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Millennials are largest group of today’s workforces and will be accounted for 75% of the workforce by 2025. While there have been many notions and misconceptions about this generation, touting them as narcissists, lazy and entitled, organizations must deal and engage with them on a daily basis.
In our conversations with CLOs, we discovered that engaging with millennials is still a major concern for many. While the internet is flooded with advice, tips, to-do lists that are meant to guide and help organizations deal with their company’s largest employee cohort, the problem still persists. In reality, engaging with millennials is NOT a ‘done-and-dusted’ topic.
In this blog, we attempt to separate the ideal from the reality and discover the right, doable ways of engaging with #theMillennials.
Ideal Bubble: Giving Millennials the flexi-hours to work.
Reality Burst: While the opportunity to work at one’s choice of hours, and not being tied to a desk from 9-5 is an option that most millennials covet and seek in their organizations, the flipside results in being logged in most hours of the day and working more. In the initial days it comes across as a norm, but in the long run it turns into a nightmare. They are expected to be available and work on the go at all times, day or night.
The Right Route: Flexibility to work as per one’s convenience, need etc. must be given with equal weightage to proper time off and clocking out for the day. This could be discussed and arranged between the manager and the employee. The arrangement should be such that both the organization and the employee have a win-win.
Ideal Bubble: Give them challenging work and they’ll be engaged
Reality Burst: A challenge remains a challenge until it is dealt with. Organizations fail to realize that with time and upskilling, the old challenges cease to exist, and the employee needs a new task or new dimensions to explore in his/her existing profile. The lack of new challenges sets disengagement in motion.
The Right Route: Communicate with the employee and assign new assignments on a continuous basis or raise the bar for existing work so that the employee is constantly challenged and therefore engaged.
Ideal Bubble: Give them coaching or mentoring and they’ll be engaged
Reality Burst: While coaching and mentoring are largely appreciated by millennials, organizations tend to make it about themselves or the company’s requirements as opposed to nurturing and mentoring the employee as an individual.
The Right Route: Coaching or mentoring should be conducted on an individual’s level where there is investment of time and resources for the employee’s benefit. The interest from the organization in the employees’ individual growth keeps them engaged and motivated to perform well. They will watch out for a company that watches out for them.
While these three are the main factors that organizations look at when engaging with millennials, the crux of it remains – communication. Millennials appreciate transparency and knowing things as they are. They like to take on responsibility and would love to know that their efforts are bringing about a meaningful impact. Thus, it becomes a mandate for organizations, HR and managers to communicate to these sensitive, driven and hardworking lot, keep them in the loop and understand their stand or point of view.
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