The millennials or generation Y are a different breed altogether. They are grouped in the 18-34 age categories of the workforce. They are very different in their outlook, in their aspirations, in their skill levels, in their energy and above all, their approach to general life. Their expectations from the organisation are different. For them, work-life balance is not a matter of choice but it is an inherent part of thinking.
The millennials or Gen Y are redefining the workplace. Their new expectations and a new definitions of the workplace along with competitive business environment forced the organisation to redesign roles for them. Now companies have to go outside their corporate amenity zone to redesign roles for purpose-driven millennials if they want to remain ingenious, impressive and financially competitive.
Now the big question is how an organisation deals with this enthusiastic millennial workforce? How do they design new engagement models? Does the newly designed model cover all millennials? This journal tries to find out answers to these questions and also give some recommendations through change perspective.
The millennials are growing in numbers and they are very important for the organisation in this competitive business environment. The companies have released this and they have to rewrite their strategies for two reasons (i) to keep their motivational level high and (ii) to retain them. But this is not an overnight work. The companies have to go beyond the traditional human resources management practices and find the updated expectations of these millennials. The companies have to build new engagement model which is aspirational and inspirational for millennials to build on their capabilities.
Current literature shows that millennials or Gen Y are more looking for constant and regular feedback. On the daily basis, they want to be updated how they are performing their duties at their workplace. Actually, this type of practices is beneficial for both the employees and the organisations. The employees will know where they stand and in which direction they have to go. They will come to know whether they are on a right track or not. If they find themselves on the wrong track then they have opportunities to improve themselves and follow the right track. If we look from the employers’ point view then we can see that employers’ will have opportunities to extract best out of each employee by knowing their strength and working on that. The practice of regular and constant feedback also gives an idea to stay ahead on learning curve. They keep learning on the daily basis. And the most important thing is that they keep themselves engaged every day. So, overall we can say, managing performance is one of the major engagement drivers for millennials.
The millennials or Gen Y are of liberal in their thinking. Unlike, their older generation, they are quite open and frank when it comes to discussing issues. They do not want to limit themselves only in regular and formal conversation but they keep themselves busy in an ongoing conversation and debate. They are looking for a platform where they can share their ideas and views, where they have an opportunity to learn from not only respective company’s colleague but also from others who are not a part of that particular company. This shows that millennials are more interested in social networking and it became a part of their lives. So, as a company to gain their commitment, it is important to provide them with a platform like Facebook where they have opportunities to share their ideas, learn from their friends etc. Providing social networking facilities not only help individuals but it also helps organisations if that particular individual uses his/her learning at their workplace.
The other thing current literature found is that millennials are not much interested in classroom learning but they want engagement programme which is in semi-formal or informal form. They are not in the favour of lengthy training programme but they want which are quick and easy to learn. They want to implement their learning earliest and see the difference. So onboarding engagement becomes a critical practice these days. So it is very important for the organisation to know drafting onboarding engagement activities by knowing employee’s’ interest as well.
The millennials or Gen Y are saying a big “NO” to extended working hours, stagnated salaries, working on a weekend but they mostly prefer work-life balance. Work-life balance is not a matter of choice for them, it is an inherent part of their thinking. They have a thinking that hours doesn’t matter, the quality matter what you give as an outcome. So their work should not measure on the hourly basis but it should measure on the quality basis they produced. Flexibility is what they are asking for.
Literature also revealed that millennials or Gen Y don’t just spend time on earning salaries but they are looking for job satisfaction. Adding skills and knowledge is one of the major things which they are looking for as work. They want such type of work which helps them in their career growth and gives new direction and meaning to their life’s journey. So it is the organisation responsibility to provide them such type of job and keep them engage.
These millennials do not do any work for the sake of doing but they do it for any purpose. They always need a purpose behind everything they do. In this case, organisations have to be transparent then only personal goals will align with organisational goals as a whole. Personally, I believe that employees should know what they are doing and why. Then only they can give their 100 percent.
So, from the above discussion, it is very clear that millennials or Gen Y group’s expectations are beyond traditional human resource management practices. To succeed, companies have to change their engagement model and include all those which Gen Y want. Now the question is how do they do that? To know what millennials want, companies have to ask from them. They (companies) have to very clear about each and every employee’s’ expectations. If once they are clear about their expectations then they should redesign their engagement model by including all findings. I think GROW model will be a good option for them. This is how GROW model works for them:
Goal: Here the companies have to be clear about what they want to achieve in the long term? Is their want challengeable, attainable and possible?
Reality: They should be aware of their current situation. They should know what is that which hold the company back? For example, in this case, millennials expectations hold them back. Another question they should ask is how new initiative impact current employees?
Options: If once they are aware of their current situation then they should ask what are the options they have? For example, in this case, they can ask each and every employee’s expectation to know what they want actually and then accordingly redesign their roles and engagement model. They should also analyse cost and benefits of each option they have.
Way Forward: Here they should ask to what extent the selected options meet their objective? What all support will be needed to stay alive in the market?
About the Author:
Chandan Kumar is an MA HRM student in Human Resource Management at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (Hyderabad Campus).