Managing The Millennials


By 2015, 75% of the world’s employees will be the Millennial Generation or Generation Y (those born between 1980 and 2000), and will dominate the workforce for at least the next 40 years.

Supporting and retaining these young employees who are dynamic, high-energy, innovative, tech savvy, and live at the node of a cloud, requires a new way of doing business.

Here are seven strategies to restructure the workplace to better adapt to the realities of the millennials:

1- Provide prompt feedback on their performance instead of waiting for the traditional semi-annual reviews. The timing (without delay), frequency (often) and the mode of delivery (clear and specific) will motivate millennials.

2- Do not attempt to micro-manage millennials. They are result-oriented and work best when given projects with specific guidelines and deadlines, without close supervision.

3- Invite them to offer their own ideas on how things can be done differently to achieve better results, and try to implement as many of their ideas as possible.

4- Do not implement strict work schedules; most millennials want flexible work hours and if there is no compelling assignment that requires them to be physically present in the office, let them work from wherever they choose.

5- Engage in CSR activities; this is a generation that is involved in welfare causes outside of work. They want to work for a business with ethical practices, so support the causes that are important to them.

6- Flatten organisations and build ‘corporate lattices’ instead of corporate ladders. Millennials get bored easily and prefer new jobs and assignments every 12-24 months; they expect to be in a management position within two years and are not willing to wait three to five years for a promotion.

7- Millennials want their supervisors to be coaches rather than instructors, which is in conflict with the management philosophy of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, in which managers see their role as one associated with power and position.

– Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting,Training, e-Learning.
First published in the Career Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on July 13, 2014.

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