Think about this for a moment: Creativity is one of the soft skills most desired by employers. Yet too often, when a young worker comes up with a creative idea, a manager’s first reaction is to say why it won’t work.
“If you keep saying, ‘Oh, we want you to be innovative. We want you to look at new ideas,’ and then you shut them down in a meeting or you just don’t allocate budget or whatever, that’s really disheartening,” says Denys Litkov. A Gen Z student at the University of Toronto, Litkov was speaking to a DisruptHR audience in Toronto last summer, explaining his RIG principal: Risk, Invest, Grow.
“It’s important to take risks with your new employees,” Litkov says.
It’s also important to train them. “When we talk about investing in the future, we actually need to see how we are investing in our employees.” Investing in them leads to growth, theirs, and also the employer’s, because it’s the employer who will reap the benefits from the broadening of employee skills and improved retention. And the one investment Litkov specially called out is mentoring young workers. The kind of mentoring millennials, today’s young workers, and Gen Z, tomorrow’s young workers, need is the regular presence of someone to guide and counsel them. Not merely to help them with specific tasks, adds Litkov, but to help them navigate the unwritten rules of the workplace.
Litkov’s presentation is as entertaining and it is instructional. The 5 minutes you spend hearing what this computer science and employment relations major has to say is a good reminder that to your new young workers, the world of work is a foreign place.
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