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Millennials in the Workplace.

A key challenge every business faces globally is how to manage Millennials. So what defines this so called Millennial generation and why are they seemingly the bane of every Business Owners existence?

The term Millennials refers to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. Also referred to as Gen Y’s or Net Generations or even Generation NOWs! To be exact people born between 1982 and 2004 are often referred to as Millennials but there is much contention about the actual age of this generation.

What is so different about these Millennials?

Millennials are often referred to as “Generation Me.  Essentially, Millennials have grown up in the best economic times in Australian history, are therefor they are accustomed to economic security, and have high expectations. They are also the first generation born into the digital era and this may explain their addiction to technology and social media. Millennials are the most ethnically diverse generation and this would explain why they are the most tolerant of managing and accepting differences. Essentially they are most planned-for, materially endowed, educated and technologically centered generation to date. This generation has and will continue to be shaped by a world of technology and consumerism.

Millennials are said to have been raised around the mantra “follow your dreams”, often being told they are “special” which has seen them being a lot more confident than other generations.  Whilst confidence can be seen as a positive trait, the Millennials are often seen as being narcissistic, with an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Millennials regularly enter adulthood with unrealistic expectations, which sometimes leads to disappointment. Many early Millennials finish high school or university with unrealistic expectations of job prospects leading to depression and shattered career dreams. Job hopping is common with Millennials as they continually seek greener pastures and have no qualms about leaving a job without having one to go to.

Millennials at a snapshot…

VALUES ATTITUDES
  Fun and enjoyment

Tolerance of diversity

Social awareness

Friendship

Meaning and purpose

Connection

  Outcomes not processes

Enjoy the now

Sexuality is an open fluid thing

Organise work around life

Why should I have to work my way to the      top? Want it NOW! Entitled.

Regarding respecting elders: Whatever,  prove it!

LIFESTYLE PERSONALITY
  Short term not long term

Enjoyment before commitment

Have limited or no savings

75% are in debt

Over half are still in parental home

Lifestyle not life stage

Juggling hectic work and social life

Friends are the new family

  Confident

Cynical

Assertive

High maintenance / needy

Demanding

Sociable

Optimistic

Values driven


Managing Millennials

  • *Although Millennials are accused of being spoiled by caring, but sometimes over protective parents, they are poised to contribute significant value to any organisation.
  • They are better skilled in technology and in traversing the Web than any other generation so play to their strengths.
  • Because of their youth and the way they were raised, they may need instruction and coaching on taking responsibility beyond their specific job descriptions. In other words chunk down into clear tasks and give praise along the way!
  • More than anything, they will do best when they feel connected to the people who manage and work with them. They like work in a positive team culture.
  • Millennials grew up with parents who spent time communicating with them, who praised them for even the smallest victories, who asked for their opinions when they were children, and who devoted time to making life fun. They expect similar services from their bosses. Good luck with that!
  • You don’t have to coddle Millennials, but you do have to understand what they need from you to succeed. Get in the habit of checking in with them daily, offering praise when it is deserved and corrective feedback when it is needed. They want a lot of positive.
  • Be specific about jobs and expectations. Break it down.
  • Offer flexibility in when and how they work, as long as they perform.
  • Have some fun, managers and employees of all generations can benefit from that

*(Source Johnson & Johnson 2010, p. 126 & 141)

If you would like more information go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU

Written by Head Guru Emily Jaksch

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