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Hiring and Retaining the Best with Technology, Learning and Culture

New technology can help keep millennials engaged, but easy-to-use tools and proper training are also important.

Most Millennials can hardly remember a time when they didn’t have the power of a supercomputer in the palms of their hands. Some members of Generation Z might not even know what a payphone looks like.

What members of these generations do know and remember is that technology, learning and culture make life greater. If they can get those things at work, that’s even better. Today, a growing number of employers are beginning to use technology, learning and culture as employment perks that help them hire and retain the best from these generations, according to the panelists on the How Entrata Can Help You Hire and Retain Employees session at the 2017 Entrata Summit in Park City, Utah.

“Young workers don’t want an old laptop handed to them when they start their jobs,” said Jason Larson, Chief Strategy Officer at Investment Development Management. “They come into the workplace with a lot of expectations. But it’s cheaper to give them a new phone and a new laptop to keep them happy, than for them to be disengaged.”

According to a LinkedIn study that was shared during the panel, about half of U.S. employees are disengaged, which costs a company $34,000 for every $100,000 of salary. That doesn’t mean companies have to give younger workers everything they want in order to reduce these costs and attract and retain top talent.

“We definitely draw the line,” Larson said. “At the point we decide that you should be in our group, we provide the tools you need to do your job. But you’re not going to get the best and newest technology we have on day one. You have to do something first.”

More important than giving younger workers the fancy new technology is giving them tools that are easy to use and intuitive, as well as the proper training to use them.  According to the LinkedIn study, more Millennials rated training and development as a top-three benefit from an employer than any other benefit.

“If they’re given access to new technology, they want training on it as well,” said Dan McLennan, Regional Manager, LinkedIn. “People who add additional skills to their LinkedIn profiles get more job opportunities, and better ones.”

Having a regimented training program or even something as simple as teaching associates something new can have a significant impact on their engagement, Larson said. IDM releases updates to its property management system every Wednesday and ensures it informs associates of those changes so they feel like they’ve learned something that day.

A learning culture, like the one Larson is developing, is vital to employee engagement, according to the LinkedIn study. The study found that 93 percent of associates are engaged in learning cultures compared with just 53 percent in those without a learning culture.

Engaged associates, according to the study, are 30 percent more likely to exceed expectations, 73 percent more likely to be committed to the organization and 38 percent more likely not to be afraid to try new things.

“Keeping everybody learning and engaged is like a wildfire – you start doing some of these things and it catches on,” Larson said. “The art is getting the best people, and that’s our focus.”

The result of getting the best people, creating a learning culture and integrating technology is lower turnover, increased innovation and higher productivity.

Written by Linnell Taylor Marketing