Aha! | 30 something and unsatisfied at work – retain the talent
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30 something and unsatisfied at work – retain the talent

30 something and unsatisfied at work – retain the talent

Something_New_Party_LogoThings change in our 30s!

Generally, people in their 20s are satisfied with gaining promotions and pay rises; working unquestioningly long hours completing whatever is requested of them and all to get ahead in their jobs.

And then it happens! It doesn’t happen overnight but it can appear that way. We start asking ourselves searching questions about our work and life, in general; Why am I doing this? Who’s benefiting? Am I enjoying this? What do I want? and so on. This change in perspective might occur because of a major event (such as the death of someone close, the birth of a children, marriage, divorce etc) or it might be the perceived increase in responsibilities that occur in this phase of life – the sum of which cause us to reflect.

Whatever it is, it is a threat to organisations and the retention of their talent. These ’30 somethings’ are the next generation of leaders and in many cases are leaders already. But satisfying this group in not easy. Their needs have changed and they are more demanding.  They want to work  in organisations that they believe in. That want visions and values that they buy into and can contribute to. Organisations that have a culture that they feel comfortable in and that gives them a sense of belonging. They want flexibility in the hours they work to fall in line with their lives overall. And they want a role that challenges them and is suited to their strengths.

Quite a list. So how can organisations hold on to the ’30 somethings’ rather than loose them to ‘pastures new’? I think the key is agility. Organisations have to be versatile. They have to remove the barriers of hierachy so that companies are no longer run from the top down. Responsibility has to be shared throughout the company. The ’30 somethings’ need to be a part of shaping how the company is run. They need to be able to make changes that are going to enhance the organisations’ offering through a happy and motivated team.

Perhaps a way of discovering how agile your organisation is, is find out whether it operates a Transactional or Transformational leadership culture.

Transactional leadership involves a relationship between leader and the follower in a series of transactions. If one party agrees to do one thing, the other party agrees to do another. The exchange is based on a contingent, usually extrinsic, material rewards such as bonuses or promotion and management by exception. This style of leadership works up to a level but there is evidence to suggest that it does not motivate people beyond their basic job requirements and is not suitable for achieving long-term objectives. Transactional leadership does not take into account personal values that motivate individuals to perform well and to achieve great things. The power lies in the hand of the leaders. I can see this style being satisfactory for the ’20 somethings’ but not for the more demanding ’30 somethings’ and beyond.

The ’30 somethings’ need organisations that operate a Transformational style of leadership. A style that works on a much more emotional level taking into account people goals, needs and values.A transformational leader focuses on “transforming” others to help each other, to look out for each other, to be encouraging and harmonious, and to look out for the organisation as a whole. With this leadership, the leader enhances the motivation, morale and performance of his followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organisation; being a role model for followers that inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimises their performance.

If your organsation needs to become a more transformational, I can help you. Please drop me a line on