Is Your Organization Millennial Ready?
“The times they are a-changing”. As the inter-generational blame game thickens, and Millennials move into leadership roles, a whirlwind of opinions comparing Millennials with non-Millennials continue to surface, beckoning organizations to pay attention. The truth is the world has changed a lot, requiring a new work paradigm. Since recent reports have shown that Millennials have outpaced non-Millennials in workforce market share, it makes sense to understand this more recent generation to attract and retain talent. The time has come to examine traditional work practices and carve out a work environment that is re-shaped with readiness for emerging generations. It is time to figure out a winning pathway to bridge the gap and create a Millennial-ready organization.
6 Hallmarks of a Millennial-Ready Organizations
1. Job Flexibility
According to Adam Henderson, founder of Millennial Mindset, “If you can’t trust your employees to work flexibly, why hire them in the first place?” The widespread plea of Millennials is the need for flexible work hours and remote work; however, the traditional 9-5 within organizations is still the common work arrangement. Although most employees share the desire for flexible work scheduling, a 2016 Gallup poll revealed that Millennials are more dissatisfied with their levels of job flexibility than other older generations. In a 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 75% of Millennials expressed the need for “more opportunities to work remotely – and think this would boost their productivity”. Organizations that are serious about engaging Millennials should examine levels of flexibility that come with various positions. Millennials value work life balance and crave job flexibility to balance work and personal affairs. As most non-Millennials are on board with this thinking, previous generations will also benefit from Millennials’ drive for more job flexibility.
2. Continuous Feedback
Using year end reviews to provide performance feedback to Millennials with little or no dialogue throughout the year is unwise. Millennials are from an era of instant and constant communication and have the same expectations in the workplace. Managers will have to find the time to connect with Millennials and provide ongoing feedback. If Millennials are left on their own with little or no performance feedback, over time they become disengaged and alienated from their assigned roles and their employers.
3. Technologically Savvy
Modern technology is not just a workplace requirement for Millennials but an expectation. Since Millennials are the first in the multi-generational workforce to grow up surrounded by digital technology, they demand the flexibility and quickness of a digital workspace. They see access to technology as a means for efficiency, remote work and better work life balance. The communication framework is of absolute importance and communication tools that utilize news feeds, group chats and file sharing are among popular modern technologies. Overall, Millennials are expecting an integration of technology in work activities for creativity and increased efficiency.
4. Opportunities for Learning and Development
Millennials expect learning opportunities when they enter the workplace. Organizations that involve individualized plans in their training and development initiatives will have more successful outcomes. The NextGen Study conducted by PwC, the world’s largest professional services network, revealed that Millennials need transparency in their career development. The way forward is a career pathing agenda where Millennials are participative and connected to the mapping of their developmental activities. This shift is ultimately a winning strategy for existing and successive generations.
5. Meaningful Work
Millennials are in search of interesting work that will make full use of their skillsets. They are driven by a strong passion to make a real difference. Many Millennials enter the workplace with a level of positive energy that is sooner or later “turned down” through the restrictive scope of job roles. The 2016 Deloitte survey reported that only 28% of Millennials felt their employers were making use of their full skillset. Organizations that discover more meaningful ways to enlarge jobs, ensuring opportunities for the use of a broader range of skillsets, are better prepared to engage Millennials on a long-term basis.
6. Effective Leadership
Millennials crave leaders who will empower them and provide freedom for independent work. If organizations are to become millennial-ready, the management styles of the leaders deserve a close look. The NextGen study of PwC is calling on organizations to “Invest time, resources and energy to listen and stay connected with your people”. Millennials thrive on leadership that is caring and conversational in style.
We are living in an age where the millennial frontier has moved ahead of distant hierarchical structures, leaders will have to engender a sense of community with seamless modes of interaction that welcome all generations.
At Pesce & Associates, our consultants have years of experience in reshaping organizations to create human resources programs and policies to address generational challenges and boost engagement. For more information, please visit our website at www.pesceassociates.com, contact your Associate or Elizabeth Hill, Managing Partner, at 416-491-1501 extension 23 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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