“The millennial generation and a growing number of employees are looking for more than just a paycheck,”
said Gerald Chertavian, a social entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of Year Up, an intensive one-year education and training program that serves low-income young adults ages 18–24. Generation Y are employees born between 1980 and 2000. These young professionals have developed their work tendencies and characteristics usually from doting parents, structured lives, and contact with diverse people. Millennials are generally used to work in teams and would want to make friends with colleagues thus making them work well with diverse coworkers. Millennials frequently look for feedback about how they are doing and will want a variety of tasks and expect that they will accomplish every one of them. These millennials seek leadership, and even structure, from their older and managerial coworkers while expecting their ideas to be drawn out and respected. Millennials seek challenges and loath boredom. Used to balancing many activities such as teams, friends, and out-of-the-office activities, Millennials want flexibility in scheduling and a life away from work. Millennials need to see where their career is going and they want to know exactly what they need to do to get there. Millennials can be therefore said to be the most connected generation and will network right out of their current workplace if these needs are not met. Computer savvy, Millennials are connected all over the world by the internet through email, instant messages, and the social media.
However, hiring young talent just out of college is challenging some established practices of management and changing today’s corporate culture. With differing age groups and perspectives, human resource managers are faced with a wide range of challenges. In order to deal with these Millennials, we must first go through the list of the usual issues associated with them. First is their loyalty to the company. Newer, younger employees are less committed to staying with the same company usually because of loyalty problems, better opportunities elsewhere, or just because they get bored easily with their jobs. These young professionals might be offered more money but even if they like working with the company, these factors sometimes are not even enough to stop them from leaving due to their innate restlessness. Second is their career advancement expectations. Being used to fast-paced lives coupled with a shorter attention span, younger employees expect promotions much faster than previous generations. Obviously, this attitude from these hard charging youth who aim to supplant the longer tenured employees, who have deeply rooted social and corporate norms and are normally averse to change, is a big problem in the workplace. Also, if young employees have not had the time to learn management skills, they may rise up to a management position without having any experience and wisdom for the job. Lastly, their work attitude and ethics. Generation Y has deferring attitudes towards work that oftentimes clash with the traditional, “9 to 6” schedule. These millennials are “output-oriented” and place much emphasis not on how and when the work gets done as long as the work gets done.
In order to manage these millennials, the first thing to do is to have a conscious effort to understand them. It’s particularly important to understand them in order to address the generational differences and tensions that might arise in the workplace. You may use metrics and benchmarking to segment your workforce in order to understand what millennials want in your particular company and how these desires might be different from older workers. It is also advisable to get the “deal” or offers with the millennials right in the beginning. It’s imperative for employers to clearly explain what they are offering a potential employee as well as what they expect in return. To do that, creative thinking regarding reward strategies and appropriate millennial motivation will be needed. Employers also need to take steps to make these young professionals grow by understanding their professional and personal goals in life. If experience and variety are important to them, put them on special rotational assignments more frequently to give them a sense that they are moving toward something and gaining a variety of experiences. Always challenge them to come up with new ways to streamline processes and to exercise creativity. Since these millennials generally love to travel, less desirable work locations even could be offered and packaged as important career path milestones. Every opportunity should also be taken to mix teams generationally. Another factor to address is their desire for recognition so let them know how they’re doing because millennials want and value frequent feedback. Unlike the usual practice where people received annual reviews only, millennials want to know how they’re doing much more regularly. Therefore, it would be appreciated if the company can give them honest feedback in real time while highlighting positive contributions or improvements on key competencies. Also, give them some slack with how they do their work since millennials value flexibility. They work well with clear instructions and concrete targets. Just set deadlines and if they meet them, don’t worry so much about their tactics and the time they clock in and out. Lastly, let them learn. Millennials want to experience as much training as possible so you need to build and measure the effectiveness of mentoring programmes alongside other learning and education strategies.