Trelleborg Shares Survey Results at ASTD 2014 Conference
Trelleborg shared the results of a major survey it has conducted into its ‘Generation Y’ workforce at the ASTD 2014, the premier conference for training and development professionals, which took place from 4th – 7th May in Washington, U.S,. Engaging with people born between 1980 and 2000 – known as ‘Gen Y’ – is one of the most important challenges facing businesses around the world, as Paolo Astarita, Trelleborg’s group talent management director, explains.
“All businesses are unique yet they face many common issues and one of these is how to attract, keep and develop the age group often referred to as Gen Y. Trelleborg employs around 15,800 globally and 23 per cent fall into this category. In Asia the figure is more than 40 per cent. To stress how relevant this challenge is to everyone, it is estimated that by 2025 some 75 per cent of the entire workforce in North America will consist of Gen Y employees.
“Fundamental to the success of businesses today is their ability to nurture these people, because they represent the fastest growing segment of the workforce and are the future of any company. However, they have grown up in a different world to most managers in their forties and fifties and to attempt to recruit and manage them in the tried and tested ways of the past is neither effective nor appropriate.
Honest and realistic feedback
“We were wary at Trelleborg of thinking that we fully understood the needs, desires and attitudes of Gen Y people! This is why we commissioned an extensive survey and why the results are forming the basis of a significant new strategy on how best to recruit potential applicants and provide the environment and opportunities for those who join us to flourish.”
Trelleborg employed a highly experienced research agency in order to ensure impartiality during every aspect of the survey and requested a ‘no holds barred’ approach to obtain totally honest and realistic feedback. The agency designed a web-based questionnaire that allowed respondents to reply on-line, evaluating questions on a scale of 1 – 5 as to whether they strongly disagreed or strongly agreed.
Areas covered included management/leadership, working environment, communication, development needs and motivational factors. In addition to the questionnaire, workshops were carried out with Gen Y employees across Europe, Asia and the Americas so that feedback could be obtained on a face-to-face basis.
Almost 1,000 employees took part in the on-line questionnaire with about 300 of them also involved in the workshops. The data gained has enabled a detailed analysis to be made of the company’s strengths and weaknesses as perceived by Gen Y employees.
Where talents grow
“For a long time a core part of Trelleborg’s philosophy has been that it is a place where talents grow,” says Paolo Astarita. ”It’s virtually our daily motto. The information we have now gathered enables us to take this to a new level and to better meet the needs of young employees, who increasingly come from a mixture of different cultures and countries.
“Indeed, one of the very positive responses from the questionnaire was that Trelleborg respects age, gender, nationality and ethnicity. It’s important for companies to understand what they are doing well, not just the areas that need improving, because then they can create a balanced plan of action that does not lose sight of the good things. It’s also vital to involve managers, certainly those in a mentoring role, because they are pivotal in implementing change and policy.
“Innovation is another key factor Gen Y employees seek within the workplace. They want to be able to utilize the latest technologies in every aspect of their job, including the way in which they communicate with others, how they receive information and how and where they work. This is a tremendously exciting time to be working at Trelleborg because we have new horizons in our sights that are taking us along untrodden paths. Although these might be a bit rocky at times, we’re certain that the view at the end will be worth it!”