Future-Proof Your PHA with the Next Generation of Talent

Diverse group of creative young people using laptop during meeting in office and smiling cheerfully

We are tackling a topic that’s been at the top of the hot topics list for a while… attracting the next generation of talent. (Take a look here too for more ideas!) 

If you’re in the business of providing homes and creating communities, you know how crucial it is to have passionate people at the heart of all you’re doing. But passion alone is not enough. You also need fresh and innovative minds on board, especially in today’s society.

Enter the next generation of world-changers! 

Understanding Millennials and Gen Z 

The next generations entering the workforce are not just looking for a job. They’re seeking purpose, impact, and a sense of fulfillment. They’re digital natives, socially conscious, and driven by values. To attract them, we need to speak their language and align our offerings with their aspirations. 

Embracing the Creator Economy and Mindset 

One of the hottest buzzwords of our time – the creator economy. What exactly does it mean and how can PHAs leverage it to tap into the treasure trove of ideas and energy Gen Z and Millennials bring?  

In simple terms, it’s about people using digital platforms to create, distribute, and monetize their creativity and expertise. In essence… social media. But it’s not just about social media.  

By embracing the creator economy, you not only attract current top talent but also infuse fresh perspectives and expanded reach into your organization. Finding ways to weave these ideas into your PHA can bring with it benefits you might not have been aware of before: 

  • Community Building: Creators can often have vibrant communities built around their content. Your agency can too! PHAs can leverage this to foster community spirit, gather feedback, and even as a resource for new ideas. 
  • Authenticity and Trust: Our society values authenticity and transparency. Creator economy ideals build trust which in turn will help you enhance your image within your community and connect with them on a more personal level. This will result in higher levels of involvement, lease up rates, and trust. 
  • Development and Feedback: Engaging with your community this way can provide you with valuable insight into their needs which can help you tailor your offerings and programs to meet them.  

Ideas for adopting a creator economy at your PHA could include: 

  • Hosting a round table with tech savvy team members and community partners to brainstorm solutions for the challenges your community is facing  
  • Initiating social media campaigns to showcase the impact of your projects and foster engagement 
  • Offering online courses, tutorials, or coaching on a wide range of topics  
  • Live streaming! Go live from your office and do classes, info sessions, meet-the-team, or just something fun. 

Read through our blog on wielding social media for a more in-depth look at what this can do for your agency.  

Cultivating Entrepreneurship 

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reported entrepreneurship is at an all-time high with adults ages 18-34 having the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity. These are the people you are trying to bring into your agency.  

It’s important to understand that entrepreneurship isn’t just starting a business. It’s a mindset that thrives on innovation, flexibility, and resilience.  

And what PHA wouldn’t benefit from more of that? 

  • Innovation: Entrepreneurial-minded employees are often creative and proactive problem-solvers. They are more likely to generate new ideas, challenge the status quo, and contribute to innovation within the organization. 
  • Efficiency and Resourcefulness: Entrepreneurs are adept at achieving results with limited resources (and who needs that more than a PHA?). Employees with an entrepreneurial mindset are resourceful and efficient, often finding creative solutions to challenges and maximizing the use of available resources. 
  • Continuous Learning and Development: Employees with an entrepreneurial mindset are more likely to seek out learning and development opportunities, take on new responsibilities, and continually improve their skills, which can benefit both themselves and the organization. 

PHAs can harness these valuable entrepreneurial traits by creating environments that encourage entrepreneurial tendencies such as risk-taking, experimentation, and flexibility of approach all withing the supportive environment of the agency. Some great options for this are: 

  • Adopt a task-based approach to operations instead of traditional case management. For a comprehensive look at what this is, look at our AMAzing guidebook! The simple explanation is that instead of utilizing case managers who do everything from start to finish, this approach creates a type of assembly line which allows each team member to “own” their area of expertise. Throw in some flexibility in how they manage their workloads and you have created an environment for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit to thrive.  
  • Networking opportunities. Who needs more landlords and local partners? (Go ahead. Raise your hand.) Someone in your office has the networking drive.  Let them plan and execute a networking event at your agency for local landlords or like-minded organizations or even other nearby PHAs. Getting your PHA connected to local networking groups can also foster valuable partnerships.  
  • Community events and liaisons. Someone on your team has the passion and creativity for this and allowing them to take it on is a fantastic way to attract that person and all their energy, allow the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish, AND benefit your PHA with improved outreach efforts.  

By nurturing entrepreneurship within your agency, you not only attract entrepreneurial talent but all the energy, drive, and creativity that comes with it.  

Balancing Work and Life 

The next generation craves flexibility and work-life balance. So much so that it is one of the biggest determinants of employment. According to the latest CareerBuilder research, work environments with flexible options attract 7 times more candidates than those with traditional rigid structures.  

That is A LOT more options and way too big of an advantage to ignore. So, how can largely traditional environments like PHAs adapt? 

PHAs can appeal to this by offering remote work options, flexible schedules, and generous time-off policies. Show that you prioritize employee well-being (read this!) by investing in wellness programs, mental health support, and family-friendly policies. When employees feel valued and empowered to balance their personal and professional lives, they’re more likely to bring their A-game to the table.  

A Whole New World 

The next generations of talent are looking for organizations who reflect and value their beliefs, passions, and skills… a lot of which are tech focused. And let’s face it, a lot of PHAs have put off making advancements in the areas of technology and digitization. What you might not realize is digital progress is not just about keeping up with the times.  

  • Environmentally Conscious: Current generations are more environmentally conscious and value sustainability. Transitioning to a paperless office reduces waste, aligning with their values and demonstrating corporate social responsibility. 
  • Flexibility and Mobility: Modern technology enables remote work, flexible schedules, and mobile collaboration. The next generation is attracted to companies that embrace these technologies, allowing them to work from anywhere and adapt their schedules to suit their needs. 
  • Innovation and Efficiency: Modern technology facilitates innovation and streamlines processes, leading to greater efficiency and productivity. 
  • Collaboration and Communication: Digital tools enable seamless collaboration and communication across teams. The next generations value teamwork and communication and are drawn to companies that prioritize collaboration and provide the tools to support it. 

Look at our content on the strategic topics of technology and digitization to gain more insight into all the ways your PHA can benefit.  

Building the Future Together… 

In the dynamic landscape of affordable housing, attracting the next generation of talent is not just a necessity… it’s an opportunity to both reflect and shape the future of our communities. By embracing these ideals, PHAs can create environments where talent thrives and innovation flourishes. So, let’s build a brighter tomorrow – together! 

 

 

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