Millennials bring with them to the workplace high accomplishments and even higher expectations as they are well educated, skilled in technology, and self-confident. This generation expects to do well in their chosen career path/s, and they expect to be appreciated for their efforts.
They also bring a new style and perspective to the workforce, and, unless organizations adapt, they risk losing billions to unwanted turnover and lost productivity. Only those companies and organizations that live up to their expectations will have a shot at getting and retaining the best and brightest.
So, how can companies respond more effectively to this generation?
Millennials look for companies that truly take an interest in their employees; as this generation is hungry for mentoring and coaching. They respond readily to spontaneous feedback as it helps them to know what they’re doing right and how to make corrections and improve. It is important to them that a company creates ways for them to use their talents and skills, and provides them with the resources to do so.
So, what are some of the skills that characterise this generation?
Skill 1: skilled at collaboration and embrace diversity
Make work spaces conducive to collaboration and energized to appeal to these younger workers. Millennials, who have grown up being part of a team, accept that differences contribute to team synergy and innovation. They celebrate the wisdom and contribution of diverse views and voices. As such, they expect to be involved in team discussions. Make sure that older team members are comfortable about this generation offering suggestions and challenging existing ideas or practices.
Skill 2: they are tech-savvy
Technology has been ever-present for Millennials, so they expect it in the workplace too. Since technology is constantly evolving, it means that Millennials have learned how to adapt to change more readily than other generations, who may prefer to stick to what they know. Tap into this ability and encourage them to advance technology in the workplace.
Skill 3: they are ambitious and want to grow and develop at work
The key to harnessing their energy and enthusiasm and managing Millennials’ aspirations, is to provide constant feedback and appreciation for a job well done. They want to know that their success and progress are directly related to their efforts. Therefore, it is important to appreciate their efforts and make time for informal coaching conversations about their progress.
Skill 4: They are flexible and skilled at multi-tasking
Millennials embrace change as they are used to working quickly and under pressure. Having grown up as notable multitaskers, they view change as a challenge which is an effective way to motivate them.
Flexibility is another critical factor to consider - whilst lacking in actual work experience, they bring a pair of fresh eyes and clear thinking. They could well discover some new ways to do things that are ultimately more productive and successful.
Skill 5: they are socially aware
Millennials also look for global awareness and greater purpose in the workplace. Your organization’s social responsibility profile tells them something about the organization’s values. This generation of workers wants to be part of a company at which both competitive vision and social compass are aligned, and where they can be involved in the broader community.
As an employer of the Millennial generation, consider:
Do you have work rules that are outdated? Are there characteristics of your culture that stifle new thinking? Are you and your employees open to suggestion, or are you more set in your ways?
This generation will force organizations to take their leadership skills to a new level as they are looking for true leadership and for employment opportunities that allow them to leverage these skills.