Want to attract the best talent? Treat your employees like your customers.

The employment landscape has changed dramatically – from job hopping to the rise of the “gig economy,” average employee tenure is now only 4.4 yearsemployee benefits program with greater focus on tuition reimbursement, extended maternity and paternity leave, adoption assistance, and health & wellness programs – because these are things that truly make an impact with our people.

Ease is essential.

Your customers want their experience to be easy, not complex. Employees want the same thing. They want to hit the ground running each day and be as productive as possible without red tape, outdated policies, or technology that doesn’t match the outside world. Jobs are becoming more and more complex – requiring an ever-increasing level of intellectual capital, emotional IQ, and technological know-how. Creating a culture that embraces “easy” will allow your employees to focus on making a real difference, not navigating complexity.

Like customers, employees want “value.”

Your customers want to get what they paid for. This same principle holds for employees. Take career development for instance. For many, especially Millennials, lateral movement can be just as valuable as a promotion…as long as it meets their needs for growth and stimulation. Over 50% of Millennials feel the opportunity to learn and grow is extremely important when looking for a job[i].

At the same time, employees often find larger organizations frustrating because it can be difficult to find effective development resources. Today no two career paths look the same and companies are thinking outside-the-box to deliver career value. Whether it be coaching, leadership development, job rotations or more comprehensive internships – the focus on innovative and value-added development programs has never been more important.

To harness the potential of your employees – turn “managers” into coaches and leaders.

Over 50% of today’s employees rate the quality of a manager as extremely important in looking for a job[i]. Today’s leaders need a different skill set. I’m very fond of the saying: we’re only as strong as our weakest coach. Managing rules, policies, and other administrative tasks is necessary but completely insufficient for the holistic requirements of an effective leader/coach.

The true value of “managers” is in helping employees unlock their full potential and empowering them to do their best work. Coaches help people practice their craft while giving candid, real-time feedback for learning. They take an interest and help with longer-term development. And they make each person feel like a valued contributor to the team. Leaders coach and inspire – managers manage. Enough said.

So what’s my ideal workplace? It’s a place where each employee knows they’re a highly-valued strategic resource; where they’re motivated by the fact that the company and its leaders will invest in them like they invest in their customers; where it’s easy and fun to get the job done productively; and where each employee knows they make a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Consider the impact your employees would make if they were inspired to bring their very best to work each day. That is ROI worth signing up for!

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[i] Forbes, “Job Hopping Is the ‘New Normal’ for Millennials: Three Ways to Prevent a Human Resource Nightmare,” August 2012

[ii] UNC, “Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace,” 2012

Views expressed are as of August 1, 2016. Unless otherwise noted, the opinions provided are those of the author and speakers, as applicable, and not necessarily those of Fidelity Investments.

Fidelity Brokerage Services, NYSE, SIPC.

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Want to attract the best talent? Treat your employees like your customers.

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