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Motivating Millennials With the 30 Under 35 Awards

Motivating Millennials With the 30 Under 35 Awards

By Scott Costa
, Publisher, tED magazine

We do a lot of stories on the best practices when it comes to recruiting the next generation of employees at your workplace.  And we do an equal number of stories on retaining those employees.  For good reason.  It’s really hard to do both.

When it comes to recruiting, the simple answer is this: It’s Just. So. Hard.  You have to find the right person.  Do they have the track record you are looking for? Do they have the motivation you need?  Do they have the background in the industry?  Do they have the personality that will fit with the culture you have already created?  Do they have the skill set you need?  Do they have the ability to be trained to become the employee you desperately need?  Do you see a long-term future relationship between you and the potential new employee? 

If you find that one person who fits all of those descriptions, consider yourself really lucky.  And when you do find that one person, you come to the realization that you still have countless other openings that you still need to fill.  Our completely unofficial count of open positions throughout our supply chain, using just NAED members, is 50,000.  That number might be a little high.  But it also might be a little low.  I haven’t come across too many members who are proudly announcing that they are fully staffed and currently not looking to fill any positions at all.

So that takes me to retaining the employees that you already have.  With all of those recruiting questions, the last thing you need is to have one of your up and coming “Rising Stars” at your workplace walk into your office with a resignation letter in his hand.  First, you lose a great employee who can help you shape strategy for an entire generation.  Then, you have to find the replacement, which may not always be a success.

I searched pretty deep into the Internet to find the best description for the millennials who are working with you right now.  Blogger Mariella Dabbah with the “Red Shoe Movement” says millennials are “the selfie generation.  Its not just about taking pictures of themselves everywhere… It’s about making them feel good, what makes them happy.”  And she’s right.  This is a generation that prides itself on its number of social media followers and number of  “likes” for every posting.

That’s why we hold the tED magazine “30 Under 35” awards every year.  We want to help you retain your “Rising Stars” and “Best and Brightest” employees.  Any way that you can show them you appreciation for their hard work will help you strategize for the future.

I was looking into a recent Gallup Poll that caught my eye, probably because it was called “What Makes A Great Workplace”.  Right there on the list is “There is someone at work who encourages my development”.  Gallup says that doesn’t mean, “I want to get promoted”, but instead means managers need to recognize great work and help their employees continue to grow with the company. That’s why we give you this opportunity to recognize that growth in your young employees with our “30 Under 35” awards.

In case you were concerned about other companies finding out about your best employees and trying to lure them away, I can tell you that the numbers simply do not add up.  I did the research, and next Thursday you will see that your concerns that your employees will leave for another company in this supply chain after being named a “30 Under 35” award winner are simply unfounded.  They may be targeted, but the number of winners that have moved to another company is very small.

Also, this year we are holding a reunion where we are inviting the past “30 Under 35” award winners to attend the NAED LEAD Conference in Chicago on July 20-22.  This will become a major stepping stone toward creating a new group that will help shape best practices for our industry for the next generation.  Make sure you look for details on that part of the event on tedmag.com on Thursday, March 24.

For more information, and to nominate your employees for a tED magazine “30 Under 35” award, you can go to www.tedmag.com/30under35.  The site also has a section to help answer the frequently asked questions.  The entire process of nominating an employee takes less than 10 minutes.


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