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Mobile Millennial Management: Getting the Most Out of Generation Y

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Millennial body image

Technology and the way we work are forcing a rapid evolution in business practices. Today’s workforce is now powered by those born between 1980 and 2000, aka, the Millennials, more so than Generation X and their predecessors, the Baby Boomers.

Also known as Generation Y, the Millennials now account for a quarter of the US workforce, and will account for half the global workforce by 2020, according to PWC research.

This is inconvenient to the prejudicial view that associates the 18-35-year-old demographic as a bunch of job-hopping hipsters who work to live, rather than the other way around.

Although this is simply a stereotype for the majority, Millennials were born into a digital or digitising world, and this predisposes them to working styles that can present challenges for managers. The following guidelines can help empower the young ones at work, so that everybody benefits.

1.   Get more tech

According to one report, most (78 per cent) of GenY feel that access to the technology they like increases their efficacy at work, while 41 per cent favour electronic communication, as opposed to interacting in real-time, face-to-face. Of a more pressing concern, nearly half (44 per cent) of Millennials claim they would leave their jobs within two years if they had the chance.

Employers don’t embrace technologies such as cloud-based platforms, which enable workers to be more efficient in how and when they work, say over a third of Millennials.

Enabling workers to collaborate through cloud-based content creation means your staff can access work tools as long as they have an internet connection. This is essential for remote working which is almost considered a birth-right for Gen-Y, for whom strict workplace rules can seem antiquated.

A survey conducted by EY’s Global Generation Research continues to illustrate that Millennials want more flexibility in how, when and where they work.

By introducing a better work-life balance, your younger employees will see job satisfaction and productivity levels increase considerably.

Motivate through a different approach

Two of the more positive attributes commonly associated with Millennials, are the creative instinct together with a desire to know that they are doing an important job competently.

According to Jeremy Kingsley, leadership expert and author of Inspired People Produce Results, this generation responds well to being encouraged and immediate feedback. “People need to know they’re being noticed,” Kingsley says.

This may not be a revelatory concept, but managers should be aware that Millennials communicate differently to previous generations. Reach the younger element where they pass most of their time – on their smartphones or other mobile devices. Work-based collaboration apps such as Slack or Trello are fantastic for this.

Offering regular feedback should be part of a supportive culture that rewards hard work. However, as this is administered, make sure to prioritise equality. Managers should go to lengths to make sure that their behaviour is not perceived as prejudicial or biased toward or against an individual or group of people.

Another key motivator for Millennials, is the opportunity to give back. Almost 70 per cent of the demographic cite being civically engaged as a top priority. With this in mind, introducing work initiatives that support a broader ethical cause can often increase job appeal and motivation as much as a pay rise.

2.   Understand the bigger picture

Born into an era in which concepts of cultural inclusivity are firmly established as mainstream, Millennials are more naturally enlightened than most when it comes to being open to working with diverse groups of people.

Bosses should leverage this awareness as they aim to integrate Millennials into today’s multigenerational workforces.

Working with an understanding of Millennials’ career aspirations can also galvanise their workforce presence; with student debt on the shoulders of most, it’s understandable why half of Millennials say they would consider switching jobs if it led to a pay increase of 20 per cent or below.

On the other hand, more traditional work incentives such as personal development and role advancement also play their parts. Millennials are workplace consumers who tend to think of their employment positions as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. They seek jobs that align with both present needs and life goals, while also searching for a meaningful role which makes them feel fulfilled. Organisations can act on these desires and gear themselves to making their company more appealing to such job candidates.

Final notes

Managing Millennials can be a difficult task, but investing time in communication and creating work relationships will keep them committed and engaged within the business.

You may be surprised by how creative and determined this generation tend to be; beneath the digital sheen, they are more similar to other generations than you might think.

 

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Tags: Business, Digital Transformation