When the influential marketing guru Simon Sinek shared everything that is wrong with Millennials, a large percentage of the experienced workforce couldn’t help but agree. Sinek highlighted the stereotypical view of many people that Millennials are entitled, difficult to manage, a challenge to keep long-term as employees, and self-centred. According to a study by Futurum Research, 50% of the world’s workforce will be made up of Millennials by 2020. This means none of us will be able to avoid the changes that this generation brings to the workplace, especially in this era of rapid change and digital progression.
Despite contributing huge changes to the global work environment, Millennials are still a generation that older generations struggle to understand. The gap in behaviours is undeniably evident, and the paradigm shift in unstoppable, so the real question is – how can organisations bridge this gap and capitalise on what this generation has to offer? How can management change to attract and effectively engage with Millennial talent?
1. Create a Purpose-Driven Environment
Millennials are known as a purpose-driven generation. They are huge on understanding why and what they’re putting their energy into and consistently emphasise on the importance of making an impact. Interestingly enough, they are more willing to have a career that contributes to making a societal difference in any way possible than just securing a high paycheck. This is often the case as this generation grew up watching their parents being slaves to the workforce just to provide stable financial means to the family. Thus, a strong purpose and a transparent understanding of the impact of their work results in them having a strong reason to stay committed to their employer. This has the potential to be hugely positive as it provides employers with a large pool of talent that actually wants to invest and contribute to change.
2. Build a Monitor-Learning Culture
This might sound weirdly amusing, but Millennials are proven to be more accountable for their own learning curve. They make conscious efforts to progress positively or even have a higher tendency to initiate any movement of change. You might notice how engaging they are today, especially with the booming of non-for-profit organisations, putting forward relevant motions and spreading awareness on issues which are considered taboo. They demonstrate the same sense of accountability in the working environment where they expect continuous feedback on ways to improve or progress, on a frequent basis. By creating a monitor-learning culture, where organisations emphasize and monitor their learning curves, they have the potential to build a conscious learning environment from which everyone can benefit.
3. Offer Work-Life Integration
A large portion of Millennials today believe in having a balance between work-life integration and the common work-life balance concept. They believe in being mobile with the work they do and not to be confined to the four walls of a building from 9-5. Head to any coffee shop or convenient temporary workspace, and you’ll find this generation being completely comfortable with the fast-paced working environment and emphasise more on productivity and quality. Being in touch with technology, 24/7 allows them to even work from anywhere at any point of the day. Of course, depending on the job function, most Millennials will be subject to different definitions of work-life balance. In short, you’ve got a pool of talent who are flexible, versatile and adaptable to changing needs.
If the Millenial generation gap is navigated successfully, imagine the benefits of having a workforce that can lead the transition to new the new digital era and make a noticeable contribution to the purpose of your organisation. This represents a real and present opportunity for all forward-looking organisations.