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Stalwart Workers in the Age of Millennials

September 8, 2011, Sundara Kamatchi -

As long as an employer's goal is to motivate employees and deliver the best results for the business, engaging all sections of the employee-base remains important. Last week's Harvard Business Review (HBR) included an article by Professor Thomas J. DeLong entitled, "Stop Ignoring the Stalwart Worker" that details why organizations need to take notice of their under-served employees.

Notice me!

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Executives see an organization as the sum of its “star” employees because the stand-out high performers ensure that they get noticed. However, organizations are starting to understand that the vast majority of employees within a Company are not the “stars,” but are those stalwart employees, who keep the cash rolling in, while muffling out the noise to keep the wheels of the business turning smoothly. Traditionally, it has been easy to forget this lot.

DeLong states that, “odds are you may find yourself among the ‘stalwarts’ at some point in your career, no matter how high-revving your internal drive is. If so, you probably will find yourself questioning your professional significance.” Although engaging the millennial generation has been mangers’ top priority over the past few years, stalwarts, who often remain unnoticed, are the greatest population that's able and willing to be engaged and deserves recognition and encouragement.

DeLong’s article lists five myths about stalwarts. My favorite, myth two, says that “Everybody is the same.” As we find where millenials will fit into the modern workforce, we need to recognize the work of our stalwarts who help organizations continue moving towards their goals. The easy-going and adaptive nature of this workforce allows for a Socially-networked workplace similar to that with a millennial team. Bringing both groups together to accomplish measureable results, which can be benchmarked across the organization and the market, makes Social people Technology invaluable. This slice in time is so fascinating because of this unique opportunity. I am sure there's plenty to gain for all of us in this space.

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