Statistics show that more than one in three American workers today comes from the ranks of the Generation Y — the millennials. While some believe they are the heroes of the modern workforce, bold problem solvers and innovators, others label them as the problem. Some say they are workers who are not ready to face challenges just yet.
Whether you are a skeptic or a believer, as the business leader, you have a responsibility to empower this group of workers. Considering how they are emerging as the biggest generation in the workplace, you have all the more reason to influence them; otherwise, they will influence you.
Motivation of Millennials
The first step in empowering millennials is to understand their motivations. Surveys show that what drives these workers is purpose. They seek jobs that provide more meaning. According to reports, the definition of purpose in millennials is being able to share their abilities, make a difference in the lives of others, and live a quality life.
To engage this generation, you must be able to identify the why for them. Why should they stay in your company? Why would they want to get involved in your cause? Give them a clear sense of purpose. And make sure that they are able to live that purpose in the workplace. Business coaching programs will help foster and nurture that sense of purpose in your employees.
The Breaking of Conventions
Millennials challenge many traditions in the workplace, such as hierarchies and rigid schedules. They don’t believe in command-and-control type of management; rather, they are more engaged in a participative and collaborative environment. They voice out their ideas and opinions, and even challenge their superiors.
Don’t take it personally; it’s just that millennials believe that the best results come from welcoming everybody’s point of view. Instead of establishing ‘authority’, go ahead and promote camaraderie.
The 9-5 schedule also isn’t the most effective choice for millennials. They are not time-oriented; they are task-focused. They believe that productivity is not a measure of how long you stayed in the office, but how many tasks accomplished. Rather than keeping a tight rein on their attendance, allow flexibility to create an avenue for creativity and productivity.
Gen Y is taking over your workplace. How are you empowering your team?