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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Must-read! A handy guide to working with millennials

Must-read! A handy guide to working with millennials

October 19, 2018 10:39 IST

The age of buying into ideologies just because they sound nice is long gone says Piyush Kedia.

Working with millennials?

Are you an adrenaline-filled company that’s 'young', 'disruptive' and 'innovative?'

Then you're not only serving the millennial class, but you're also most likely hiring from that same generation.

Our 45-member-team is made up of millennials, through and through. They're a teamwork-friendly tribe who blend amazingly with diverse coworkers and make friends at their workplace.

As a 26-year old founder, here are my learnings about how to build, retain and scale a millennial team.

They’re high performing.

They have a can-do-outlook towards their work.

They seek feedback on their progress regularly -- often weekly and monthly.

They don't hesitate to learn new skills are used to doing a variety of tasks, with an attitude of accomplishing each of them.

They are positive and ready to take the world by storm. India has 400 million millennials contributing to 70 percent of the total household income.

If you are building a millennial workforce, know these learnings. They matter to your millennial workforce.

The Dos

Fire away pretense

The age of buying into ideologies just because they sound nice is long gone.

If they feel the task or ideology isn’t genuine or is more of propaganda, they just won't do it. They constantly seek challenges and hate boredom.

Allow and appreciate escape 

Millennials appreciate the acknowledgement.

The greatest way to acknowledge their hard work is presenting them with the release -- give them the Xboxes, TT tables, beer pongs session they think they deserve.

The importance of this cannot be stated enough.

They want to enjoy their work and workplace.

They want to make friends with their colleagues.

If your team members aren’t laughing enough, going out for lunch or helping plan the next company event -- then it's a worry.

Equally, encourage your older team-members to make room for the millennials.

Remove the banal irregularities

The drudgery of everyday life gets very easily to the mollycoddled psyche of the millennial.

Do not impose unnecessary routines such as handshakes, prayer session, war cries or any of those cookie-cutter tactics they teach you at corporate workshops.

Take advantage of the millennial workforce's comfort with social media 

The life of a millennial revolves around social media.

From Instagram stories to voicing their opinions on LinkedIn and creating their thought leadership encourage them to share their work on social media.

This creates fodder for the internal branding of your company and allows you to gain attention in their network.

Encourage expression

This generation has a lot of opinions and even more ways of expressing those opinions.

From hard line political inclinations to tastes in sock-subscription services, there's something that everyone wants the world to know about.

So let the destination-less streams of debate, dialogue, and dissent flow, don't fight them.

Implement flexible workhours

In the creative industry, we come across so many people whose productivity is the highest at night. Why make them start working at 9 am?

Why wouldn’t you let them take a longer work-break to catch up with a friend over lunch?

Flexible work hours allow people to maintain better relationships socially, and with their work.

This directly affects the quality of work they achieve, positively.

Let your team focus on the quality of work instead of on the number of hours they spend in the office.

The Don’ts

Micromanage

Millennials have an entrepreneurial mindset.

They appreciate their space more because they don’t consider themselves to be a part of a workforce but a galvanised community where their specialization is appreciated.

Present them with the expected results and let them manage their time and actions.

Hold them back if they want to leave

Today, the churn rates are higher than ever. This is because the millennial generation gets easily bored with a job or a monotonous routine.

This reason being people are more connected and ‘Integrated’ than ever.

They will network with other companies right from their current workplace if their needs are not met.

The career-hackers are connected with the world over social media, internet, emails and instant messages.

Job searching and looking for freelance opportunities is just a couple of keys away.

You can’t impose loyalty; you can only hope to cultivate it.

If your notice periods are long, you might want to reduce them, or at least make them freely negotiable.

Delay compensation

This might seem a little out of place and even obvious but considering most millennials are absolutely awful at saving, a securely regular cash flow goes a long way in being the unsung hero.

Call when you can WhatsApp

With a wide range of companies opening up to letting their staff work remotely, a growing majority of millennials will agree to this.

The major advantage of attracting and retaining talented people is that it helps us discover industry breakthroughs because of how invested everybody is in the common cause.

What motivates millennials outside of the compensation is an important factor in determining why they would work and for how long.

Providing regular feedback, a flexible atmosphere and upskilling opportunities are vital in keeping them engaged.

For business owners and managers, it is equally important to understand that not all the young team members have similar motivation drivers.

In conclusion, technology is no more a mere distraction for your team members.

Being digital natives, millennials have witnessed the drastic changes brought about by the technology and are applying technology as an integral part of their work.

 Lead image -- a still from Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year -- published for representational purposes only.

Piyush Kedia