Leading the New Generation Roundtable Discussion

Posted on July 1, 2021
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This week Arkansas employers and thought leaders gathered to discuss one of the most pressing issues employers are facing: recruiting, motivating and growing new demographics of employees in a post-pandemic world.

Sharing of experiences, ideas and vision for the future was prompted by asking the burning questions of the day:

  • What are young people looking for in a workplace?
  • Do your leaders have a difficult time managing the “new” generation? What are the common struggles, and how are they overcoming them?
  • How do you effectively manage a multi generation workforce?
  • How has the work from home experience affected your company, employees, clients and business culture?
  • What policy changes have you made to accommodate the needs or demands of this generation?

When it comes to working from home, Stuart Jackson of Wright Lindsey Jennings expressed a concern that many share about the challenges of onboarding new employees that many companies are wrestling with.

I think it really worked well in our experience for those of us who had established relationships with each other. We’re very worried about the new lawyers. How do we involve them? How do we fit them into the culture?

Traditional feedback systems between employers and employees sparked a lot of discussion. There is a lot of variety in how much formalized structure individuals want. Tyler Vawser at Apptegy described their intentional dismantling of systems in favor of relationships.

For us, if you have strong relationships, almost all these other things are unnecessary. The systems, processes, the formalities. There’s nothing wrong with it, and we’re at a stage where it’s very different. If we get to a point where we have 10,000 people, will this work? Probably not. We’re aware of that.

We don’t want to put processes in places of relationships.  We want to build the relationships and that’s where we meet people where they are. And on the other side of that, we’re saying, this is how we decided to go about building culture and company. And that may look different than what you want. And that’s okay.

Two key themes for attracting and retaining employees were 1) mission and 2) valuing employee’s time. Tyler Schaller of First Orion said,

They’re really focused on: what does the company do? What can I feel I can achieve and make an impact on this world? We’re also seeing that in recruiting their time is very valuable. And so they’ve wanted to ensure that they have flexibility that can have the opportunities to have that balance in their lives.

This wide-ranging, open and practical conversation proved productive and clarifying for our both hosts and guests. What do you think? Send us your thoughts at founders@venturecenter.co.