Inspiring Millennial Generation : Finding the right candidate for the role is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do, especially now that a third of the global workforce are millennials – a generation that receives a lot of negative press and is, after all, not a group of employees. You have. want at work.
Words that are synonymous with entitled group, unfocused, narcissistic, lazy, selfish – among a myriad of other words that have negative connotations.
But what has spawned the rightful generation (insert another negative word here)? Or what caused such a reaction in them?
In a popular viral video, motivational speaker and marketing consultant Simon Sinek gives four reasons why this happened and relates them to why it is now causing problems in the workplace. He attributes it to PARENTING.
Sinek claims that millennials have been the target of failed parenting strategies, stemming from being ridiculed in scenarios such as where children have received participation medals when they were last in line, or received top marks in school for work because of the persistence of parents. This then causes problems in the workplace as the parents are not there to secure the promotion for their child.
According to Sinek, technology is a problem for millennials because of engagement on social media. He states that millennials are constantly engaged with social media because of addiction – when a person receives ‘likes’ for statuses, pictures etc, or receives messages, dopamine is released from the hypothalamus in the brain, the same chemical. released when a person smokes, drinks, or gambles.
Sinek says technology is being used to deal with stress, such as alcoholics who depend on alcohol, and has prevented millennials from developing meaningful relationships, as they will turn to technology as opposed to friends.
Sinek also stated that millennials are impatient – this is because of the instant gratification of being able to buy something directly from a website like Amazon, or watch a movie instantly through a channel like Netflix. Sinek comments that this instant gratification has followed millennials into the workplace, causing them to expect their work to create an immediate impact, leading to an immediate promotion.
When this does not happen, millennials will leave the workplace, resulting in a job hopping culture.
Sinek concludes by stating that issues around parenting, technology, and impatience have been sustained as a result of the millennial environment. The corporate environment doesn’t help millennials, because there’s a greater focus on numbers than people; Therefore, they have not developed the necessary skills to give them fulfillment from working towards something, so Sinek says that generations need to be helped in the corporate environment.
But who are the millennials behind the accusations? Much confusion has arisen over the definition of this generation, as societal changes and disruptions mean that history cannot be clearly organized into neat labels. In fact, the only generation officially designated according to the U.S. Census Bureau is the baby boomer generation, because the beginning of this generation is an obvious event – after World War II.
More recently Pew Research has ‘defined’ millennials as people born between 1981 and 1996 who were shaped by events like 9/11 (although different sources suggest that millennials could be born in the early 1980s and as late as the 2020s).
Confusion about generations also occurs, erroneously, as people perceive this generation’s characteristics only as young adults but, at the time of writing, the oldest generation is 36 years old.
All that said, there’s no doubt that influences like technology play a bigger role in the lives of millennials than baby boomers and this, of course, shapes a person (perhaps not every person born between January 1, 1981 and December 31, 1996). Sinek’s work also has valid points about the use of technology and how face-to-face communication is diminishing and how it can lead to impatience.
So does this mean when recruiting people, millennials need to be avoided, or given a special environment as Sinek suggests? Probably not, but there are common sense practices that can be implemented, and ones that are encouraged at Benchmark International, that every employee will appreciate.
BE A LEADER, NOT A MANAGER
This is important from Sinek’s point of view, as millennials are used to constant feedback and want to be mentored and coached. Millennials, on the other hand, are, as the youngest members in the office, the least experienced team members who need training, as are the inexperienced staff members. Either way, an employee can be empowered with training, which leads to them making decisions at work.
USE EMPLOYEE SKILLS
As technology plays a huge role in today’s world, technology should not be seen as a problem, but rather a solution. If millennials (or any employee) are au fait with electronic literacy then this can be leveraged, especially in an increasingly globalized world, as it helps employees on business trips stay connected, or even facilitates communication with international offices.
CAREER SECURITY OFFER
Yes, millennials are accused of changing jobs too often, but apparently this is only because of age, because the previous generation, Gen X, has been shown to make job jumps at the same age. However, this can be prevented if it is proven that staying in the company leads to career advancement, in the sense of promotion or building a portfolio of skills and experience, instilling a sense of loyalty in employees.
People are increasingly looking for flexible work and may be looking outside the offices of the 9-5 regime, Monday through Friday. Leveraging advances in technology to make this possible, it allows employees to work outside of traditional office settings.
ENCOURAGE POSITIVE IDEA AND ATTITUDE
According to Sinek, millennials have a mantra that they can do anything because their parents say they can. To inspire at work, encourage this mantra as it has the potential to generate good input and ideas.
In short, the millennial generation stereotype cannot be completely followed, because despite the limitations set by Pew Research, the agency’s goal is to see how maturity during certain historical events and technological changes affect people. – not to make broad generalizations like Sinek has done, especially since this perpetuation of the negatives of millennials would make watches uncomfortable when it comes to culture, race or gender.
Nevertheless, the points above regarding workplace practices are noteworthy to help promote a happy workplace, millennial or not.