Navigating The Workforce Of Future: How To Manage And Motivate Millennials Better

Unlocking opportunity within the millennial workforce is one area which cannot be overlooked


The last few years have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the population of millennials across the world. With the demography comprising a notable 31.5 percent of the total population of 7.7 billion as of 2019, there are strong predictions that millennials will constitute almost 40 percent of the global adult population in the coming years. 

On the back of a digital, data-led economy, millennials are expected to drive exponential business growth and steer disruption across sectors in manners unprecedented. Hence, unlocking opportunity within the millennial workforce is one area which cannot be overlooked. 

Nurturing, retaining and motivating the Generation Y today is more difficult than ever before. Rise in automation, shifts in technology and innovation headways are forcing business models to adapt to quickly evolving industries, rendering greater value in developing skills that are unique to people.  

But to deliver value in the industry, where do we begin? 

Restructuring workforce ecosystem key to managing millennials better

Millennials are the workforce of the future that companies need to embrace with open arms. Recruiters must appeal to, engage with, and drive meaningful exchange at work with employees as millennials are more receptive of alternative work arrangements that are designed to empower. 

Rethink employee-value proposition 

Millennials aren’t transactional in their approach to work. They care about how they’re being valued by their organization. As a forward-looking employer, companies must understand the needs of employees and reframe the employee value proposition to not only explicitly state but also meet those needs with a focus on introducing more personal, agile and holistic reward programs. 

Make room for innovation and new skills 

Organizations that manage to adjust to the pace of change, end up catching the millennial worker’s fancy. In order to create a work atmosphere that is charged with meaning, it is imperative for companies to ensure that all investment in technology and enablement is complemented by investment in talent and creativity. 

Build leaders of future 

Developing people-centric leadership skills such as emotional intelligence, creative acumen, digital capabilities, and resilience receive admiration and instill a culture of collaboration among millennials. The transition from traditional hierarchal structures, to more fluid and flexible organizations, makes them feel empowered, further driving efficiency and job satisfaction. 

Demystifying millennial mindset and motivations

Millennials are a dynamic, inquisitive, intellectually and culturally diverse lot. Keeping them anchored in a place for very long however has proven to be a challenge as they demonstrate shifts from one job to another more regularly when compared their predecessors. 

To be able to retain millennials in an organization, it is important for new age employers to recognize and systematically address the significantly different behavioral aspects. To ensure that the elusive, ever curious millennial continues to work for your organization for long, you should consider asking ‘What do millennials want?’ 

  • Personal motivation from senior leaders 

As per a recent report, almost one-third of millennial employees feel that feedback is the single most important aspect needed to improve professionally however only less than 20 percent of them said they received routine feedback. Managers that increasingly play a hands-on role in encouraging millennial employees, often witness greater loyalty as one-on-one interactions serve as a great tool of workplace motivation.

  • Flexibility and personal time 

A good work/life balance is among the top priorities for millennials when choosing a job. Companies that offer flexible work schedules with scope for more frequent work from home option, time offs, etc. are better positioned to procure and retain millennial talent.

  • Regular rewards and validation for work

The millennial workforce is committed to advancing its career and does not want to wait three or more years for a promotion. They more than appreciate smaller but well-deserved incentives such as bonus, certificates of a job well done and similar rewards that validate their performance and reassures that they’re headed in the right direction. Additionally, cross-functional training courses that help expand their pool of knowledge and extend expertise in other functions also help boost morale at work. 

  • Resonance with the organization’s vision

One of the common pitfalls of companies is not investing enough resource and time into explaining the organization’s vision to the recruit. Millennials often seek ways of making a difference. A good way to get them to perform at a higher level is by helping them invest in your vision, thereby developing a shared passion for your objective.

  • Speed and bias for action

The younger workforce is smarter, more capable and focused on outcomes. They prefer to be empowered with resources to act and drive outcomes. Companies can benefit by encouraging ‘Leaders at all Levels’ and not allow the hierarchy to come in the way.

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

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