Attracting Talent Beyond Just a Paycheck: How purpose, meaning and fun drives visionary leadership.

Author:Biggins, J. Veronica

The post-Boomer generation now assuming leadership roles--and certainly those from the Millennial generation who will follow--bring with them different expectations about their work environments and what a "corporate culture" needs to look like.

These emerging and future leaders desire a career that carries purpose and meaning along with being financially rewarding.

It is also nice to have fun and find joy in what you do. I am a member of the board of Southwest Airlines, which is regularly listed as one of the "best places to work" in the country. Each employee is clear as to how they add value to the organization through customer focus. Employees are proud of their work, because Southwest has a strong emphasis on a culture that values its employees.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of stay of an American employee at their place of employment is currently 4.6 years. At Southwest, it's 11.5.

Obviously, being a talent magnet is not just about having fun. It's about creating a place where people want to spend time, where they get up in the morning and look forward to spending time solving complex problems and discussing creative ideas with others.

In one of my former lives, I served as assistant to the president and director of presidential personnel in the Clinton White House.

The most valued were the career employees who understood how to get things done. People who had witnessed and been a part of history through many administrations.

I have given a lot of thought as to why people enjoy and find value in work that they do, whether it's The White House or Zappos. (Yes, I love shoes.) My life today is about partnering with corporations, recruiting C-suite executives and corporate board members. And one of the most important roles today in the boardroom is succession planning. One bad hire in the C-suite has lifelong consequences.

Boards today speak about protecting their culture, or protecting their brand. The word culture, to me, is a more central concept. Companies that are known for a "good culture" attract smart, talented people who want to grow and be a valued part of an organization.

Potential new employees access a company in the same manner a company accesses them: They look at Glassdoor, LinkedIn and other career portals. As Yelp has proven in less than 15 years of existence, peer-to-peer crowdsourcing has changed the way consumers select everything from vacations to bagels. It's not foolish to believe...

To continue reading