At work with millennials
The millennials represent a generation that has been affected by financial crises, and, unlike previous generations, don’t want to work for large corporations.
Due to the effects of television and its raw content, they are often more cynical than their parents or grandparents. However, on the contrary they appreciate a more relaxed working environment where colleagues’ humour and straightforwardness are highly regarded.
They have become known for having a smart phone in hand with social media in check.
Copying and calling?
It might seem the norm for older generations, but printing out reams of paper in order to compile documents for physical archives is ancient history for millennials and something frowned upon. On the other hand, online communication is something of a second nature to them.
Their phones accompany them everywhere, bathroom included, and as such your Messenger or WhatsApp chat will be answered in just a few minutes. Phone calls, by comparison, are less popular, unlike messages, they have to be answered immediately, with no freedom to reply when the time suits. Email is still a useful tool, even for the millennials, whether its for online shopping, communication with the authorities, or just a reminder of the good old days.
Gloves on or off?
The millennials appreciate honesty. If something goes wrong or doesn’t work out as planned, there’s no need to plan an elaborate cover up. Holding your hand up, admitting defeat and making a new plan will be met with appreciation and respect. Communication is key, and as long as there’s dialogue, you’ll find a good partner, colleague, client or boss in them.
The millennials appreciate a pleasant work environment, with emphasis on straightforward communication; with colleagues, team members and superiors. Bosses should be easily reachable, someone on the same wavelength willing to listen, not an unattainable higher authority with one way communication. Millennials want to be heard, with a voice that carries the same weight as the rest. Flexibility, workplace diversity and feedback are held with high regard also.
Simple text is a thing of the past. In order to engage and be understood, the use of effective presentation techniques is key. Video tutorials, screenshots and photo presentations will all make the message you’re trying to convey that bit easier to digest and act upon.
Previous generations often fail to understand why millennials change jobs at a fairly frequent rate, but they simply seek the right opportunity. The positive impact of an employer is important, as is the right working environment. Therefore, companies that strive to provide clear goals, benefits and the right values will see more loyal employees.
The generation of millennials has different needs to those previous, with work-life balance seen as one of the most important. Once the right balance is found, in the right position, the benefits to the employer can be significant, with unwavering loyalty being a product of this.
A 2018 Deloitte survey has shown that increasingly few millennials perceive the behaviour of large companies to be ethical. Furthermore, their confidence in organisations helping people to make positive change is falling. Therefore, corporations need to start creating meaningful jobs, within a working environment and communication tools with which the millennials feel comfortable. Know that this generation won’t hesitate to express their opinions, and with more and more of them forming a large proportion of both the work force and customer base, understanding them is key.
Author: Míša Benešovská
I’m a freelance journalist and copywriter, mainly covering IT industry. I’ve been fascinated by it for nearly a quarter of a century (or since I dismantled my first computer). I worked for Seznam.cz, Unicorn Systems or Mafra publisher. In my spare time, I love game consoles and keep perfecting a recipe for the best pumpkin risotto in the world.
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