10-county Pittsburgh region dropped by more than 200,000 for a 32 percent decline from 1980 levels. Between 1990 and 2000, the region experienced another 6 percent drop.

Of the solutions offered to this dilemma, few, if any, have focused on the need for Pittsburgh companies to restructure traditional corporate culture to make it more acceptable to younger employees.

In the past 25-plus years, I have consulted with corporate leaders throughout the United States and in more than 30 countries around the globe. I have seen them create corporate environments that attract the most talented, younger people while freeing and nurturing the “inner entrepreneur” among all their employees. I believe more Pittsburgh companies can do the same.

Technology and outsourcing have leveled the playing field in the global marketplace. As a result, corporate culture is now the single, competitive differentiating factor that can neither be copied nor taken away. A corporate culture attractive to younger employees and more mature employees can give our companies a key competitive edge at home and abroad.

Companies that renew their cultures share the big picture with employees. Transparency is the rule, and there are no secrets. This openness empowers people to take risks to advance the corporate vision and hold themselves accountable. They know where their companies are now, where they are headed and the values that will take them there. What better way to support increased return on investment in employees and profitability! pittsburgh seo company

With the loyalty of yesteryear fading, corporate leaders can exemplify a new face of loyalty by addressing the needs of younger employees who want more than a place to go to put in their time and collect a paycheck. These leaders challenge, inspire and create ways for people to use their individual skills and talents. They help employees with resources and support to accomplish their goals. And they provide opportunities for employees to grow, develop and become more marketable.

For example, through its corporate university, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has established a nationally recognized training program that continually educates its employees. For IT staff, employees are trained in state-of-the-art technology. They complete 37.5 hours of training each year, adding substance to their education and resumes.

Leaders of enlightened companies support high productivity but minimize stress. Downsizing and scarce resources have created stressful and fragmented workplaces. Employees seem to work at almost superhuman speed and intensity. Such business may seem like a good thing, but it is harmful. As stress rises, mistakes increase, opportunities are lost and productivity can actually decline. Employees become physically ill and start missing days. The result: a counterproductive environment, unsuited for the quick response times needed in today’s global environment.


Leave a comment

All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required