Dealing With Unrestful Millennials. How To Keep Them Happy And Loyal?
Millennials are looking for a series of enriching experiences where they get the freedom to marry their personal ambitions with an organization’s vision. And more importantly, they want to create those experiences themselves.
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So how do we keep them happy? By making sure we give them a platform to build those experiences for themselves.
This platform constitutes of organizational strategy, values, leadership, policies, technologies and processes that the millennials leverage to bring out the best in themselves.
How do we build loyalty? First of all the definition of loyalty needs a relook.
Instead of looking at it in terms of numbers of years in an organization we need to look at the value generated by an individual. If we see the millennials coming back for the next experience, if we see them being the brand ambassadors for the organization and if we see them investing their personal resources in enhancing the organization’s vision then we know that we’ve built loyalty. So loyalty has to be a two way street, it’s not about an individual being loyal to the organization’s goals but also the organization being loyal to their personal ambitions. Each piece of the organizational platform needs to contribute to make this happen.
To start off with it’s the way we engage with the millennials at the time of hiring. Are we open to talk to someone who would have changed three companies in last three years? Who would have taken a break for two years just to explore one’s self? Who would have quit the previous job to get a scuba diving certificate? Who is already earning more than many seniors in the team?
If the answer to all these is yes, then we need to focus on the next big topic of job content. Are we ready to customize job content per person rather than per job profile? Are we ready to give as big a share of a job to a junior as a senior? Are we ready to give a high risk task to a newbie? Are we ok to keep work assignment up for grabs for anyone to pick rather than work allocation by a manager?
If yes, then how about the managers? First of all are we ok to give the managerial responsibility to a young gun knowing very well that this person might have team members who have more experience? Are we giving our managers a free hand to customize rewards and resources as per the need of an individual rather than a standard policy in the name of ‘consistency’, do our managers understand the dreams of millennials? Are our managers ok with a millennial informing them about leave via WhatsApp rather than a leave application via mail?
The important point to remember is that millennials do care for the organizations and do respect seniors, contrary to some beliefs. The key is to reciprocate by respecting them in the form of providing freedom of expression, resources to gain knowledge in multiple domains and giving recognition in proportion to the contribution at times disproportionately rather than applying a one size fits all rule.