The cricketer is the ideal representative of Gen Y.
Virat Kohli is the buzz word in international cricket and Gen Y/Millennials is the buzz word in the corporate world. Kohli is unarguably the most eligible Gen Y lad to have shattered a lot of misconceptions regarding the different measures and parameters of the performance.
The millennials will form 50 per cent of the global workforce by 2020. Several surveys and studies have been done to understand their career aspirations, attitude towards work, and so on. We, as HR professionals will largely be responsible for the attraction, selection, retention and career development of millennials. As part of the HR fraternity, let us try to understand Gen Y through a living legend —Virat Kohli— the representative of Gen Y.
• External appearance : Kohli is considered a fashion icon
Don’t let those tattoos and torn jeans mislead you. The millenials may sport weird hairstyles and moustaches, fashioned jeans and T-shirts with quotes but it’s nowhere correlated to their talent and performance. These are the things which boost their confidence; they do not distract them from delivering the desired results. When it comes to performance, they will deliver results like never before.
While recruiting and selecting a candidate, we should not overemphasise the external appearance, provided the candidate suits the job requirement and performs well in the interview.
• Aggression: Kohli’s aggressive approach on the field makes him sledge the opponents
Generation Y believes in celebrating every moment of triumph. Sometimes it may look aggressive and animated to others but it’s their own way of expression. Every little achievement is important to them. The language they use is just an easier and more relaxing medium of expression.
Their aggression while performing duties should not be misconstrued as an attitudinal problem. There is a difference between aggression and arrogance.
• Multitasking: Kohli is the only player in the world with 50+ average in all the formats of cricket
Gen Y can do wonders if they are offered cross-functional opportunities considering their strength. The hunger for performance is very high amongst millennials.
HR can formulate futuristic strategies to ensure that enough opportunities are given to millennials for cross-functional assignments, job rotations, and so on. Surveys show that the millennials get easily bored of monotonous work, hence variation in terms of job responsibilities is a must.
• Respect: Sachin Tendulkar is Kohli’s role model
Kohli says that he decided to play cricket because of Tendulkar. He was seen bowing down to Tendulkar after his half century in the high-voltage India vs Pakistan T20 world cup match. The millennials have their own role models and they sincerely respect them with all their heart.
We often say that millennials show less respect for the earlier generation, but if they find someone worth the respect, they definitely do revere them. HR can play an instrumental role in selecting the Gen X/ baby boomer coach for the millennials.
• Recognition and trust: Kohli failed to perform in the initial stage of his career
Statistics show that Kohli was not consistent in the initial years, but still, he was retained in the team. The consistency which he is displaying now is just unreal.
The millennials may not be able to perform right from the beginning, due to inexperience. But trust and recognition from the seniors can work wonders.
• Effective use of social media and technology: Kohli is present everywhere (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
Virat Kohli is known for the effective use of social media. Recently he was seen raising concerns on issues, such as Delhi’s pollution and the Bangalore molestation case on social media. His tweet in support of Anushka Sharma was the most retweeted tweet of 2016.
The millennials are sensitive to social issues and believe in using the social media, not just for entertainment but to raise awareness on social issues. Moreover, the usage of smartphones by millennials is largely to gain and share knowledge.
• Fitness and Health: Kohli is the fittest player in the squad
Today everyone is admiring the fitness regime of ‘King Kohli’. He has taken the game to the next level with his fitness and has set the benchmark for his team-mates.
As the millennials will form the larger population of the workforce in the future, the upcoming workplaces should be focussing on offering facilities, such as gyms, recreation centres and annual sports events. Similarly, facilities can be provided to maintain the mental fitness of the employees.
(The author is assistant manager, talent management, Raj Group.)