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NEW Toronto learns to attract talent of all ages

Sunday, November 23, 2014  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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Nearly 150 NEW members and supporters learned ways to create strong multi-generational teams at the NEW Toronto fall learning event, Nov. 19, 2014 at the Mississauga Convention Centre in Ontario.

Deloitte's Janine Lang, senior manager of human capital practice, and Dong-Ling Chen, business analyst; Jonathan Lister, vice president of North American sales for LinkedIn; and Elisa Hope, account manager for Kimberly-Clark Corporation, shared their insights during "Workforce 2020 – Models of Engagement."

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Employee engagement is at an all-time low of 13 percent among employees surveyed across 90 countries, according to research by Deloitte cited by Lang and Chen. "Irresistible organizations" that attract talent from every generation share five characteristics: Meaningful work, hands-on management, incredible work environment, growth opportunity and leadership employees can trust.

Seventy percent of Millennials, who will represent 75 percent of the workforce by the year 2025, consider technology, innovation and start-to-finish ownership of deliverables important factors when choosing where they want to work, Lang and Chen noted.

To boost employee engagement at LinkedIn, the company mission of connecting talent with opportunity extends to its own talent, Lister said. For example, the organization's "InDay" program encourages employees to devote one day each month to interests such as learning, wellness and innovation in service of their communities. LinkedIn has also implemented a "Take Your Parents to Work Day," underscoring the importance of multi-generational communication necessary for today's business.

Hope challenged the negative traits people often associate with the term "Millennial" and her generational cohorts, such as laziness, self-absorption and a preoccupation with social media, with "The Millennial Rebuttal," a video detailing the generation's technological approach to social good.

According to Hope, Millennials desire flexibility and the ability to work remotely, and noted that 61 percent of employees working from home work longer hours than their peers. Employers will need to evolve their understanding of Millennial engagement, she said, because 60 percent of Millennials leave their jobs within three years.

The event also honored NEW Toronto Best of the Best Regional Leader Award recipient Michelle Scott, executive director of The Grocery Foundation, and the region's recent NEW national award for excellence in financial achievement, presented at last month's NEW Leadership Summit in Atlanta. A live twitter feed shared the event through social media; search #NEWToronto2020 for pictures and posts.

Panelists Jonathan Lister of LinkedIn and Deloitte colleagues Dong-Ling Chen
and Janine Lang enjoy networking at the NEW Toronto event.

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