Over the years, employers have understood that there are several employee engagements and retention issues in the organization. Various employers have created engagement policies for all the employees in the organization, and have failed to discriminate the engagement policies between the different generations of employees. At the moment, the workforce is being filled up by the generation Y or the millennials.
The millennials include a group of people who were born between 1982 and 2000. As the millennials grow into the workforce, it is important for managers to come up with new engagement models that take into account the needs of the millennials and the baby boomers. In this article, the manager is called to attention by issues and characteristics that explain the differences between the baby boomers and the millennials, and why the nature of engagement should be different between the two.
The largest generation of workers at the moment is made up of the baby boomers. The baby boomers are known for their organizational memory, willingness to work long hours and optimism while at their job station. They have been raised through organizations with high hierarchies and not flat models of management.
The outlook is different when it comes to the millennials and the experience they expect from their employment. The millennials are skilled in the technological application, have a good education, self-confident, have plenty of energy, and can carry out multiple tasks. The millennials prefer to work in groups and teams, while they hold high expectations at the personal level. As much as they seek to find new challenges, they are also concerned with finding that balance between work and life. They understand that their desire for quick advancement, need for social interaction and the immediate result are factors that make them appear weak in front of the older generation.
The largest age group that has emerged since the baby boomers is the millennials. The millennials are growing significantly in the workforce, and they will make a hugely significant portion of the workforce in the next couple of years. The changes mean that managers will have to alter the nature of engagement policies that they have in the organization to accommodate the needs of the millennials which are different from those of the baby boomers. The main managerial priorities will not change significantly, but the managers will have to change and carefully consider the strategies that will be important and valuable in retaining the millennials.
The millennials are transforming how work is done; they work in groups and rely on technology more than the baby boomers. The social mindset of the millennials is a significant factor in the organization. The millennials are not only masters of the digital mode of communication, they believe in being socially active and returning to the community through civic engagement. The social nature of millennials has given them the desire to be creative as they rely on the information that is instantly available. Answers to complicated questions are easily found through simple Google searches. The environment full of information means that millennials want to work on tough problems that require solutions that are complex in nature.
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Several millennials believe that they have failed in their roles not because they could not handle them, but because the management failed to give them an opportunity to exercise their ideas. The millennials are complaining about the powers above not understanding that things have changed, and new models have to be developed. The millennials in the workplace are concerned with the feedback that they receive from their employers regarding their performance. The traditional reviews that are carried out semi-annually are insufficient for the millennials. They are concerned with understanding what they have done right and wrong, and whether there are changes that they can make in any case they have not performed well.
Different articles have been written which highlight the different areas that are important in giving millennials the feedback that they desire. The millennials usually wish to get a checklist, get plenty of help, and get the reward for being innovative, taking a proper risk and getting frequent feedback. The feedback should be given in a way that the millennials are receptive.
It is not only important to look at the frequency and timing of the feedback, but it is also important to look at the format in which the feedback is framed and delivered. In the mind of a Millennial, it is useless to say ‘good job’ one thousand times and fail to offer advice on how best the job can be done when there is an instance of a mistake. The accolades are overshadowed in the mind of the employee by the criticism received without proper direction on how changes can be made to improve how the job is done. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, it has to be structured in a way that does not allow for any form of misunderstanding. Feedback will only be effective if it is clear and specific. Creation of strategies for engagement is one of the biggest tasks of the manager. Managers who have created successful strategies in the past have to rethink and come up with new models that can suit the needs of the millennials.