Work– life balance and career growth seem to be the driving forces for the millennials
According to the UNDP’s Human Development Report, India will have 63.5 million new entrants into the workforce between 2011 and 2016, of which the bulk will be in the 20–35 age group. In short, the workplace will be full of millennials— those who are born post-1981.
However, one major challenge for organisations is to route the energy and creativity of this millennial generation which comprises one-third of the Indian workforce. While the previous generation still emphasises on loyalty, job-security and retirement benefits, for the millennials, mainly work–life balance and career growth are the focus.
All said and done, each generation has its own pros and cons. So here is what to expect from this generation and what to watch out for.
They are high on adrenaline
The millennials as portrayed in movies, such as Rang De Basanti, Rocket Singh and the likes, are high on energy and want to traverse that extra mile to reach out to the goal, within the time frame or may be even before the time line, provided the goal is communicated properly.
They are tech-savvy and nontraditional
The gazette geeks, the social networking freaks, the IT wizards, whatever title you want to give them, this tech-savvy generation adapts the non-conventional approach with much
ease. All you need to give them is their space, and they could surprise you with their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
They are more likely to be successful in like-minded ventures and organisations that can offer them this kind of work environment.
They question everything
If you tell them “I have been doing the same thing this way for the last 20 years and it is the best way to do it”, they may just surprise you with the simplest of solutions and teach you how to do it easily, in lesser time and more efficiently. Caution — The mindset of ‘The last 20 years … same way’ may be questioned now!
They dare to gamble
It is a progressive virtue of the millennial professionals that they are not afraid of losing. They dare to gamble and make mistakes until they find a solution as per the desired expectations. For any creative and innovative solution, the organisation needs such kind of professionals.
It is observed that the millennials score relatively low on retention and tend to look out for change quite often. Surveys reveal that on an average, a manufacturing professional from this generation stays with an organisation for not more than three to four years. Some of the top reasons for switching jobs are insufficient work–life balance, high expectations, dissatisfaction on absence of a performance-driven culture and lack of freedom or trust.
Besides, at times, the unconventional approach can lead to averse situations and this generation is not prepared to take on the challenges which may lie ahead.
Impatience and ‘me–myself’ priorities
“If everything is done as expected, then why should I not get it now; why will I wait for the circle to be complete?” This is the normal question asked if the result is taking some process time.
The impatient attitude at times can turn into rude behaviour and furious mails, which can disturb the interpersonal relations over petty issues. One important point to be considered here is that this generation lacks the maturity and the ability to understand the other person’s perspective.
(The author is himself a millennial and senior manager, HR, at Siemens.)