Workplaces across the globe have been undergoing significant changes – one such significant change is the entry of millennials or those born in the late nineties or in the new millennium. With studies indicating that this generation is likely to comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, it has become imperative for organizations to master the skill of effectively managing them at work. However, studies also indicate that most organizations might not have sufficient knowledge and insights into how this generation behaves and operates in the work environment. Hence, the task of managing millennials at the workplace becomes even more challenging for such an organization and can pose a risk to their overall productivity and growth.
What makes managing millennials so different?
The first and foremost thing that organizations need to understand and acknowledge is that millennials are significantly different from employees belonging to other generations. They belong to an age group that has been born and bought up in an era of a technological revolution. Unlike Gen Y and Gen Z who have experienced life both with and without modern technologies as they have grown up, for millennials technology is an integral part of life. This makes them innovative and tech-savvy. At the same time, they have a strong competitive spirit which makes them desirous of excelling in whatever they do. They can also be entitled, lazy and even impatient, with unrealistic exceptions.
Effective ways to manage millennials
According to management experts, managing millennials at work is more about developing the right work environment. Discussed below are a few effective strategies that organizations can find beneficial in this context:
- Work towards developing a strong organization culture
Unlike the professionals from earlier generations, millennials seek career opportunities that are meaningful and that go beyond immediate financial benefits. They are passionate about their own growth and development as well as the growth and success of the organization they work for. That is why they feel most happy and satisfied while working for organizations with a strong work culture. They feel that such organizations are likely to offer them the right opportunities to enhance their skills and help them achieve great things.
- Offer a great work-life balance
As mentioned before, millennials are passionate about their work. However, they are equally passionate about living a fulfilling life outside their workplace. That is why they feel more contented to work with organizations that offer a great work-life balance. In fact, the people management professionals consider this to be critical to the effective management of professionals belonging to this generation. In fact, a large percentage of millennials prefer remote working setups or having flexible work schedules that help them balance their personal and professional lives better. Rather than being stuck inside the office like professionals from older generations, the millennials want to make use of technology for remote working while enjoying their life.
- Invest in effective leadership and guidance
It is a well-acknowledged fact that millennials have little tolerance for traditional authority structures. However, this does not mean that they shun effective leadership and guidance. Rather the people belonging to this generation want leaders who can mentor them and guide them to improve their abilities. They dislike leaders who are habituated to micro-managing things for their team; as it gives them minimal learning and development opportunities. At the same time, they are extremely respectful of leaders who trust them to complete their assigned tasks and provide them the requisite support only when it is sought. They crave for learning and have a strong urge to do something great. These attributes need to be nurtured and promoted by their leaders.
- Have an effective recognition program
There is a visible generation gap between millennials and older professionals when it comes to recognition of their work and efforts. Unlike their predecessors, millennials want timely and appropriate recognition from their organizations. Organizations that lack an effective employee recognition program will mostly likely s face trouble in effectively managing their millennial workforce. The important thing for organizations to understand in this context is that even saying a simple thank you or leaving a note of appreciation on their work desk is appreciated by the professionals of this generation. It makes them feel assured that their work is valued and they are contributing to business growth in a manner that is being approved by the people who matter the most.
Managing millennials at the workplace might not be as daunting a challenge for organizations provided they have a clear understanding of behaviour and aspirations. Organizations can, in fact, benefit extensively by utilizing the strengths of this generation to their own advantage.
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