Engaging Millennials in the Workplace.
By Sallina Jeffrey
Founder & CEO
WHY ARE MILLENNIALS MISUNDERSTOOD IN THE WORKPLACE?
If you think Millennials are entitled and have a poor work ethic, think again.
It is argued that Millennials (Gen Y, 25 to around 40 years) will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, whether it's 50% or 75%, Millennials will still account for a large portion of the workplace and cannot be ignored, they are challenging the status quo, and they are pushing to have a voice and flexibility in the workplace. It's essential for leaders to not jump to conclusions around "the entitled generation" and start to understand their needs and how best to engage with them in the workplace.
Some leaders believe that Millennials come to the workplace with a sense of entitlement and a poor ethic. However, research begs to differ, and it has indicated that this generation will work harder when properly engaged than any generation before them
The disconnect between generations has arisen in the past, and today, many workplace structures have been hierarchical. If you remember one thing reading this, it is this;
Hierarchy does not align with Millennials
They see no need for formality in a hierarchy; they see themselves as equal, not equally qualified, but an equal voice in the workplace. They follow leaders whom they trust and value frequent, supportive and open communication from their senior leaders, but they are not afraid to challenge senior leaders more traditional values. A lot of transactional leaders (numbers, process-driven) are put off by this as Transactional leaders lead from a "this is what needs to be done, because I have told you to do it" and are less open to new ways of doing things and yet
Millennials have lots of new ideas on how to do something, remember this is a generation that is highly educated but lack experience
Where can leaders start to leverage Millennial's intelligence and loyalty? The global workforce is experiencing a rapidly ageing workforce and is about to undergo the most significant generational shift in 60 years. Employers are struggling with approaching this and know they need to look at ways to manage the considerable loss of The Baby Boomers knowledge and transfer this so that generation X and, most importantly, Millennials can run with it and perform.
It is about getting to know someone who is not like you and adapting traditional values to have an equally rewarding relationship
Ten Facts About Millennials
1. Highly Educated - They are the most educated generation to date but lack experience.
2. Company Loyalty - Australian Millennials exhibit greater company loyalty than international counterparts; this could be due to their high educational debt and unaffordable housing. Some have debts surpassing 80K but have higher earnings potential.
3. Work/Life Balance - They value a work/life balance and don't want to work to live like their parents.
4. Supported - They will walk away from employers who silently push for them to work long hours but are not invested in them as an individual.
5. Feel Valued - They want to work for organisations that value them enough to provide choice, flexibility and opportunities for learning, growth and career progression.
6. Purpose - When looking to start or stay at an organisation, they look at the aligned purpose, organisational culture, contribution, and effort.
7. Growth - They want to feel challenged and aspire to the responsibility their level of education implies and have a hunger for insight and experience, not necessarily concerned with the specific employer.
8. Culture - A global Deloitte survey revealed that 87% of Millennials analyse the company's culture, not its financial performance, which pushes companies to build better cultures.
9. Impact - Millennials seek to be a part of something bigger. An eagerness to make an impact can unlock their innovative zeal.
10. Authentically Care - They want their leader to care about them and what their career goals are.
The crucial difference is that Millennials have been brought up to expect more of an alignment between who they are and what they do;
They stand up for what they believe in and stand by their values
Personally, I think this is a positive shift in society; more people should live aligned with their values and beliefs. So, what the research is saying here is they won't conform, and if they appear to be conforming, they are most likely looking for a new role. Companies can really engage millennials better by managing their expectations, offering a flexible workplace, values them, provides them with purpose, puts people before profit, and truly cares about making a positive impact in the world.
Companies that understand the Millennial generation are forging ahead compared to companies struggling to adapt or stay rigid in traditional values.
Engaging a Mentor or Introducing a mentoring programe into the workplace can provide Millennials with a feeling of being seen and valued. It provides a platform for continual feedback and positive re-enforcement, boasting inclusion, engagement, and accelerating their growth. The Mentoring Movements Mentoring Programs are easy to set up, secure, engaging, and a proven global mentoring platform. If you would like to find out more about our Mentoring Programs for organisations; email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sallina is the founder of The Mentoring Movement (TMM), which provides a cloud-based mentoring platform to empower organisations to manage mentoring relationships effectively and efficiently. Mentoring can transform organisations through empowering individuals to be fully in control and immersed in their career goals and aspirations through personalised, structured and result-oriented experiences.
TMM evolved from Sallina, identifying that organisations struggled to improve engagement and their overall culture; they find it challenging to execute and successfully manage and measure their mentoring programs; TMM provides a solution to this challenge and is a key tool to improve organisational cultures overall.
Sallina has over 20 years of industry and leadership experience, has studied business and leadership throughout her career, is extremely passionate about improving the daily work lives of individuals to drive change in the workplace and contribute to an overall positive social impact on the world.
Sallina is also studying at the Australian Institute of Business for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to ensure she is equipped to help others at the highest level.
(Haworth Report 2017)