426 Million Indians constitute the largest cohort of Millennials in the world now. They being digital-natives living in the times of globalization, consumerism and individualism have unique behaviours. Some of these behaviours are significantly distinct from those of their senior colleagues and bosses at the workplace.
Generation gaps have always been there and they impact behaviours of people at work. However, this one is very different from what we witnessed earlier because of the sheer number of millennials in the workforce (currently nearly 50%) vis-à-vis what we used to see 3 decades ago. We have to design the workplace in such a way that we attract, develop and retain not only those born in 60’s and 70’s but also those born in 80’s and 90’s.
Every industry sector is unique in terms of the talent required there; moreover, each organization brings its own specialty. The HR team knows what kind of talent it must attract and makes sure that the first experience of the candidates is positive. Each time the employer brand gets exposed to a potential candidate, it contributes to the ability of the organization in attracting the right candidates. When someone from the organization interacts with a potential candidate, it creates impressions in the candidate minds and determines the brand-pull in future.
The description of the job-vacancy, the eligibility criteria for the role, the selection process, the modes and methods of communication with the candidate, the agility and flexibility experienced by potential candidates determine if the best-matching talent from the market would consider the organization as a coveted place.
Millennials love technology, fast-paced process and clear communication. So, our selection process has to leverage technology, demonstrate speed of action through various stages in the process, and communicate clearly about the purpose of the role and the demands of the role. The stages of our selection process have to reflect the values of our organization and the demands of the role. Through the process, we communicate our identity, our culture and ambitions to a candidate. So, it’s important that we adapt our methods to suit what is appreciated by our target audience, the millennials.
Right from the on-boarding process to induction and goal setting, we must review if we are millennial-friendly. For example, a tech-enabled and seamless process right from applying for a job in the company till accepting the offer, joining the company, understanding the organization quickly and grasping the deliverables of the role is absent in most organizations. Normally, we see multiple hand-offs along the way and cracks in the process leading to delays in completion of the process and lack of completion of some of these processes. These experiences are easy for the people born in 60’s and 70’s to take in their stride, but not those in 80’s and 90’s.
On-boarding to goal setting come as the first step in talent management process. There are several other critical steps that the manager take in his or her day to day management of the team that impact employee experience. We need to adapt them to be millennial-ready. Right from the way the manager holds team meetings, the frequency and structure of the meeting to rewards and recognition methods at work, learning and development processes need to be respectful, open, transparent, fair and participative.
Managers need significant amount of coaching to adapt to these styles. Top leaders in the organization have to personally lead the effort of helping the first-line managers to recognize the changes needed in their style. They need to engage their team members in decisions for the team, create opportunities for them to participate in important programmes of the company, listen to their voices intently and act on them. Team leaders have to be direct in their feedback to their team members and doing this frequently unlike the methods of annual appraisals and bell-curve normalisation to arrive at performance ratings. They need to be more open and accepting of the lacunae in the system and work consciously in a participative style to improve the situation.
You are millennial-ready now!
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