The millennials or Gen Y are a different ‘breed’ altogether. They stand out. Loosely grouped in the 18-34 age category work force they are exceedingly different in their outlook, in their aspirations, in their skill levels, in their energy and above all in their liberal approach to life in general. While they seek challenges at the workplace, for them work-life balance is not a matter of choice, it is an inherent part of their thinking.
The millennials are growing in numbers. They are redefining the workplace and employers have started making major adjustments in their engagement models to deal with this enthusiastic millennial workforce in their respective organizations. Written and unwritten strategies are getting rewritten and employers are made to keep abreast of this young workforce – one to keep their motivational levels high and two to retain them. The approach to engaging the millennials, indeed, requires a different blueprint, beyond the traditional human resource management – managing performance, work-life balance, enhancing their career paths, engaging them in corporate social responsibility, team building and health. The approaches have to be aspirational and inspirational for the millennials to build on their capabilities.
- Managing Performance is an important engagement driver for millennials. They require a constant feedback on regular basis on how they are performing their duties at their workplace. This is reflected in many organizations rewarding or acknowledging on a regular basis employees who have excelled or outperformed. It is good for the organization and good for the employee. The program namely PEP (personal excellence program provides the personal performance matrix of an individual on the leader board. It provides daily achievement details on the board as soon as one logs into the office. It provides instant evaluation of one’s position among their peer in the system. Am I better than the other or worse are aspects which keep them engaged. They are constantly looking for instant feedback on their work, on their ideas as to how to stay ahead of the learning curve.
- Social networking is part of their lives. Providing social networking platforms to the millennials is a must. To maintain an ongoing conversation other than the regular and formal communications CRM platforms help. Liberal in their thinking, they are quite open and frank when it comes to discussing issues, which may be taboo for the older generation. The social networking platforms such as Facebook wherein they post their ideas (work related or otherwise), endorse ideas, post their pictures, they find a bonding which helps them be part of the group and add to the group. Such platforms help in expanding the boundaries of an individual not only in their teams but also externally.
- Onboarding engagement activities are critical for them and it should be away from a classroom approach, preferably informal or semi-formal. They want things that are quick and easy to absorb and are very necessary for them to start their work effectively. Training programs have to be short and sweet which they can assimilate fast and get down to work at the earliest as to show their caliber of grasping and performing. Thus an organization should always be mindful of this fact while drafting an onboarding engagement activity for millennials.
- Work life balance is one of the most crucial aspects for millennials to work in an organization. Extended working hours, stagnated salaries, working on weekends are a big no-no for millennials to work in a system. Flexibility is what they demand for in their workplace. They see that their work not to be measured by hours at a location, but by the output of what they do.
- Adding skills: Millennials don’t just want to spend their time on earning salaries and are keen on job satisfaction for which they normally tend to acquire additional skills and knowledge such that not only their career path but also their life’s journey takes a new meaning.
- Social causes: The Gen Y places great importance on social causes and sense of purpose. They always need a purpose behind everything they do. An organization should be transparent about how their personal goals are aligned to the goals of the organization as a whole.
The workplace is truly getting redefined, thanks to the Gen Y group and the employers are finding it rewarding in many ways. New approaches, new trends, new goals and a young workforce is making organizations find success, need not necessarily be measured in terms of profit. To remain ingenious, impressive and financially competitive, companies will now have to go outside their corporate amenity zone to redesign roles for a purpose-driven millennial workforce.