how should companies deal with the challenge of millennials?

No two generations are alike. Why then, are the millennials probed with such intensity? It is because they are the face of the 360 degree transformation taking place across global industries, markets and societies today. Never before has the world seen a generation take to technology like the millennials have. Never before has the voice of the consumer, end user been so profound. As their presence becomes more indelible at workplaces around the world, here are a few tips organizations can use to decode this generation.

Debunk the anxiety around VUCA:

While they recognize the implications of Industry 4.0, millennials and Generation Z feel they are not yet ready to face the challenges and opportunities tied to the revolution. According to an Industry 4.0 readiness survey, fewer than 4 in 10 millennials (36 percent) and 3 in 10 Gen Z, are confident of being skilled and knowledgeable in domains that will help them  flourish in the transformation that is sweeping across the business world. Apart from core technical skills, they feel interpersonal skills and confidence combined with ethical behavior will help them survive in today’s VUCA  world. The opportunity for employers is to prove themselves as agents of positive change in this dynamic environment by leading the talent building and nurturing effort necessary to prepare the millennial generation for tomorrow.

Make reskilling central to your L&D strategy:

About 71% of Millennials who are looking to part ways with their current employers over the next two years, cite insufficient employer effort in building their leadership skills as the key reason for attrition. As jobs shift, and exposure and access to information widen among Gen Z, many may eschew acquiring a traditional university degree for obtaining targeted skills that get them jobs. Learning and development will be the key business initiative that will keep the millennial cohort anchored to their employers. Learning leaders will need to completely reorient how they look at talent. Alignment of specific skills to distinct business goals can enable employees to make value-driven contributions – the biggest motivator for millennials. Clearly, reskilling will have to assume the centre-stage as job cycles get shorter.

Manage your employer brand:

For employers to be able to attract millennials, creating a ‘wow’ brand right from the early stages of talent acquisition will be paramount. Most of the candidates belonging to the millennial group make their career decision of joining a company based on their experience at the recruitment stage. When making a job decision, about 70% of candidates consider current employee reviews on various feedback platforms, and how actively they are engaged in terms of responding to comments, profile updates and exchange updates.

Focus on employee experience:

While the previous workforce generations were not very vocal about their expectations from their employers, the millennial generation is more candid in voicing their demands. For them, showing up at work every day is not a matter of compulsion, but one of choice. This means creating compelling experiences at work will be a key factor in enhancing engagement with the millennials. From being policy-centric, organizations must now become experience–centric. A simple yet powerful way to make this happen is to increase the representation of millennials in the workplace. Organizations can carve out a wider role for millennials by involving them in redefining programs, policies, and provide perks to accommodate their aspirations.

Millennials are not a threat but an opportunity to make workplaces more fulfilling and aligned to the inherent values and aspirations of the incoming workforce. The key lies in constantly listening to them and taking their feedback seriously. With 75% of the 2025 global workplace expected to be comprised of millennials and generation Z, it is imperative that organizations connect with them through fluid and personalized touchpoints, driving superior employee experiences.

Sources: https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/deloitte-review/issue-22/industry-4-0-technology-manufacturing-revolution.html

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/gx-millenial-survey-2016-exec-summary.pdf

https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/how-candidates-use-glassdoor/

https://www.inc.com/ryan-jenkins/how-millennials-and-generation-z-will-transform-2018-workplace.html

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