The Millenials: What They Bring to the Workforce
Dealing with the latest generation to enter the ranks of the working class - the Millenials as they are known - calls for unconventional methods of management. Learn more about what the millenials bring to the workplace and how you can best mentor them.
But having had adoring Baby Boomers as parents, millenials are not exactly your average, run-of-the-mill hires. As a matter of fact, more than few things have been said about this generation's "i-come-first" attitude, their attachment to social networking and the different consumer electronics gadgets that allow them to stay connected, and their constant need for feedback and change.
Looking at these attributes, a Generation Y'er can either be seen as a welcome addition to any team, or pegged as a non-conformist, constantly challenging the traditional practices in the workplace. But however they are regarded, one thing remains: millenials are a handful to manage. For any manager preparing to welcome millenial employees, here are some challenges that you should be ready for:
Lack of commitment to an organization
As opposed to the baby boomer parents who viewed their dissatisfaction with management as just being "part of the job," remaining loyal to the company no matter what, Gen Y workers have no qualms moving from one job to another. The move could be out of their desire to find better opportunities, or simply because of boredom. But what's clear is that loyalty is not one of the stronger traits of the millenial employee. Their lack of commitment to any organization is such that even if they were offered higher pay or more ideal working conditions, they would still move on if they felt like it.
Desire for quick career advancement
While millenials often don't see themselves sticking it out with a company for the long haul, this doesn't stop them from aspiring to climb up that proverbial corporate ladder - and fast. Equipped with their confidence and university diplomas, millenials do manage to advance themselves quite fast but the problem is that they may lack the management skills required for higher positions. Plus, they are bound to clash with the more tenured senior employees who are adamant about sticking to the usual workplace norms.
Seeming deficiency in communication skills
This latest batch of workers are often berated for their reported lack of communication skills. This is largely attributed to the millenial's mastery of text messaging which utilizes abbreviated words, and over fondness for social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter which encourages informal communication among peers. Unfortunately, such and unprofessional communication methods are sometimes manifested even in their dealings in the workplace.
Unconventional work habits and attitudes
Generation Y'ers are also not keen about sticking to the usual 9 to 5 desk job, and as such, would thrive better with less traditional work schedules. While they do value structure, they thrive best in a creative work environment that doesn't put too much emphasis on when and how a job is done, but only that it gets done. And with their adeptness for anything electronic, they would like to see automated systems and the general use of technology in the workplace to get things done faster.
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