Leveraging Technology To Appreciate Millennials At Workplace
The workplace demographics have changed dramatically in the last few years as more and more millennials continue to join the workforce. Today, India has more than 400 million millennials and account for nearly 46% of its workforce, according to a Morgan Stanley report.
As the workforce evolves, it is only logical that the workplace practices and people management strategies also undergo a major shift because millennials are unlike any other previous generation.
Born between 1980 and 1996 this generation has literally grown up with the internet and so tends to embrace technology in their everyday life. No wonder the generation Z is extremely comfortable living in an `always connected’ world and thrives on social media.
Much like how the internet has democratized access to information, millennial, in general, are not found to be advocates of the pyramid or the hierarchical organization structure. According to a Pricewaterhouse Coopers survey**, 65% of millennial felt that rigid hierarchies and outdated management styles fail to get the most out of them. The age-old strategies of people management need to give way to newer ways to manage and work with this dynamic generation.
The workplace practices can take advantage of the millennials' preoccupation and comfort with technology. At Bajaj Allianz Life, we recently launched WOW, an interactive platform where the workforce can instantly acknowledge and recognize anyone who is living up to our competencies & culture tenants, anytime and from anywhere. Designed on the lines of a social media platform WOW can be easily used by employees from all age groups.
Be it staying back at work to help a colleague complete an important project; collecting funds for office boy's medical treatment or using novel ideas to hit monthly sales target, appreciation for any effort is bound to generate positivity in the workplace. WOW allows the workforce to appreciate even smallest of achievement, which might or might not be linked to your key performance indicators. The employees can also share their acknowledgment and appreciation on WOW on their social media accounts.
Further, millennials tend to be more motivated to work harder to improve their performance and are likely to stay longer, if they receive acknowledgment/appreciation for their work. It is even better if the appreciation is frequent, spontaneous and real-time, rather than waiting for the annual performance review. The fact that appreciation on WOW is linked to the quarterly reward and annual felicitation makes it all the more relevant and ensures usage from all sections of the workforce and in turn embedding a competency-based culture. Indirectly, the workforce gets to play a role in the next steps of Recognition & Reward decisions as well.
Frequent feedback is not just a feel-good factor but also helps the workforce, from all age groups, to stay on track with their goals. An interactive tool, like WOW, also goes a long way in increasing engagement with the employees and inculcates a sense of camaraderie between employees from different departments.
Since an employee at any level can record his/her appreciation for a colleague, WOW also helps us in promoting informality & 360 degrees connect & networking/ relationship building, which addresses the millennials disregard for hierarchy at the workplace and is in line with their hyper-connected way of life.
A significant concern with an open-ended appreciation platform is that it may be misused. To ensure that that appreciation on WOW continues to be unbiased and genuine, an employee is able to acknowledge/ appreciate in keeping with our competencies & culture tenants. For the recipient to graduate to the next level and meet the transparently laid down criteria for Quarterly/ Annual Recognition & Reward, the most impactful ones from among the acknowledgments received requires endorsement from the manager and approval by a cross-functional Reward & Recognition panel. This feature is key in ensuring that the tool does not dilute the standards of appreciation.
With the ever-increasing number of millennials entering the workforce, the employers need to find innovative means to understand this generation and to come up with newer ways to continuously motivate and engage with them. Technology innovations, like WOW, go a long way in boosting engagement, retaining the young talent and in getting the best out of millennials.
Attributed to Ruben Selvadoray,CHRO, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house