Do we know who those millennials are? Are they just defined by the fact they became adults in the 21st century? Or is there much more about them that we need to understand?
Sure, they tend to be well-informed, independent and do have much more clarity of life, which I am sure only few of our generation had. They are not always fearful, speak for themselves and are often self-possessed.
More millennials are joining the workforce, and their presence requires a 360-degree shift in the workplace perspective. These young men and women bring with them many challenges and opportunities indeed. We need to apply logic and rationale in dealing with them. Their transition into any work environment can become a mammoth challenge if we don’t engage them and be sensitive to their needs.
Ignoring their strengths and aspirations and not being able to connect with their specific needs is often an issue. In most workplaces, employee engagement is left to the human resource Department and this creates a limited mentoring bandwidth. Managements need to take significant steps to integrate this workforce for any successful transition.
A holistic organisation policy is thus necessary with inclusion for all stakeholders. Due to their endless appetite for quest and change, the workplace ecosystem needs to be tweaked specifically to suit millennials. Stakeholders must make conscious efforts to create such opportunities and take the requisite measures to align it with the larger organisational goals.
Realistically, one has to analyse the workplace culture and its preparedness at the organisation level to integrate this workforce. This requires the seniors to shed their usual inhibitions and adopt a role model approach instead of asking the newer lot to change. Or, worse, use the usual parenting or motivational tools.
Fact is that conventional approaches will not work. Avoid drawing conclusions about them being not responsible or they tend to speak out of turn and being too arrogant. Apply logic to each of their actions before evaluating their merits. It is essential that the seniors recalibrate their outlook.
When millennials interact in à la mode workplaces, their professional interfaces are marred by too many inhibitions on either side. When they seek clarity on work-life balance, they are disparaged as being too high on life.
Millennials on their part complain that their credentials are not often reviewed on merits when they scale the corporate ladder. And instead unambiguous conclusions are drawn undermining their merits.
The ambitions of this new wave at your workplaces must not be seen as misplaced optimism or unrealistic expectations. They should be encouraged and handled with due caution, as it must not lead to any disillusionment.
They are the generation with a marked difference, and the abundance of information has made them worldly-wise, eloquent and tolerant of difference. Having been raised under the philosophy, “follow your dreams”, this confidence spills over into the realms of entitlement and narcissism.
Their expectations of equality are not based on age but based on the simple definition of merits. Millennials don’t like taking orders, but they expect a professional decorum when serving instructions.
— The writer is Group CEO at EFS.