Article: 3 misnomers about the millennial workforce that HR should remember

Talent Management

3 misnomers about the millennial workforce that HR should remember

With the importance of millennials as a vital part of the workforce, constantly on the rise, we look at some of the troubling notions around the group which hinder HR professionals today
3 misnomers about the millennial workforce that HR should remember

Millennials have recently become the center of many people management processes. Having become a vital part of most talent pools, this age group of people—those born between 1980 and 2000— have caught the attention of HR professionals across the board. With new age technologies increasingly being used to rehash end to end HR processes, most strategies today find themselves being molded to suit and attract the growing numbers of millennials entering the job market every day.

This increase in attention from the companies to attract, train and retain millennials has also yielded to the creation of some unfounded myths around this generation of humans entering the workforce. As with the case of any market imperfect knowledge, trends become easy to accept which might at times lead to HR professionals coloring the entire workforce in a similar shade.  Here are certain misnomers that HR professionals need to break if they are to holistically understand the young talent entering their workforce.

Millennials are very active when it comes to job hopping

A survey recently conducted by IBM showed that Millennials, Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers all change jobs for similar reasons; citing more money and a more creative workplace as their top reasons for switching employers. It then becomes highly detrimental when HR professionals treat millennial employees as if they are ready to ‘jump the gun’ at every instance. A new study by the Center for Talent Innovation also attempts to shatter the stereotype that all Millennials are a flight risk. It states that candidates today are well aware of the financial journeys that they have to chart and take measures accordingly. With factors like transparency and engagement still being an imperative, companies would fare well to not heavily doubt the intentions of this cohort of employees and rather invest in them to develop skills like leadership to retain them in the long run. 

Flexi-works are enough to motivate millennials

Millennials are known to prioritize work-life balance into their career choices. And in response, many companies have indeed started to offer flexible work schedules, work-from-home policies, and job appraisals based on outcomes and deliverables. But most of these flexible work opportunities are not an end in themselves. They cannot and should not be treated as the only effort HR professionals take to ensure millennials are motivated and engaged within the workforce. Researches done with the global Fortune 500 companies have found businesses need to further to drive engagement. Engagement is the result of the summation of several activities which includes companies creating the right vision for the company, one which is truly inclusive vision and then training managers and leaders across the board to communicate freely and more effectively to build stronger relations with their millennial workforce.   

Millennials do not intend to work hard

The millennial generation has been typecasted as a cohort of the workforce which would preferably shriek their work and are not actively interested in working productively and contributing towards business growth. Low scores of engagement are often cited as the root symptom of the problem of millennials not having an active inclination to work. 

But according to the new study on the millennial workforce, it turns out that a significant population of the millennial workforce ended committing themselves with more amounts of work than other employees from other generations. There also are other indicators to support this trend. Millennials, for example, are also more likely to forfeit unused vacation days than other groups — 24% of Millennials, 19% of Gen Xers, and 17% of Boomers forfeited time off that they’d earned. It finally comes down to how effectively managers can allocate resources to make their millennial employees more productive.

Millennials have been under the scanner of HR professionals globally. In efforts to create a robust end to end management process for their millennial workforce today to HR professionals need to look beyond the just the existing notions that surround millennials today and build holistic programs backed by data-driven insights on their preferences. Categorizing the entire cohort into a group with singular preferences would only end up limiting the scope of such employee engagement and motivation programs.  

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Topics: Talent Management

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