Chief Learning Officer - May 2006 - (Page 30)

CO0506.qxd 4/18/06 1:14 PM Page 30 environment i n practice: knows what they're doing. If you try to use your rank over them in any way, D e l o i t t e & Touche USA: they'll just blow you off. But generation Y P u m p i n g the Talent Pipeline people are very willing to be mentored by competent adults. They very much prize Deloitte & Touche USA, LLP, which provides services in areas such as accounting, corporate gover- people who can really help them. nance, manufacturing and real estate, has a problem. Fewer and fewer of the people who are entering For the time being, the main differentiator the workforce are specializing in the areas that the company needs to execute on many of its opera- between these two groups is professional tions. To keep qualified professionals flowing into the organization, Deloitte & Touche USA launched a experience. Obviously, the generation comprehensive effort around next-generation recruiting and retention that includes substantial internal- Xers have more of it, but it's the kind of ly and externally focused educational components. experience they have that makes them the The declining interest in technical subjects in Western countries is ongoing, so we're finding that linchpin in this coming demographic tran- there's a smaller group of interested people, said W. Stanton Smith, who serves as national director of sition. Unlike the millennials, the oldest next-generation initiatives for Deloitte & Touche USA. Therefore, we're trying to find ways to induce of whom are just starting their careers, young people to think about us favorably. most of the generation Xers have been on The initiative started about five years ago, when the company's CEO approached Smith and asked him the economic roller coaster for some time more or less to decipher the next generation of employees their needs, desires, dislikes and so forth. now, and gone through booms, recessions He said, `I've got four kids, and I can't figure them out. Do something about the value proposition with and recoveries. They've also witnessed the new generations.' So we did some research and in the process, we began to define the problem. firsthand the rise of technology and how We understood a bit more of what needed to be done, Smith said. that's impacted business. In short, they Smith and his team also conducted research with outside organizations to determine the attitudes of have more experience with change in young people about careers, employers, technology and other professional issues. This enabled them their organizations and industries, and to further hone in on a marked strategy that would attract younger talent. We began to understand change is the key to future survival in the what young people were looking for, he said. As we did further work on this, we realized that we need- marketplace. One shouldn't overlook the ed to broaden and deepen the pool of people coming into our organization. We started putting togeth- millennials' latent ability to contribute, er a pre-college branding program to talk to people about what Deloitte is and give them a favorable though. By all accounts, they're technical- view of us. ly adept, quick learners and hard workers. Also, Deloitte & Touche USA developed a tool based on its internal research to help young workers in the company figure out their preferred occupation and how they could attain it, Smith said. We found T h e International Angle that young people wanted to know a lot more about their options within the organization than we'd been So far, this discussion has been limited to typically telling them. So we created something called Deloitte Career Connections, which is an internal the United States. The fact is, though, career resource where people can find out about other careers within the organization. We also did an these trends will have an even greater annual incentives program and a recognition program, because people were asking for that. impact on developed nations such as Japan, Additionally, Smith and his group produced pamphlets that could educate the company's executives of France, Germany and the United broad generational trends, so they could be mindful of their preferences whenever they rolled out new Kingdom. Birth rates in these countries initiatives. We started an internal communications process a series of brochures on the talent mar- have continually declined for several ket to help them understand the differences and similarities between generations, he said. decades now, with the result being that Based on his experiences with the younger generations, Smith said they generally favor learning that is more than 20 percent of Western Europe's engaging, interactive and fun. He offered the Virtual Team Challenge for High School competition, which population is now age 60 or older. With teaches basic business principles, team work and academic career planning to students via video even more money spent on public entitle- games, as an example of this. The program, which was developed with learning vendor Brand Games, ment programs for retirees, and fewer and has been well received by these young people. fewer workers to replace them, this demo- We just did a survey to see if this video game idea was a good one, Smith explained. They said, graphic shift presents a much greater chal- `Wow, if all of our homework were as good as these games, we'd be glad to do it.' It engages and stim- lenge to organizations in those countries. ulates them. I think that simulations and things that are video-based are definitely where these young For the time being, enterprises in the people are, because that's what they've been raised on. However, technology is no guarantee of United States and abroad have relied engagement for younger learners, he added. I know that there is a lot of e-learning that's nothing more largely on immigrants and sending work than putting print materials online. I don't think that's going to be very successful. I think interactivity overseas. This strategy will probably con- engages the adult mind, and that's where it's going to be. tinue to be employed to help bridge the Although the learning needs of generations X and Y might seem complex, the baby boomers can be gap between job openings and qualified more difficult to pin down in terms of training. With the baby boomers, that's a little more problemat- professionals available to fill them, Rosen ic, Smith said. Exactly what is the style they prefer? Some prefer online learning, others like the class- May 2006 said. For the sake of argument, say we do room and others will read a book. have this tremendous shortfall of people Additionally, because of their own experience, boomers might not always appreciate the ways in which the that we need. What will happen? They'll I I Chief Learning Officer younger generations learn. Many of them hold leadership positions, too, and they have to be persuaded either increase the H-1B visas to bring in as to why stimulating, interactive and enjoyable educational programs as opposed to run-of-the-mill more foreign people to try and fill those training are necessary. With our executives, we don't have to convince them on training, Smith said. positions, or the work will migrate off- To keep up with the clients in our industries, they know we have to do training. It's expected to contribute, shore. That's not a good thing for the because as a public accounting and professional services firm, we have to keep a lot of our people prop- U.S., but it doesn't mean the world's erly certified. The real issue is making sure people get the time to do the training, and that the training is going to come to an end. of the quality that makes it worth taking the time off to do. As we move toward simulations, we have to educate our leaders on technology and why simulations work. You do it with education. Although looking to other countries might help alleviate the problem, it's not

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Chief Learning Officer - May 2006

Editor's Note
Table of Contents
Letters to the Editor
Take Five
Selling Up, Selling Down
Guest Editorial
Learning Solutions
Robbins-Gioia University
Deloitte & Touche USA
CLO Profile
Washington Gas
Case Study
Human Capital
Health Care Service Corp.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
Business Intelligence
In Conclusion
Advertiser's Index
Editorial Resources

Chief Learning Officer - May 2006