Managing a Millennial Workplace – From Onboarding to Retention

As the generation of millennials moves to its prime years, organisations are looking for new, innovative ways to engage them. This is not always easy since we are dealing with a tech-savvy generation with different expectations from workplaces and businesses, clearly because this generation is not motivated by the same factors as previous generations.

Deloitte predicts that, by 2025, 75% of the global workforce would consist of millennials. This makes it very important for modern businesses to take into account the characteristics of the millennials and focus on keeping them engaged.

Here are some useful tips on managing a millennial workplace:

Organised Onboarding Process

Research reveals that millennials are most likely to have near-term exit plans.

Millennial Survey - Deloitte - Chesamel
The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey – Winning over the next generation of leaders

No organisation can afford to overlook these results. The onboarding and retention process for any millennial needs to take into account every factor that goes into defining a millennial. Gone are days when new-joinees were given orientation handbooks. The digital natives would engage much better with an interactive approach.

Be Transparent

Millennials like transparency in workplace, it helps them trust their managers and co-workers. Most modern companies have a flat organisation structure with easy relay of information and knowledge which works well with this generation. It is also important to give frank and constructive feedback to millennials since they move at a quicker pace and are keen to look at results of their performance. Regular feedback would not only help them improve their performance but it would also lead to higher satisfaction levels.

Communicate Expectations

Millennials are likely to have a deeper sense of purpose than previous generations. Hence, they like to know not just the ‘What’s but the ‘Why’s too. They need clarity in what is expected of them in a workplace. It helps them meet their performance metrics and be able to make a difference.

Flexible Working Options

Adam Henderson rightly points out in his LinkedIn post that “If you can’t trust trust your employees to work flexibly , why hire them in the first place?”. Millennials love flexible work-from-home options to work around their lifestyle needs. Research shows that such options could actually lead to an increase in productivity.

Technology

Millennials are first-generation digital natives. They were born and brought up in an age of smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. Such behaviour and tech-dependency could be explained largely by this generation’s quest to get things done faster. They rely on technology to not only find information, but to manage finances, bookings, online shopping and much more. It is key to incorporate technology not only into the onboarding process but in workplace environment in general to keep this generation engaged. We have seen radical changes over the past few years in the way we communicate with each other as technology advances. There are cost-effective technology solutions to make millennials feel at east at any workplace.

While companies around the world are looking to bridge the gap between millennials’ expectations and their real experience at workplaces, it is important to note that any new strategy would need to entail a long-term vision. Superficial changes in HR programmes are not likely to reap any benefit since such strategies do not work in the long haul. Millennials are here to stay, so such changes would have to too.