Apr 26

Career versus Family? – New Mindsets Require New Approaches for Employer Branding and Talent Management

Stephan Polomski
Stephan Polomski is director human resources, coach and trainer

What young talents perceive are heart attacks of their superiors when they are in their mid-fortees, not rarely with lethal ending, divorces, residential school for kids, working days with ten hours and more as daily experience, black berry availability 24 hours seven days a week, including holidays.

What for? – Money, power, prestige.

Money, power, and prestige – once being of big value in value rankings are no longer generic triggers for the young crowd starting now into management or expert positions. Employee value propositions and thus talent and career management has to change profoundly if companies want to attract, keep and grow the succeeding generation.

“They simply say: no thank you and start dealing about conditions beyond money, power, and prestige.”

They simply say: no thank you and start dealing about conditions beyond money, power, and prestige. And this includes not only vertical careers paths for classical management positions but horizontal career development as well.

Together with employee value propositions, remuneration and incentive systems have to change as well as an attitude focusing on a career at any cost is out as values and motivators did change.

One of the most important new success factors of employer brands is the compatibility of career and family. In former times, as I pointed out above, doing a career as a manager meant giving up the experience of private roles like father, partner, and friend. Nowadays, this is a price less and less people are willing to pay in their professional lives for the gain of a position.

Graduates and young professionals especially with a technical background know about their value in the labor market. Just money and a defined career path simply are not enough. And creating a professional platform where young talent is able to live all roles of both, professional and private contexts, is an enormous challenge for employers, especially for medium-sized companies.

However, this challenge is the way to remain an attractive employer although it requires both, a change in culture and a change in structure and processes.

Cultural change and a change in attitude is required for the currently leading top managers of the older generation, the classical baby boomers, who need to understand that the young generation is no longer willing to pay the price they paid or they are still paying. Once understood the issue, these managers have to lead change of structures and processes. And of course, this is difficult: executing things I am not convinced of. But there actually is no choice.

Integration of professional career opportunities and private family life concretely means new adapt work time models, adapt job descriptions, home-office, reduced work time, flexible work time, compensatory time off, culturally accepted parental leave, sabbaticals, generous vacation arrangements, company pension schemes, company child care.

Employers have to find structural answers for these requirements and they have to become more flexible how they understand and define the success of their core business. The business model has to take this transition into consideration, a transistion to flexible working platforms for vertical and horizontal career paths, for this will raise personnel costs. And this is literally the prize employers have to pay if they want to keep talent – and still paying attractive salaries and still offering attractive career paths.

Only by following all three dimensions

-          Integration of career and family needs

-          Generous remuneration

-          Career paths offering self-realization

the employee value proposition will remain competitive.

This is why we as medium sized company started with round tables for women and for young fathers as we noticed that we have to deeply understand the needs of our employees who expect new blood or who already have little children. We do offer home office in cases where it is corresponding to the business and, more important we foster parental leave especially for young fathers. For management positions we offer not only 30 days of regular holidays but on top another 12 days of compensatory time off. This is something quite unique, even in Germany. The benefit here is not only binding our employees but also developing their work-life-balance – and even their experience being a father or a mother often helps understanding the role of a team leader.

This is a start – not only for our company but also for business attitude and behavior in general becoming more caring and more successful.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2012 at 02:00 and is filed under Human Resources, Leadership, Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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