The Millennial generation is and will, create new challenges in the workplace for their employers and their peers. There are four distinctive types of generations that are currently in the workplace today. The generations include Traditionalists (born between 1900-1946), Baby Boomers (born between 1946 -1964), GenXers (Born between 1965- 1980) and Millennials (born after the 1980s). Each generation has their own unique characteristics that allows them to be a vital component within their organization. It is the Millennial that is drawing the most attention today because of the level of importance they will play in the future workplace.
To understand the Millennial generation, we must understand the unique characteristics they possess. This group is said to be the first global-centric generation that has come of age during the growth of internet and increased exposure worldwide to events around the world. They thrive on change and are considered to be the most resilient group, capable of navigating through change easily and are comfortable embracing diversity within their organizations. They have grown up in a very diverse America and has been exposed to a very diverse world through the internet. Because Millennials have grown up with significant gains in technology a significant edge they will have over their older coworkers is their technological prowess and a substantial amount of increased educational programs at their fingertips. The Millennial generation is considered one of the most highly educated groups in today’s workplace. With Millennials having the ability to do dual enrollment in high school and enter colleges and universities as second and third year student puts them far ahead of past generations. More Millennials are utilizing these opportunities to go beyond their bachelor’s degree and get their Master degrees and making themselves a stronger candidate for employment. As mentioned from Inc.com “In the United states, there has been an 80 percent increase in Master’s degrees awarded per capita since 1987” (Economy,2015).
Millennial’s are considered to be more team-oriented based since the traditionalists generation. They have been allowed to focus on sports, extra-curricular activities and given experiences that help develop their ability to work well in groups, and be collaborative as well as competitive.
Out of all the generations, Millennials are said to be the most talked about. They provide a uniqueness that allows them to be easily recognized. Some of the basic attributes that Millennials possess include being entrepreneurial thinkers, tech-savvy with the latest toys, innovative/ resourceful, and enthusiastic/confident. In today’s corporate world, companies want to hire millennials because they possess these qualities and are seen as a strong benefit for a company’s long-term growth. The impact is so great that major companies have pushed out long term, loyal employees in hopes of filling those positions with Millennial’s.
All companies know that by keeping employees satisfied at work, company retention rates and overall productivity is improved. They should focus mainly on compensation plans that appeals to the generations priorities and lifestyles in order to provide their employees the highest level of satisfaction. Companies have found solutions to cater to each generation group of the past and must be extremely creative when developing compensation packages for Millennial’s.
The Millennial generation is the youngest in the workforce today. Millennials are looking for a compensation plan that provides them a life package. According to a study by MetLife, “Eighty-six percent of the millennials state they value having benefits personalized to meet their individual circumstances and age” (Rook,2015). In addition to traditional benefits, some solutions that will satisfy this type of group is providing them with training and development, flexible hours that support work/life balance, competitive compensation, comprehensive healthcare, and work culture. It will take a combination of solutions to attract and retain this generation.
While many people believe that you need unique benefits to attract the younger generation, this is not the case. According to our survey, the type of benefits desired is shockingly similar across all age groups, with 34% of millennials and 40% of everyone else choosing health care as the most important.
Plus, the benefits many believe are huge draws for adults ages 18-34 are actually the least desirable. For example, only 5% of millennials responded that a stake in the company is important to them.
The solution that will hold true value to the Millennial generation is training and development programs. Offering formal training, mentoring, additional education, a structured plan, is a path for growth. Implementing this structure allows the Millennials the ability to utilize all the tools they have grown up with immediately while developing additional skills for future growth. Because millennials do not have loyalties to their employers and they eventually go elsewhere or start their own businesses. They see that having the knowledge and skills they have attained will be a plus.
The GenXers generation’s primary focus is trying to balance work and their personal life. While they crave the overall compensation package in which all companies provide for their employees. This generation will accept less compensation if they are paired with flexible scheduling that allows them to spend quality time with their family members.
As for the Baby boomer generation in today’s society, their primary focus is on retirement. They are the generation that has their career mindset on being loyal, self-driven, and have exceptionally high work ethic. What the Baby Boomers truly value in their compensation benefits include health insurance retirement plan, and salary level.
In today’s corporate workforce a lot of companies have begun to realize the substantial growth in the number of new Millennial employees they’re working with and managing. Although the Millennial generation now makes up the largest segment of the workforce, a lot of companies haven’t been able to make the proper adjustments to communicate effectively with this new generation. In doing so, it has caused causes lack of productivity from them within the workplace. Steps recommended to motivate and cultivate this new generation includes focusing on an overall plan, increasing responsibility, providing mentorships, and invest in them. Steps looking to better understand the Millennial generation will help the managers be more effective as leaders.
One key step managing Millennials is to keep them motivated. To clarify the responsibilities of their positions and their path for growth in their prospective companies. They also need to be aligned with the company’s goals, motivations and corporate culture within the company so they have a better understanding of what they’re true purpose is within the company. A statement from Nbc news.com has mentioned “Most workers of whom are Millennials, approach a role and a company with a highly defined set of expectations,” according to the survey. “They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day. They want to learn and develop. They want their job to fit their life” (Steinhilber,2017). Another way of motivating a new Millennial employee is by increasing their responsibilities. By doing this, they will continue to be challenged and go a long way in keeping them engaged.
From Nbcnews, it was mentioned “At least sixty percent of employees say the ability to do what they do best in a role is very important to them. All employees, regardless of age or gender, places the greatest importance on this aspect of a job. But Millennials are more likely than both Gen Xers and baby boomers to say a job that accelerates their professional or career development is “very important to them. It seems they are not only looking for a job they are passionate about, but one that fits into the bigger picture of their career path” (Steinhilber,2017).
Third recommendation, to motivate the Millennial worker is providing them with a mentor. This generation likes to seek guidance from someone who can help mold them and keep them on the right path to success within the company. The mentors must provide both constructive criticism and praise as well to be considered a great mentor Millennials.
As quoted by Nbcnews.com “More Frequent informal check-ins with managers allow employees to better see their day-to-day work is linked to the organizations goals. Plus, employees who have conservations with their managers in the last six months about their goals and success are almost three times more likely than other employees to be engaged at the workplace” (Steinhilber,2017).
Additionally, the survey cites that “the process creates buy-in and helps employees define success in their roles. Accomplishing goals created with a manager feels all the more gratifying to employees because they are ‘our goals,’ ‘not just my goals’, and this shows in their engagement. While a mere 30 percent of employees strongly agree that their manager involves them in setting their goals at work, those who do strongly agree with this statement are 3.6 times more likely than other employees to be engaged (Steinhilber,2017).”
One final step recommended to the managers who have to motivate a Millennial is to give the employee the opportunity to utilize the new skills they have developed while working with the company through new and additional responsibilities. By providing them with new challenging tasks it shows them that the company is truly invested in them and their development.
In any kind of industry, managers will inevitably have to deal with generational differences within the workplace. These problems tend to arise from the fact that multi-generations have different mindsets and communication styles that they bring to the workforce. According to The Pew Research Center it mentions “the workforce is currently made up of 5.5 million Millennials, 52.7 million GenXers, and 44.6 Million Baby Boomers (“multigenerational workforce,2018”).
By managing and motivating a multi-generational group may be challenging at first, but if managers want to effectively reduce the conflict within the workplace they must establish guidelines that include identifying who the four generations are, figure out the strengths of each generation, and adapt their management style.
One of the first challenges will be reducing conflict that is caused by generational differences is having a better understanding of which generation your employees falls into. The managers will have to come to terms on the fact that each generation has experienced significant events that has shaped the particular employee’s perception of working. For example, the Millennial generation grew up during the time of innovative technology such as advanced computers, social media and others.
They must have ability to determine which generation your employees fall into, to best help them understand their strengths. By realizing that each generation brings strengths to the workplace determining how to focus them the company will benefit. Managers must encourage employees to share their viewpoints and values with the group to create an exclusive work environment.
Another important step as a manager is to make sure to adapt your management style accordingly, while considering to your employee’s value system. What this truly means is the manager should set aside any differences he or she may have and try understanding the situation from their employee’s point of view. This takes additional time and thought from the managers, but in the long run will pay off.
Regardless of what age the employees are in the workplace or what generational group they belong to, everybody brings their own distinctive skills to the company. These guidelines for managing generational differences will not only reduce the conflict, but it will form a team that could help their company be successful now and in the future.
While we all acknowledge that Millennials are different than the older generations in many ways they are similar. It is very hard to find ways to engage, motivate, and/or compensate the younger employees, companies have to also note the research that shows how Millennials and their older counterparts aren’t completely different. They share some of the same preferences and goals within the workplace. Some similarities you might identify amongst each generation include having an effective leader, appreciation and recognition, work life balance, and debt and savings.
Although each generation has their own perspective of how a true effective leader should be, the one common similarity that all the generations are looking for in an effective leader is a person who takes the time to understand their employees and wants to help them succeed in their career. It is imperative that all employees have a strong enough bond with their managers to feel connected to their jobs. It’s a proven fact that if the relationship is not healthy, employees will leave the organization and will look elsewhere for another job.
Another similarity that employees from all generation’s is that they want to be appreciated and recognized for their hard work. Each generation possess some differences in how they want to be appreciated. All the validation and through how each generation is appreciated may differ then acknowledgement and validation in what counts.
For the Millennials and the other generations value consistency of spending time with their families and friends. Having a company that will value your work/life balance is one the most important things the generations have in common. Being happy at home helps to create a more positive attitude at work.
Last but not least is that each generation has face dealing with financial issues. All across the country each generation has acquired some type of financial obligation that might include buying a new home/or car, educational loans, savings for their child’s education, and retirement. Each of these financial obligations are common focuses for all generations and create the common need for income and a plan to pay them off.
In conclusion, Millennials have been able to change the culture within the workforce. They are said to be the most talked about generation since the traditionalist. Not only will this generation constantly continue to grow in numbers, they will be a vital component for organization’s in upcoming years. Millennials are able to adapt to changes much faster than their older companies. It has been mentioned that Millennials possess certain attributes that include being tech savvy, resourceful, and willing contributors to help continue the success of their organization. A lot of companies have been trying to figure out different ways to keep Millennials from leaving the organization. One of the Most important things I feel that all organizations should do in order to keep Millennial’s is providing us with a training and development program. Having this incentive allow us as a generation to gain more knowledge and will help us to network with others who seek the same path as we do.
As we all know that cultural differences amongst multi-generations tend to arise a lot within the workforce. Managers are still trying to find alternative ways to reduce the conflict. A couple solutions that have been mentioned to help reduce the conflict include understanding what generation your employees come from, what strength’s do they possess, and adapting your management style that caters to the particular generation.