Managing The Workforce Of 2020

Organisations are working hard to figure out the hopes, aspirations and expectations of this generation and revising their management strategies to suit the affinities of the modern employee and consumer


Like every other generation, the millennials, born between 1980 and 1995, are widely expected to leave a lasting impact on history’s timeline. Armed with bean bags, broadband, smartphones, and instant access to information, they are transforming the landscape of the traditional workplace. And as they are fast-entering their peak employment ages and earning higher salaries, they are also forming a dominant consumer group.

As millennials begin their careers, organisations are working hard to figure out the hopes, aspirations and expectations of this generation and revising their management strategies to suit the affinities of the modern employee and consumer.

The Customer is Sitting Inside

Organisations have been bending themselves backwards to adapt their internal systems, processes and cultures to cater to the tastes of the modern generation. The millennial employees and consumers prefer a high degree of responsiveness, transparency, empathy, and an uninhibited flow of information. They expect a technologically sound eco-system that includes tools to connect, engage and collaborate in ways that come to them naturally. Aspects such as flexibility, digital infrastructure, challenging assignments, and immediate recognition are being triggered thanks to millennials, but are equally relevant for all.

Developing a workplace for Millennials can help organisations understand this generation’s customers and create prototypes to experiment with their new-age demands and needs. Companies that are successfully able to cater to millennial employees could also win the loyalties of the modern consumer.

Attracting the Millennial Market

Millennial employees are not motivated by money and do not believe in being loyal to the organisation unless it offers a sense of belonging and professional development opportunity. They will not think twice before moving to a workplace that feeds their desire to follow their dreams. The modern consumers are no different. Equipped with real-time product availability and price information, these consumers associate themselves with brands that align with their outlook of the world. In that respect, Millennials can turn out to be exceptionally loyal customers, but only if they enjoy their shopping experience.

They view the world through the digital screen. Just as modern employees work out of smartphones or tablets from their workplace, coffee-shop or home, the modern customer expects a seamless service transition from their smart phones, personal computers to the brick-and-mortar stores.

Often organisations tend to attract millennials through their social media. In fact, social media has the power to influence themin employment decisions. A millennial considering joining a company is very likely to visit itssocial media page along with website. Similarly, millennial consumers are more likely to “window shop” on social media by checking out prices of the brands available. That is why organisations should use the social space to create a positive vibe around their brand by aiming to stay in the news for all the “right” reasons. Instead of using it as just another avenue to sell their goods, businesses can consider using it to build their brands and occupy mindshare among millennials.

Managing the Transition / Bridging the Gap

Even as businesses fiercely compete against each other to hire the best talents from the millennial workforce, they must effectively transition to the digital age to be able to capture the loyalties of the millennial customers. The challenge lies in building bridges between Generation X and the millennial generation. While the previous generation was accustomed to a rigid hierarchical structure, Millennials prefer easy accessibility to the leadership in their organisation. Often millennials tend to leave jobs as they are not able to build a meaningful relationship with bosses who are from the previous generation. While the gen x sought feedback from their managers through the annual review process, the modern employee seeks constant advice, empathy, mentorship, support and recognition from the senior management. In fact, most millennials are unhappy with the annual review and feedback process as they believe it to be outdated.

The modern generation is flexible and digitally equipped, and the previous generation brings steady thought and years of experience to the table. The older generation has known to accept failure while the millennials have grown in an environment where failure is rejected and even considered taboo. This is where conflicts arise. Dissatisfied and disillusioned, Millennials often jump jobs, and the organisation ends up losing valuable resources.

To leap into the digital age, businesses require a healthy dose of both talents. Companies need to create an environment where Millennials feel recognised and create valuable relationships with seniors. Businesses must equip and train their senior managers to empathise with the new workforce and create a sweet spot wherein gen x and Millennials can collaborate and create value.

The opportunity is now if organization gets the internal equation with Millennials right, high likelihood of getting it right with the new consumer. 

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