Whether millennials are entirely different to previous generations is immaterial in many ways. The demographic challenge means that businesses need to deal with the problem in front of them - that is, to ensure they understand the millennial generation and are acting to attract and inspire the best of them. Business leaders need to work together with HR specialists to understand this generation well. One of the significant changes should be using all available tools to segment your workforce in order to understand what millennials want and how these desires might be different from older generations' workers because that is simply driving your business results. How can you do it right?
It's important for employers to explain what they are offering to a potential employee, but also what they expect in the return. Think creatively about reward strategies and what motivates millennials. For example, it's time to shift focus from cash bonuses to other things. And remember, the vast majority were attracted to the prospect of customising their benefits. There is also significant gap between perception and reality when it comes to the promises made by employers on diversity and work/life balance. If employers want to continue to attract millennials, this has to be addressed - companies should review the messages they are sending out and test them against the reality of the employee experience.
Managers need to really understand the personal and professional goals of millennials. Put them on special rotational assignments more frequently to give them a sense that they are moving toward something and gaining a variety of experiences. Challenge them to come up with new ways to streamline processes and to exercise creativity. Millennials have a strong desire to work overseas and this is a rich potential resource for organisations focused on global growth. Less desirable locations could be positioned as an important career path milestone. Every opportunity should also be taken to mix teams generationally.
Millennials want and value frequent feedback. Unlike the past where people received annual reviews, millennials want to know how they're doing much more regularly. To be a great leader give honest feedback in real time - and highlight positive contributions or improvements on key competencies. Use effective feedback pattern to not demotivate them but engage. Below helpful scheme for managers and leaders how to give effective feedback.
Millennials want flexibility. They work well with clear instructions and concrete targets. If you know what you want done by when, why does it matter where and how they complete the task? Give them the freedom to have a flexible work schedule. Does it matter if they work from home or a coffee shop if that's where they are most productive? Set deadlines and if they meet them, don't worry so much about their tactics and the time they clock in and out.
Millennials want to experience as much trainings and educational solutions as possible. If your organisation is more focused on developing high potentials or more senior people, then you could risk losing future talent if you fail to engage millennials with development opportunities. Build and measure the effectiveness of mentoring programmes alongside other learning and development. Consider allocating projects to talented millennials which fall outside their day job. Let them connect, collaborate, build their networks - and most of all innovate.
Historically, career advancement was built upon seniority and time of service. Millennials don't think that way. They value results over tenure and are sometimes frustrated with the amount of time it takes to work up the career ladder. They want career advancement much quicker than older generations are accustomed to. So, for the high achievers who do show the potential to rise up the ranks quickly, why not let them? A relatively simple solution, such as adding more levels, grades or other 'badges', could be enough to meet their expectations.
Whatever the size or shape of your business we believe there are four fundamentals to talent management:
Millennials are a talented and dynamic generation, and the best of them are hard to find and even more difficult to keep. The finest of them are already in high demand and employers that meet their expectations will be able to take their pick of this generation's talent. There is a significant gap between what millennials want and expect from their employer and career and their experience of the workplace. Superficial changes that are intended to connect with younger workers, such as unconvincing social media outreach programmes, 'greenwashed' corporate values and diversity tokenism will not work. Millennials may have made some compromises during the downturn but their ambition and sense of self-worth has not diminished. Before long this generation will form the majority of the workforce and they will look for employers who are truly acting on their promises. Consider if you are ready for millennials to reshape your workplace. Those changes are closer than you can imaging so take advantage of effective training programs and let yourself to achieve long-term success by creating highly productive workforce in new shape.