A M A R A . A I

Creating an engagement roadmap for managing millennials in today’s workforce

The decision-makers in business displayed tactful foresight in preparing their workplaces to welcome a distinct yet sizeable class of employees called millennials. Altering the look and feel of the office, tweaking the organizational culture and introducing new methods of learning among others, were within the normative approach of getting the workplace ready for the millennial generation.

This vocal and expressive cohort made sure that they spoke their minds and explicityly acquainted themselves to their bosses.

However, the probing points are:

  • Were organizations agile enough to transform quickly?
  • Were leaders hearing and doing enough?
  • Are baby boomers and Gen Xers proactively preparing millennials for leadership roles?

Millennials have completed a decade in the workplace and the baby boomers and Gen X have not only gotten comfortable with them but are also bequeathing them with a futuristic organizational structure, robust tech infrastructure and an agile rulebook to ripen them further. Interestingly, the steps taken to engage this group today will have a far-reaching effect on business and people for a very long time.

How bosses treat millennials now will determine the kind of managers they become!

Here is a complete list of parameters that must be taken into account before designing an employee engagement practice that is pro millennials.

  • check

    Millennials prioritize ‘Purpose’ more than ‘paycheck’

Although baby boomers were also driven by purpose in the 1960s, millennials are steps ahead of them. They possibly will let go of a generous paycheck only because their purpose does not align with the organization’s goal.In other words, they are more conscious of what long term goals their daily actions convert to.

Millennials more inclined towards expending their time and energy on issues around the world and the environment often express a grudge against baby boomers for being careless about the same. In a recent survey by Korn Ferry, 63 percent of millennials—essentially workers under 35—said the primary purpose of businesses should be “improving society” instead of “generating profit."

A study from the Society for Human Resource Management tells us that 94 percent of millennials want to use their skills to benefit a cause and 57 percent wish that there were more company-wide service days.

  • check

    Career development is critical for millennials

For the longest time, HR leaders and senior management focused on the gradual and hierarchical growth of employees. However, with the spike in the number of millennials in the mid-level positions, factors like meaningful opportunities to grow and develop have become crucial to retain them in the workplace. Incidentally, millennials feel engaged and content at work when they see their organizations investing actively in their career development by offering them prospects like picking up future skills, working in cross functions and challenging projects.

According to a 2020 Deloitte study, two-thirds of millennials say their employers are supporting people’s development through training and mentorship. This figure suggests a noticeable increase from two years ago.

  • check

    Millennials expect bosses to mentor them

Millennials are often heard complaining about the education system that fell short of preparing them to take leadership positions at work. To that end, millennials expect bosses to not only fill that gap but also help them take-on their leadership course.

But managers who believe in autocratic leadership naturally fail to influence this free-willed and questioning generation. They need leaders who believe in them, provide them with enough and more stimulation to be able to think, innovate, and learn by making mistakes.

  • check

    Millennials need continuous review for their work

This tech savvy generation adores instant gratification, thus annual performance reviews fail to motivate them. They look forward to honest and upright feedback from their managers throughout the year. Constant access to information is the second nature of millennials who grew amidst the evolution of social media, Netflix and Google. Therefore feedbacks coming after months-long waiting will not excite them who craves for regular conversations with managers more than reviews.

  • check

    Technology adeptness is a must for millennials

Millennials accredited of playing a key role in upgrading technology and transforming culture withing their organizations are ready to take transformations ahead. Using technology comes naturally to them and they like to rely more on advanced digital tools to solve complex problems at work. Millennials are determined to help in the development of future technologies, willing to take risks and innovate for future.

  • check

    Progressive stand on diversity and inclusion

According to a Deloitte 2020 study, “Millennials who feel their employers are creating diverse and inclusive work environments inched up three percentage points from last year to 71 percent”

Millennials are keen to work for employers who actively pursue diversity and inclusion agenda in their organizations. However, they want to see it implemented through actions and a changed mindset in all aspects of the organizations and not remain a tick-box activity. They are more interested in the evolution of their organization’s culture concerning giving equal opportunities to all workers. In short, they see diversity and inclusion as an amalgamating of varying experiences, different backgrounds, and multiple perspectives.

Final points

Engaging this highly visible cohort in today’s workplace is an integration of all the above points. The recent statistics on millennial engagement and retention tell us that employers are meeting the needs of this resilient generation. The Deloitte study reveals that millennials are now interested in working for the same employer for more than 5 years or more. Those who would leave in two years or less dropped from 49 percent to 31 percent, while those who’d prefer to stay long-term jumped from 28 percent to 35 percent.

Organizations not only acknowledge the construct of millennial mindsets but are also making great headway in modifying their culture into more equal and growth-oriented. This has provided a positive impetus to millennials who are now rooting themselves deeper into their companies and taking greater responsibility for business success.

See Amara in Action

Go conversational, get more real time responses.