Millennial is a term that is frequently used to define a person who has reached adulthood in the early 21st century. People who are born between 1980 and 2000 are considered to be a part of this group of people. However, there is a lot of contradictory information regarding the period that is covered to group millennial’s.

Millennial’s – who exactly are they?

Many authors, publications and researchers consider those people with the birth year as the 1970’s to early 90’s as millennial’s, while some use up to 2004 as the ending birth year. The earliest use of the phrase dates back to the time when it was used to define those individuals who graduated from high school in 2000. There are several views and conflicting opinions regarding the start and end of birth years, however, a common consensus remains where people who are born in the 1980’s and have come of age in 2000 are considered millennial’s.

Like any other cultural generation, millennial’s belong to the same age group and share similar attitudes, problems and ideas. Ideally, millennial’s should have been referred to as Generation Y, since the generation before them was called Generation X. To further delve into the generation phenomenon, millennial’s are considered as Echo Boomers since there was a major spike in the birth rates in the 1980’s and 1990’s and they are the children of Baby Boomers. Media, digital technology and communications tools and devices are some of the things that the millennial’s are most familiar with.

Characteristics of millennial’s

In recent years, several studies have been conducted to study the behavior and traits of millennial’s and they have been classified in several ways. Many positive and negative aspects have been attributed to them based on their views and overall conduct.

A story published in Time magazine in May 2013, says, “They’re narcissistic. They’re lazy. They’re coddled. They’re even a bit delusional”. Millennial’s have also been described as overly ambitious as they tend to switch jobs quickly. They are also considered lazy, materialistic and someone who always thinks of themselves without considering the needs of others. However, on the flip side, they are also considered very liberal, open-minded, confident, thoughtful and open to new ideas and thoughts.

Millennial’s workforce statistics

According to Deloitte’s eighth annual millennial survey, the Indian millennial’s and Generation Z are considered very optimistic as compared to their global counterparts. The survey, conducted in 2019, was based on the views of 13,416 millennia’ls from 42 countries and 3009 Gen Zs from 10 different countries. 300 Indians each in the millennial’s and the Generation Z category were a part of the sample size.

There are many bright aspects that have come out of the survey which explain what millennial workers want:

  • Out of all the 40 countries that participated in the survey, Indian millennial’s and Generation Z have the second most optimistic outlook.
  • Aside from traditional ambitions like home ownership and better jobs and salaries, they are more concerned about making an impact on society through their work.
  • Millennial’s and Generation Z are confident about facing work-related challenges in the future, but also think that Industry 4.0 will make it difficult for them to get and switch jobs.
  • Millennial’s believe that some of the most pressing issues plaguing the world today will be solved by businesses.
  • They are wary of online frauds and data security and also believe that social media is doing more harm than good.
  • They are also very optimistic about politics, environment, socio-economics, and personal issues.

When it comes to social media, 84% of them believe that their physical health could improve if they concentrate on other things. 81% responded saying that their happiness levels will go up with reduced time spent on social media, while 72% of them were concerned that their anxiety levels will go up if they don’t check their social media profiles for a day or two.

How millennial’s perceive work

Millennial’s are quickly making up the largest segment of the workforce and in many ways redefining the overall workforce segment. This means that their needs and desires cannot be compromised and managing and motivating millennial’s are very important. Depending on the culture in which they grew up, millennial’s have several work-related characteristics that are listed below.

Millennial’s love technology

Having grown up in the era of the technology boom, millennial’s are glued to the technology of all sorts and use it effectively at their workplaces. Be it their smartphones, laptops or any other latest gadget, you name it and they have it. Communicating with them is very easier as they are online for the most part of the day and make good use of the Internet to stay connected with the world. Surviving without the Internet or social media even for one single day is a tough proposition for them.

Millennial’s love the work-life balance

Unlike the baby-boomers, who are always willing to go the last mile when it comes to working, millennials, in contrast, care for a proper work-life balance. This is partly to blame their hectic lifestyle that further gets compounded due to the growing influence of technology in their lives. To get flexible schedules, a better work-life balance and reduced work hours, they are ready to take a lesser salary. However, this is usually seen as a lack of discipline and commitment on their part when it comes to fulfilling their work-related commitments. Millennial’s have contrasting views and opinions as compared to baby-boomers and feel an increased need to stay closer to their near and dear ones.

Millennial’s love results

Being highly confident and ambitious, millennial’s are always on the lookout for the results and impact of their work that would translate into their achievements. They have higher expectations at their workplaces and are ready to raise questions and not just follow the norms that have been laid or practiced for years. They want meaningful outcomes from their contributions which will lead to their personal development and growth at the workplace. Hence, it is not difficult to understand how to motivate millennial’s in sales and achieve better results.

Millennial’s love to work in teams

Millennial’s value the feedback and input of their peers when it comes to teamwork and the decision-making process. They like to get included and also involve others in all aspects of their work. This is largely to do with the fact that during their growing years, they indulged in sports and activities at their schools which promoted bonding and teamwork.

Millennial’s love attention

Millennial’s love attention and it is very important to motivate millennial’s at work. They like to seek regular feedback and get praised for their performance. Work cultures that promote regular mentor-mentee interactions and feedback mechanisms attract millennial’s and help them stay motivated and inspired to achieve higher success. Baby-boomers come handy in such situations as they can often guide millennial’s based on their wisdom and experience.

Millennial’s love personal development and growth

Millennial’s are highly ambitious and in pursuit of their goals and happiness, they are known to frequently change jobs. They can easily get bogged down with the monotony of their work and won’t hesitate to move on if they find an opportunity that can keep paying them even better and keep their excitement levels higher. A closer look at their work history will reveal a trend of them working with a number of firms, often for a much shorter duration. However, a positive aspect of this could be the fact that they have worked in diverse work setups and their understanding of the business world and trends could be very up-to-date, which can benefit their potential employers.

Why are millennial’s so hard to work with

It is no secret that millennial’s differ in a number of ways with baby-boomers and older generations. This is primarily due to the era in which they grew up when the world was experiencing a technology boom. According to various research studies, millennial’s at their workplaces crave flexibility, meaning and new challenges. Understanding these will give you an idea of how to motivate millennial’s at work. Incorporating these elements in their work-life will give them satisfaction and lesser headaches for you as an employer.

Millennial’s care a lot about the value they gain through their work and how exciting it is to keep their passion alive. They might opt for a job that pays them less but offers satisfaction rather than picking up a high-paying job where they aren’t happy with the work.

Millennial’s feel their productivity gets a boost when they work on flexible schedules and without any added pressure. This might be perceived as unrealistic or very demanding, but they are not ready to compromise on this front and are likely to oppose things that deter their work-life balance. For example, many married millennial’s might be averse to the idea of traveling out of station for longer duration, or on the contrary, many single millennial’s would like travel to be a good part of their work life.

Millennial’s might be perceived as unrealistic when it comes to their career expectations. They are likely to get bored with the existing workload and might often seek new challenges and subsequent promotions, even when they are not eligible for it.

How to keep millennial’s motivated at work

Millennial’s are human beings after all and it is not very difficult to make them understand their responsibilities and keep them motivated at work. As an employer, you must explain to them your goals, where do they fit in your scheme of things and what do you wish them to achieve. They need attention and motivation and there can’t be better ways to motivate millennial’s in the workplace.

Conducting regular training and exposure programs can be beneficial for their growth and development, which is likely to keep them motivated about their work.

Great leaders communicate a lot and at regular intervals. Having a two-way communication with millennial’s regarding their performance and progression can encourage them to produce even better results. An ideal scenario would be to give them a set of clearly-defined goals and guiding them to achieve those.

Millennial’s love the flexibility in terms of working hours or the working location and the idea of remaining glued to their desks is less appealing to them. Offering them flexibility in these areas can boost their productivity and help you easily achieve your goals.

Why are millennial’s important to your organization

The number of millennial’s in the workforce segment is increasing with each passing year and they are undoubtedly the future of the economy. With easy access to digital tools at their fingertips, they are known to finish their tasks quickly and with higher efficiency. They also help their organizations adapt to the growing advancements in the digital world and their leaders must keep them motivated and engaged at all times to achieve the desired results. It is imperative for organizations and leaders to personally understand the needs and desires of each millennial and make them fully aware of their expectations and the deliverable’s expected from them. Engaged employees are happy employees and are the ones who are ready to take initiative and leadership. They are also likely to go the last mile to help an organization achieve its targets and on many occasions, even surpass them.

To conclude, the idea is clear and to have a win-win situation for both parties, the road ahead is not too complicated. Making minor adjustments to your workplace policies and understanding how to motivate millennial’s at work is very likely to yield better results for your business. Remember, millennial’s are the future of the workforce and the economy.

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