Millennials is an expression which is no longer unknown anymore. It refers to the generation born between 1980-2000. Neither unknown is working with them, considering that a big part of current workforce belong to them. Although a generation can never be lumped together, there still are very common traits – that among others, genuinely differ from the elder generation, the Baby Boomers. Why pointing out the differences? Because usually the current management might still belong to the Baby Boomers, whereas most of the staff belongs to the Millennials! Just by having a deep knowledge of who you are leading (and hunting!), you can choose the best human resource management strategies.
What a Millennial’s profile look like
Let’s have a look on what most characterizes Millennials to better understand this generation. It is a bunch of hard-working people who are well educated and with a strong will for continuously learning. They insist on meaningful work and seek challenges; their achievement-oriented, ambitious and confident character proves that they are able to that. Just as they were raised, with constant assessments and marks, they now crave feedback, praise and reassurance also at work. Questioning and facing authority on an equal level is not an issue. Hierarchical orders actually bother them. However, their roles need to be very clearly defined, especially how they are integrated in a company’s system. Doubtlessly, their core competence is that they are extremely tech-savvy. Connected 24/7, smartphones and laptops belong to their daily outfit, no internet means no existence and no world. Needless to say that they communicate mostly by social media channels, email or text messaging. As global citizens, they have a remarkable international experience – be it for work or for leisure – despite of their relatively young age. And if we have a closer look at their CVs: they have a tremendously peppered job history. The variety of experience actually makes them precious for their multi-tasking. At the same time they can seem suspicious to Baby Boomers, for whom it is more normal to spend 30 years in the same company by claiming valuable loyalty. Routine and repetitiveness are killing this young generation. That is why job hopping is an effective medicine when the job is not as excited anymore as at the beginning. To round it off, work-life balance is not only a holy word, but a sine qua non. Enough to consider when hiring a Millennial, right?
Flexible, flexible, flexible
Once we got a concrete frame on what a Millennial is, we can now get down to work to form our principles, which we want to apply for them. On the one hand, these principles are important to implement to current employees in order to satisfy their needs (which we might have ignored before). On the other hand, our Employer Branding can profit from a tailor-made recruitment process in future. Sticking to the last, but probably most striking element, which characterizes the Millennial, is the strong requirement for a work-life balance. In this matter, we only have to think a little out of the box. A change for the better is largely possible: by implementing flexible working hours. Flexible schedules means to give the possibility to work from home, to leave when work is done, to choose a location where they prefer working. Sometimes, just having the choice can already satisfy them enough. After all, they are meant to be team-oriented and prioritize collaborative work culture, so working from home might not be the first choice at all.
Money makes the Millennials’ world go round
Considering that among the Top three priorities for Millennials at work there is also compensation, it goes without saying that a company must offer a competitive salary. Ideally, the growth opportunities are included in the bid, because upward mobility is also what they strive to, bearing in mind that they are achievement-oriented.
Hierarchy kills the desired structure
Concerning the hierarchical problem, the internal organization can benefit of more dynamism plus innovative spirit if the stiff hierarchy is banned once and for all. It is true that Baby Boomers have always had it like that: managers were granted infinite respect, a certain status and the last word to say. But the managers of tomorrow, the Millennials, gain respect simply by what they do, do not care about any status (status means having travelled the world and having collected unforgettable moments) and they do not even want to have the last word. The best word should be the last – finish.
I need feedback!
Then comes feedback. Not too long and not too time-consuming, but regularly and consistently. This is considered as key to development and that is absolutely essential for work motivation. Goals should be set on SMART criteria (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based as by Peter Drucker). Offering guidance, for example with a mentor, that could be a retiring employee, is surely fruitful as well.
These are just some of the thoughts that can be kept in mind while working with or hiring Millennials. Making the work fun, challenging and exciting has mostly been an objective of a job, even in the past. The only crucial difference is that now, the new generations will not hesitate a second to leave, if the workplace can not keep up with this.