How to deal with challenges in managing millennial workforce - Hindustan Times
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How to deal with challenges in managing millennial workforce

ByShubika Bilkha
Oct 15, 2019 06:30 PM IST

The growing frustration across organizations and leaders who we meet is not being able to effectively manage their millennial and GenZ workforce.

The growing frustration across organizations and leaders who we meet is not being able to effectively manage their millennial and GenZ workforce. The standard list of complaints that we receive is around entitlement issues, getting easily disheartened, having unrealistic career acceleration expectations, voicing their opinions, unable to handle stress, contemptuous of authority, demonstrating low commitment, to name a few.

The growing frustration across organizations and leaders who we meet is not being able to effectively manage their millennial and GenZ workforce.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The growing frustration across organizations and leaders who we meet is not being able to effectively manage their millennial and GenZ workforce.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

 

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As organizations alter their working style, change up their workspace and become more ‘millennial friendly’ in their approach, they continue to find that their efforts to retain and motivate the younger workforce are often not as successful. Studies have in fact estimated that the average time a millennial spends in a role is now just 20 months.

With 50% of the workforce represented by millennials and the GenZ, and slated to grow to 70% in the next 5 years, managing millennials is now an organizational priority.

For the multi-generational leadership, this means altering not just the workspace and organization structure at large, but their own mindset to take a much more inside out approach to leadership.

As we work with organizations to improve the productivity, performance and retention of millennials in the workplace, we find that the focus has shifted from working on the millennial to driving a larger culture change, defining the value ethos of the organization and working with multi-generational leaders to challenge their own approach to management.

If you are a multi-generational leader or manager working with millennials and the GenZ, here are some recommendations on how you could successfully improve your working dynamics with the millennial workforce:

1.Communicate to Motivate: To successfully engage the younger workforce, it is essential that organizations and leaders improve their ongoing communication. As a generation that thrives on multi-device communication, organizations can leverage this to discuss strategies, the vision, the goal and mobilise action through constant communication. Remember to keep it easy to read and impactful in its message!

2.Make it Inclusive: Take the open office concept to the team meeting. A top down approach to authority is likely to fuel defensiveness, pushback, demotivate, disengage and drive boredom. For a generation that thrives on action and experiences, that feels passionately about social progress, flexibility and having a voice, it has become important for companies to take a more inclusive approach to decision making. Engagement of the millennial workforce in the decision process will only serve to motivate and drive commitment.

3.Be a Mentor and a Guide: With parenting styles significantly changing over the years, the demands of a leader today has shifted to being supportive, guiding and being empathetic. Build a culture of mentorship and guidance that serves as a supporting ecosystem and a space that prioritises ongoing development of the individual. Remember, while jobs have a finite timeframe, mentors are for life!

4.Focus on Projects v/s Careers: Organizations are gradually shifting away from a focus of a career employee to working on developing the project mindset with their millennial employees. Thinking of roles as projects and focusing on building a strong alumni network, will enable you to build lifelong relationships. Remember, your biggest competitor is now the gig economy!

5.Be Authentic: A recent Deloitte 2019 survey on millennials has found that they remain skeptical of an organization’s motives and believe that they focus only on their own agendas. With trust and values being key components to engaging the millennial workforce, it has become essential that leaders and organizations remain honest, open and authentic in their communication. Building a culture that supports failure and encourages vulnerability at the leadership level, will only serve to improve the trust deficit and strengthen the resolve of the millennial workforce towards the organization’s purpose.

(Author Shubika Bilkha is Partner, Edpower-U. Views expressed here are personal)

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