Motivating Millennials

May 19, 2016 3:57 pm
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Millennials will soon become the largest generation in your business, making up half of the global workforce by 2020. Expanding on Unleash a Millennial in your Business… It May Just Be the Best Thing You Ever Do, it is often said that Millennials do not respond well to being managed in the traditional management model that businesses are accustomed to. By embracing new management techniques and initiatives, you will help your business successfully attract, manage, develop and retain this generation.

The good news is that you don’t have to completely reinvent your business to make it work for millennial employees. Some of the smallest offerings have the biggest impact with millennials:

  • Build a strong mission and values system Millennials are not only concerned about a professional career, they want to make an impact and they want to find a company that will help them to do so. They have come of age in pretty unsettling times and many feel personally responsible for making a difference. ‘Doing good’ is vitally important to them and they define success through meaningful work. Virgin Pulse reported that 73% of Millennials think it’s important for their company to stand behind their mission and values. They are attracted to companies whose leadership teams can communicate a purposeful vision for the organisation. Through this, Millennials are redefining leadership by holding leaders accountable for behaving ethically and upholding the expectations of the company’s mission and values.
  • Collaborate Shift your business from a ‘Me’ to a ‘We’ culture. Millennials work better in teams, with 88% of them preferring collaborative work environments over competitive ones. Establish a sense of inclusiveness regardless of title, seniority, or geographic location. RetailMeNot Inc. invite their millennial employees to participate in making hiring decisions, which not only helps them to be involved in shaping the business, but gets them excited about future talent. Millennials want to be involved in constructive conversations that are typically limited to leadership teams. Give them the opportunity to weigh in on important issues and strategic decisions. Make it safe to ask and explore ‘why?’. Millennials need to understand the context behind key outcomes and the reason action is being taken so they can see how their contributions fit into the bigger picture. They are the future leaders of your organisation, so why not take the time to engage with them now?
  • Open and frequent lines of communication Encouraging transparency throughout your organisation will not only help Millennials thrive, it will benefit all generations in your workforce. What direction is the company heading in? Where do you see growth opportunities? How does the company make money? What do you think we could do differently? The more real-time information you provide to Millennials, the more capability you are giving them to perform well in their jobs and the more loyal they will become. This doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. At Coriolis we utilise our internal Yammer network for posting short messages to keep in touch and for knowledge sharing and gathering, and circulate one-page monthly updates to keep everyone in the loop about what is happening across the business.
  • Listen to Ideas Millennials are not afraid to question the status quo and are FULL of ideas that may seem completely unconventional. An idea is a commodity that few businesses capitalise on – Kickstarter raises over $1.3 million daily from user-posted ideas. How are you capturing your employee’s ideas? LinkedIn launched an internal incubator program that encourages employees to come up with ideas, create teams, and pitch their projects to executive staff. If leadership likes the idea, they give the team three months to dedicate to their ideas and turn them into reality. Are you encouraging your employees to share their ideas?
  • Develop a mentoring program It has been found that Millennials will leave a company if they lack close ties with work colleagues and peers. To prevent this, establish a mentoring program that pairs your senior staff with your newest junior staff. Some of the best learning comes from the guidance and knowledge that someone with more experience can provide. Ensure your mentors have regular, authentic, and unique conversations and encourage these to take place out of the office – this makes everybody feel more open and relaxed, encouraging receptivity. You can take this one step further by hosting ‘mixers’ with all mentors and mentees, or by facilitating ‘brown bags’ where Millennials get together informally and give short talks about what they’re working on or the problems they’re trying to solve.
  • Clear cut career paths A lack of career opportunity is the number one reason that Millennials leave an organisation. Having grown up managing their personal brands on social media, they have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to govern their position and career choices. Empower them to achieve more by giving them the tools to build their career plans. Provide visibility as to where the opportunity is in your company and the steps required to get there. This will give them clear expectations to advance their careers and accomplish more at work.
  • Embrace Technology As the first digital natives, technology is a part of a Millennial’s DNA. They are used to sharing all aspects of their lives online and will often leverage their social networks to help in their research and decision-making. McKinsey predicts that social media has the potential to save companies $1.3 trillion by improving intra-office collaboration. Do you have a social networking tool in your business? Try Yammer, a leading social networking tool for businesses – the best part is it’s free! Adopt hashtags and promote them for important events in the company. You are guaranteed to see engagement skyrocket.
  • Training innovation Growing up in the digital world has shaped a Millennial to be able to search for information and find answers quickly. The pace of traditional learning is too slow for what this generation expects. Use a micro-learning approach that provides daily development opportunities in short bursts. Millennials want to learn by doing, so provide training at the point of need and acquiring new skills will simply become part of doing the job. Ensure your training material is updated continually and make it readily available so it can be accessed at any time. Don’t narrow your focus to only the hard skills required to get the job done, include soft skills such as communication, negotiation, and collaboration. Take training to the next level by starting up an emerging leaders course that focuses on career acceleration or consider implementing a rotational program to develop individuals into cross-functional employees.
  • Flexible working hours Millennials place significant importance on their personal growth and well-being, with 41% agreeing that their mental health is more important than their income. The days of working a 9 to 5 office job are numbered.  Modern technology has blurred the boundaries between one’s work and personal life as we are increasingly and constantly connected. Employers must assume the responsibility for the social welfare of their employees, so encourage them to switch off from work and take a break. This will prevent burnouts and show an increase in productivity and quality of work. Provide colleagues with the flexibility to leave early or come in late for a personal commitment. It is imperative to retain this generation of workers.

Utilising these tools and initiatives will help to progress your business to effectively manage and retain Millennials. Remember, the key is to advance in moderation while maintaining focus on the road to success. This is an exciting time in business, don’t miss your opportunity to be the company of choice for this high performing generation.


Written by Karen Starr, Coriolis Consulting Pty Ltd


2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey (

The Keys to Attracting and Retaining millennial talent (

How Millennials are Evolving Today’s Workplace (

The Future of Work – A journey to 2022 – PWC (

The Future’s an inside Job – Global Social Intrapreneurship Summit (

Millennials: Love Them or Let Them Go (

Stop Treating Millennial Employees Like Enigmas (

A Guide to what motivates millennials at work (

SUCCESSion Planning

May 9, 2016 11:07 am
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With the European Championship just around the corner, the media fanfare surrounding the England football team is building towards a crescendo. Following 50 years of unsuccessful endeavour, the British press have already begun engraving England’s name on the cup. Many of us will be willing the team to succeed on the field, but what could we learn from Roy Hodgson?

The team makeup contains prime examples of succession planning. Led by Roy Hodgson (68) and supported by second-in-command Gary Neville (41), the England team demonstrate the “changing of the guard” as they look to leverage experience with youthful desire. However, this is also an example of the national set-up identifying their succession plan by building experience into the future through having a young and talented assistant supporting the man affectionately known as the ‘wise owl’, Hodgson. Further examples exist on the pitch. Harry Kane (22) will make his debut in senior tournament football alongside Dele Alli (19), both of whom will play alongside seasoned players including Wayne Rooney (30 – 109 caps) and James Milner (30 – 57 caps).

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” John F. Kennedy

A mixture of youth and experience is seen as pivotal in creating a team capable of challenging at the top. So does this approach translate in the business world?

The England football team serves to show a good example of a talent “pipeline” – a constant supply of vastly capable people in preparation of fulfilling a role beyond their current position. Highly successful companies are often considered to be those which value succession as a process inherent throughout the organisation – constantly analysing how to develop the current staff to be capable of driving the business in the future. A 2013 Aon paper titled Best in Class Succession Management suggests; “Best-in-class organisations use succession management as a strategic business planning tool which develops a pool of highly talented individuals in order to meet the organisation’s overarching long-term strategy.”

A clear emphasis is placed on the adoption of succession planning as an integral practice as opposed to a one-off matter.  Philip Stiles, senior lecturer in corporate governance at Cambridge Business School states “For best practice, everything starts with strategy”. So how do the perceived leaders in succession planning support their approach? Among those often quoted by experts on the subject are institutions such as IBM and Marks & Spencer. The latter incorporate a nominations committee whose work is expressly detailed in their Annual Report – the most widely read company literature published. Placing such emphasis on this committee shows the value attributed to its function.

Formal process also allows for defined structure. A key shortcoming in many approaches is the gap in understanding the strategic requirements from succession planning. “Often companies choose a leader for today’s company, or yesterday’s company, not the leader they need for five years’ time. Often that is about a lack of strategic clarity” professes Stiles. Therefore, a committee can be adopted to align succession planning with strategy.

For many companies, the managing of the aforementioned ‘pipeline’ is impacted on a perpetual basis. Natural wastage of staff is a frequent issue facing all businesses. The loss of recognised talent from a pipeline, known as “leakage”, represents a failing in handling this process. Leakage is not limited to just natural wastage, but is also impacted at varying tiers of an organisation due to promotion, growth, specialisation, or any other change to the skills mix within. As such, constant appraisal is required to ensure an effective system is in place. Having considered options to manage this process, it is evident there is a need to identify and measure talent within, as well as the potential externally.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” Peter Drucker

Assessing the pipeline of individuals provides the platform to build “bench strength” – the available talent in place, ready to transition through the ranks. Maintaining a strong ‘bench’ provides capability and flexibility to an organisation, again, similar to our initial analogy. Talent is usually measured in terms of both Performance and Potential. Therefore, it is essential to have a suitable assessment matrix in place which is reviewed on a regular basis. This is particularly important when deciphering between true ability, rather than sheer over-confidence. Tracking talent is typically performed through an appraisal system and should be linked to succession; “Performance appraisals enable the manager to document the progress of each team member. This documentation is used to record the performance of each person and will be very important when a promotion arises.” (

A further element of driving bench strength is to ensure diversity.  Mala Shah-Coulon, Executive Director for Corporate Governance at EY suggests; “it’s about diversity in its broadest sense, in background, skills and experience.” Creating a highly talented pool with a mixed background generates a greater spectrum of thought, but also mitigates the risk of suddenly losing a particular skillset at a higher level.

Nonetheless, creating a strong bench also involves maintaining expectations. Leakage can occur from stagnation or the perception that opportunities for movement do not exist. Where old systems were characterised by secrecy, many current best-in-class organisations make their succession management process as transparent as possible. Increased clarity reduces the impact of favouritism, which is a common threat to the integrity of a succession plan. Favouritism occurs when the leader displays preferential treatment towards those workers who they are socially connected with, to the detriment of other workers and overall firm performance. It is the most demotivating factor that many of us might experience. (

Consequently, to maintain engagement, an open policy supported by a visible structured process is likely to generate greater value. Such value is not necessarily confirmed to the individual stakeholder either, “As shown in Watson Wyatt’s Human Capital Index® research report, superior human capital practices not only are correlated with financial returns, but also are a leading indicator of increased shareholder value”

To quote Stiles, “the hallmark of a well-run company is how well they manage succession. It shows they’re thinking about the future.” Ensuring sufficient attention is given to current staffing with a view to future objectives will provide a better prospect of realising these goals.


Best in Class Succession Management, Aon, 2013.

Economia Magazine, ICAEW, 2016.

2004: An Ongoing Study of Employee Attitudes and Opinions, WorkUSA®, 2004.


Written by Arron Delamare, Coriolis Consulting Pty Ltd

Could your recruitment and selection process stop you from hiring the greatest American Football player of all time?

May 6, 2016 9:38 am
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For those of you less familiar with American Football, Tom Brady is widely regarded to be the greatest player to ever play the game. Interestingly, had he turned up on your doorstep looking for a job at the start of his career, it is highly likely you wouldn’t have given him a chance. In fact, you’d have almost certainly laughed at his apparent lack of ability and total unsuitability for the role advertised.

When trying out for the NFL, prospective players participate in a combination of tests to assess speed, explosive strength and technical skills. These are all designed to quantify a player’s overall ability, allowing franchises to make a more informed decision on the players they might choose.

On completing these tests, Tom Brady’s performance was average at best, and he even registered some of the poorest results seen in comparison to other players. This led to him receiving little or no interest from any clubs and meant he was selected as number 199 of 250 in the draft.

This leads us to ask: How often is the recruitment and selection process too focussed on grades and test results?

Questions around character, integrity, desire to succeed, motivation and potential growth can remain unexplored. We might attempt to find answers to these by looking at CVs and conducting face-to-face interviews, but in reality, how much of the truth can we glean from these more traditional methods? A CV can be adapted and framed in such a way that is most appropriate for the job at hand, and interviews can be prepared for by researching common questions and reading up about the company.

The challenge is often to understand the unyielding individual, and questioning techniques might focus on trying to find a balance between situational questions and more holistic investigation. An example of this in the context of leadership ability might be framing a question differently, so instead of asking: ‘Show me an example of leading a team?’ you could try ‘Can you talk about a time you have tackled adversity through applying leadership characteristics?’. Or considering the quality of their work, instead of ‘Tell me about a time you delivered a good piece of work?’ why not ‘Could you define for me what you believe ‘doing a good job’ means?’.

These questions allow a candidate to talk openly about their experiences and the application of their internal behaviours, and less about the deliverables of activity. This should increase the chances of the interviewer being able to draw a distinction between the success of an activity and the candidate’s actual contribution to this success.

In the case of Tom Brady; by changing their approach, the NFL clubs might have had a better chance of identifying Tom’s true worth at the start of his career. Throughout his college years, Brady developed an unrivalled reputation for rescuing his team from probable defeat in the final few minutes of the game, earning his nickname of ‘the comeback kid’. Statistically, these vital plays were simply recorded as points or wins, but registering these at crucial moments of the game in high pressure situations was really fundamental in understanding what Tom was really made of.

Interestingly, Deloitte, PWC & EY have all recently made the decision to re-design their selection criteria based on a similar theory. Deloitte have decided to hide University information on their application forms, while PWC & EY have even gone so far as to hide grades obtained through academia. They have made these changes as they believe these elements to be arbitrary indicators when identifying a candidate’s potential, and believe they also lead to a lack of diversity in their teams. The desired outcome of this is to avoid unhelpful bias of an individual whilst ignoring the more important characteristics.

The most appropriate talent identification is subjective to situational variables; however, the consideration must take Tom Brady as a lesson that a hiring manager would do well not to repeat.


Written by Chris Allen, Coriolis Consulting Pty Ltd

Change management: determining the right approach and developing our target readiness

May 6, 2016 9:11 am
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In my previous blog I opened the discussions around change management, explaining how it is an application of a structured process and repeat set of principles. We focused on setting the correct foundations for a change programme which is generating the correct level of sponsorship all at levels within the business, remember our CAST of characters?

Now I would like to take you through how we can go about determining the right approach and also developing our target readiness, focusing on resistance.

Step 2: Determining the change approach

“It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things” – Niccolo Machiavelli

Dependent upon whether a business needs or wants to generate compliance or build compliance, there are two different approaches to manage change. The first action is to determine what you need. Are you dealing with risky situations such as OHS or quality? Or in a position where everyone wants change now (lucky you!) and not a lot of commitment is needed? Then the Hammer Approach is suited to you, generating compliance. However, if your business is going through a big change which affects many and you have the time available but require sponsor support then Transition Management is your way. This method will build compliance.

There can be a misconception in Transition Management that the present state is the beginning of change and the desired state is the end of change. In fact, the present state is the end and the desired is the beginning.

Also, there is common misconception of the Hammer Approach, that it is a wrong method or does not consider the human element. In fact, it is a viable management tool when only compliance is necessary for success of the implementation.

The process to determine the right approach for you is:

  1. Be clear about whether you want to drive compliance or build commitment
  2. Clearly understand the consequences of either choice
  3. Communicate truthfully once you make the choice, ie. don’t ‘decorate’
  4. If the hammer approach is to be used, you still must do it in a process method
  5. Build commitment when necessary, not seek consensus

Step 3: Target readiness

“I was in my warm, cozy bed….suddenly I’m part of somebody’s plan” – Woody Allen

It does not matter whether the change is perceived as a positive or negative, resistance to change is inevitable. It is not a function of liking or understanding the change, it is a function of disruption. Resistance is a process and must be managed, it cannot be combatted, solved or overcome.

You need to be able to determine how ready your ‘Targets’ are. Remember my previous blog; treat an individual as a ‘Target’ first if their role is unclear. We need to be understanding their FOR (Frame Of Reference) to allow us to know the approach to take and manage.

There are effective and ineffective behaviours in managing resistance.


  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Create WIN-WIN situations where possible
  • Get parties to understand one another’s FOR and establish why’s and what’s
  • Explain the change in the Target’s FOR by ‘naming the resistance’
  • Repeat the resistance management process


  • Give up or not repeat the process
  • Deal with the person not the issue
  • Try to combat, solve or overcome the resistance
  • Arguing with the target while they state their perceptions
  • Dragging out the ‘Hammer’

I hope this has given you an insight into change management and a couple of tools to use if you are going through a change process or looking to kick start one.


Written by Amir Sadreddini, Coriolis Consulting Pty Ltd

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