Every generation has its own strengths and weaknesses. Many believe that grouping people into generations is unfair and stereotypical. However, there is a reason why people born in the same era have the same interests and beliefs. It is because they lived in a society and environment with the same conditions. The world continuously changes, and therefore, people born in the same circumstances will eventually share the same thinking and behavior.
The world actually responses to these shifts in mentality between generations. Advertising is different now. Norms have taken another form. And now, companies have to change how they manage the workforce.
The boomers or Generation X are known for their obedience, motivation to work, and fondness of belonging to groups. They are those born between 1946 and 1964; they are the post-Wold War II babies. So in the year 2021, most of the members of this generation are well within retirement age.
Now, the majority of the workforce belongs to generation Y, commonly known as millennials. They were born between 1983 and 2000. This generation is often accused of being self-absorbed, whiny, and entitled. On the other hand, millennials are also often described as progressive, passionate, open-minded, liberal, and self-expressive.
In 2020, 35% of the workforce will be millennials. And in the following years, more people from the previous generation will retire. Millennials will take a huge percentage of the workplace. By now, your workplace should be implementing policies that will engage millennials to unleash their best work qualities.
Millennials Are Progressive
Millennials don’t like the things of the past. This is why the phrase “okay, boomer” often trends in social media. They often disagree with the values that the generation before them deeply cared about.
As they embrace diversity, they condemn discrimination of all forms. Consequently, they champion women’s rights and gender equality. They hate stereotypes and being forced to conform with them. They even care about issues in foreign countries that don’t even have a direct effect on them. And they don’t like organizational hierarchies that much.
Here is what you can do to be on the same wavelength with millennials:
1. Adopt a progressive company culture
Ditch corporate attires and strict dress codes and give employees the freedom to express themselves through clothing. Don’t ban tattoos or piercings. Millennials don’t like restrictive environments. They thrive in a place where they can express themselves.
Make employees feel like the work is more of team collaboration. They like it when they work with coaches instead of bosses. Close the hierarchical gap.
2. Welcome diversity and be inclusive
It all starts with the recruitment process. A concrete example is hiring more women. The reason many companies don’t like recruiting women is the hassle that pregnancy and motherhood bring along. Millennials would love to work in a company that gives female employees the time to take care of their postpartum needs.
Impose serious policies against discrimination. Put in place heavy measures against acts of discrimination and harassment. Conduct programs that aim to spread awareness on workplace safety.
Millennials Are Not Motivated by Money Alone
One of the things that millennials look for in a company is growth opportunities. They are motivated when their efforts are recognized. And most importantly, they value work-life balance. Unlike the generation before them, they abhor the idea of working long hours and sacrificing their personal life.
Here is what you can do to mitigate millennial employee turnover.
1. Recognize effort and talent
Make sure that no positive contribution ever goes unnoticed. Appreciate your employees for the work that they do. Just because they are paid to do something doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a thank you. A concrete example is implementing a rewards program for all employees. Achieving a particular milestone will make them entitled to a tangible prize. This is a great way to motivate them to work.
2. Offer a flexible work environment
Adopt a work-from-home scheme. Or offer a flexible schedule where they don’t have to come to the office as long as they meet what is required of them.
3. Offer career development opportunities
Employees get burnt out when they do the same tasks over and over again. One way to avoid this is to let workers rotate through different tasks so that they can find what they enjoy doing. Then, as early as the recruitment process, let them know what kind of career growth they can experience in the company.
Improving the condition of your workplace is hitting two birds with one stone. You get to attract the younger workforce to your company. At the same time, you increase the retention rate of your existing employees.