Don't think that millennials influence workplaces only through their digital-first ways. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Having lived through economic crises and the pandemic, millennials, who have internalized the brunt of environmental consequences, have developed a unique set of skills and workplace preferences.

The size of the millennial workforce is tough to go unnoticed. According to research by Forbes, millennials will make up to 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025. The report indicates that ‘only 29 per cent of millennials feel engaged at work’, making workplace success a key imperative.

Generation Y’s proclivity towards technology can be linked to the ascension of digital advancements and its role in workplace revolutionizing. Being exposed to technology early on meant the average millennial was able to develop an adaptable mindset at a young age. The acceleration towards Wi-Fi from dial-up internet propelled the millennial mindset into the era of digital transformation. This set the stage for the cultural shift in the workplace.

Impact of digital-first generation

The learning-prone mindset possessed by Generation Y corroborates the importance of digital immanence. These tech-natives believe that the shift towards digitization significantly contributes towards workplace efficiency, given its instantaneous characteristics. In addition to technology’s unification abilities regardless of location, millennials want feedback 50 per cent more often than other employees, which can be achieved seamlessly through technology.

The ease at which coherent integration is able to take place through a digitally-immersed world is a vital part of what keeps millennials motivated.

Workplace skills

Customization is a key ethos of the Generation Y mindset. Gone are the days where standardized systems stood tall. Millennials expect their work environment to effortlessly complement their assets, i.e., what they bring to the table, as well as their facets, i.e. the different characteristics they possess.

This tech-infused generation is defined by their proclivity for being heard. Feeling both unique yet collaborative is important to millennials. The possession of this type of mindset can be linked by their perceptions of previous generations and the regimented way in which they implemented processes.

Yet another example is the way this generation places heavy emphasis on prioritizing work-life harmony. Millennials prefer to possess flexibility in terms of their work schedule. While older millennials are likely to heed to the side of a structured work week - i.e., opt for a certain type of schedule in a consistent pattern - younger millennials are more likely to prefer alternating.

Ultimately, both older and younger millennials prefer the presence of the option to choose.

Workplace aspirations

Millennials prefer work environments that pay equal attention to their individualistic needs as well as societal. This generation is more inclined towards jobs that possess social impact strategies that focus on environmental sustainability. The thought process stems from their desire to see the willingness for change from potential employers.

For millennials, this keenness for external change showcases the likelihood to provide employees with ample personal development opportunities. Being able to exercise the diverse set of skills they possess is a key consideration towards motivation for Generation Y.

Recognition of their multifaceted characteristics, which can be achieved through systematic management, matters to the ‘net’ generation.

Reverse mentoring

The two-fold nature of reverse mentoring can be outlined by its ability to engage both senior and junior employees. Whilst junior employees can gain an understanding of what tenured roles entail, senior employees are able to better comprehend the mindset of their juniors.

Novel knowledge-driven exchange as such enables open-mindedness, which is likely to have a positive influence on workplace efficiency. Reverse mentorship increases the prospect of upward mobility for millennials, which can prevent the pressures felt from traditional societal norms.

Key outcomes that are important to millennials and are brought upon through this practice are; diversity and inclusion as they feel heard, leadership development opportunities as interpersonal skills are focused upon. And the ability to maintain competitive advantage from an innovation perspective in addition to employee retention.

The success of reverse mentoring is evident as it enables millennials to feel fulfilled and work meaningfully.

Millennials' penchant for acquiring structured assessment on their work and their desire for flexibility outlines how important their tryst with balance is. These technophiles can be considered as both proponents and catalysts of innovation in the workplace.

While ‘curiosity may have killed the cat’ previously, in a millennial world; this self-expressive generation firmly believes that curiosity does more than just keep the cat alive, it provides a sense of purpose that is essential to life.

Chayanka Mohan

The writer is Senior Consultant at Hale Education Group.

The writer is Senior Educational Consultant at Hale Education Group.