Transparency Rules for Motivating Generation Y Employees

By: Nichole Gunn

September 28th, 2010

Generation Y is also known as the Millennial Generation. It encompasses those individuals born between the mid-1970s to the beginning of 2000.

Harvard Business Review editor Jacqueline Murphy sheds light on key points discussed at HCL Technology’s annual “Unstructure” conference, which took place in Orlando, FL.

One of the main key points speakers noted was the importance of transparency for motivation of  Gen Y employees, and as a strategy to keep them on board.

In her article, Murphy explains that the Gen Y employees have grown up with social media sites such as Facebook. They are use to having everything open and exposed. Joe’s going out with Mary, and Ted went to a great party Saturday night . . . nothing is hidden or left to the imagination. Thus, they expect the same from their employer.

Business strategy expert Gary Hamel explains, “They [Gen Y] demand that an organization’s internal social reality mirrors that of the web. So companies today are essentially competing on transparency.”

Another conference speaker, HCL CEO Vineet Nayar, wrote a book on the very topic of transparency, Employees First, Customers Second (EFCS). According to Murpy, EFCS “is the management philosophy Nayar designed and put into action at HCL some five years ago.”

While it’s not a new concept, Nayar implemented the transparency strategy in a company with 57,000 employees. And, it was successful. During 2008-2009, amidst the recession, HCL was able to grow while most other companies could not.

Interesting, despite the name of the book, employees and customers both appreciate and benefit from the business strategy.

HCL business development director Alistair McIntosh explained to Murphy that “when he joined the company he was amazed to find performance appraisals for all HCL senior managers posted on the intranet.” He went on to say, “”The access they give to you to information — the openness and control — is pretty motivating. It positively impacts the level of service I’m able to offer customers.”

In recognition of it’s transparency policies, HCL was recently included in the WorldBlu List of Democratic Workplaces for 2010. The list is sponsored by WorldBlu, a nonprofit organization, and acknowledges businesses and organizations that utilize democratic practices as a means to increase employee engagement, performance, innovation, as well as profitability.


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