Millennials in any sector are youthful professionals that may have completed graduate school in the recent past, they are either scouting for a job, switching jobs or currently on their third job within 2 years. They see the job sector as highly competitive and would want to make it to the top by all means, to them a good job is as good as the last one and it doesn’t matter their competency growth aspects, they will largely fall for better pay. Compensation is always their primary focus and they can’t wait for interviews to be over so that the topic can be introduced. I must say though, most of them are learned enough to drive this economy to greater heights, Kenya’s Economy! These sets of professionals are technologically savvy and would want to compare industry rates with every additional grade they get or any adjustments the government pushes for. Pay and deductions to them are common knowledge that every employer should not hide, in their words “Google has the answers I need”.
With more millennials entering the marketplace, managers will begin to realize that the workforce is changing and you might want to identify exactly what is changing in the workforce and what needs to be done in order to adjust to it. So this is what is changing apart from the myths of this generation as job-hoppers with unstable work patterns. One, new ideas will generated every day, this idea might not follow the generic organizational culture since idea owners don’t fit the mold that the older generation assumes for them (i.e. 3 ways to kill a rat). Two, productivity cycle will change, you will see rapid growth in the early stages before it slows down once individuals fit into the organizational structure and get to realize the promises are void. As management, you have to keep asking what has changed, prime the pump where necessary and offer a lot more appropriate professional development and career progression that ultimately leads to higher employee satisfaction and consequently, retention.
Managing millennials in any segment or sector is quite tricky, especially in work places that drive efficiency and effectiveness as their core tenet in operations. Leadership in such places ought to find a balance between their core tenets and the talent pool in their possession in order to drive successful operations. Allocating resources to deal with one area while not paying any attention to the other might not really add value to your core purpose. I must say that my experience in middle level management to execution teams while focusing on sustainability has taught me to trade careful with such great talents. Three years of experience managing millennials are what I term as substantive and eye opening, I am a millennial and therefore can resonate with their school of thoughts on this after having engaged quite a number of talents that I have either hired or let go in both the Sales, Customer Relations and the supply chain sectors.
I have been around my peer for a while and got to know a few things that make them apply for certain jobs and after a short while leave. The one thing that managers should realize “and this is free advice I offer” is to work around their mindset change and appeals. Yes, due to budget constraints, you cannot offer your employees better compensation package, your sustainability could be tied to your return on investments, get that been there but you might want to spruce up the environment to make them want to stay longer. Think about technological changes you can make to your current operations, smart managers are recognizing the need to adjust traditional business to make it more appealing to the youth to work there, why don’t you try that. I also know that some of you would want to take the easy way out, you know, “the market is flooded with talent, we can get someone else for even a lesser pay”, with this mindset, you will not be adding value to your organization. This is how!
You take three weeks to run adverts online for the position, which is resources used both time and money. Then you hire and take another month to onboard, train and equip the new staff with matching skills for the job, that’s a lot of time allocated. When they leave a-few months later, you will have to repeat the whole process again. Where is the gain in all this, to me it’s “No gain but more pain!”
I am not saying managers are not good in what they do, but there is room for organization to get a little creative so as not to miss out on great talents, while looking at costs and efficiency, it’s important to remember the human element in the industry and how critical this resource is its future success. Organization ought to consider a lot in the management of an incoming generation with an often-distinctive technology orientation and perspective.
© Sabwa John Milton, 2018