Managing Millenials in the current
Managing Millenials in the current
The aging of the workforce faced in the
United States, and the concurrent advent of the Millenials in the workplaces
represent a significant demographic and sociological occurrence that has the
capacity of having dominant implications to the organizations (Armour, 2005).
In the wake of massive economic upheaval in the US as well as the large-scale
cutbacks happening in the workforces, it creates urgency for the organizational
leaders to find a way to balance the four generations that are currently in
play in the work settings (Armour, 2005). Managers continue to grapple with
generational differences at the workforces and problems may arise from the
differing mindsets and communication styles adopted by the individuals from
different eras. The technological changes may further aggravate the friction
and work patterns that continue to mix workers of all generations in a single
working environment (Chaudhuri, & Ghosh, 2012).
There are four generations in the
workplace today. The oldest generation is the Silents and referred to like the
veterans who are considered to be among the most loyal employees with high dedication
but are very much aversive to risks (Armour, 2005). The participation rates of
this cohort in the future of the workplaces are bound to be lower since the
majority of them are at their retirement ages (Deal, 2007).
The Baby Boomers born between 1946 and
1964 perceived as being more competitive and think that all workers ought to
pay their dues. Their participation rates in the workplaces are bound to remain
high and are the majority in the workforce (Chaudhuri, & Ghosh, 2012).
Moreover, despite the fact that majority of them hit the retirement age in
2011, they were retained by most industry players following the Great economic
recession and the slow recovery of the economy that followed (Stephens College,
2007). Having been kept for another ten years with some entities setting the
retirement age at 65, it means that the cohort remains dominant at the
workforces till 2020 and beyond (Martin, 2005). Retaining of the Baby Boomers
came as a result of the fear and apprehension by most employers on the impact
it would have on the workplaces if they retire in large numbers. Organizations
faced, massive brain drain since the boomers are characterized by the fact that
that they are vast in technical skills, have sufficient historical knowledge,
and exude honed industry-specific abilities (Chaudhuri, & Ghosh, 2012).
The Gen Xers, on the other hand, are
born between 1965 and 1977 and are bound to be more skeptical and
independent-minded (Wieck et. al., 2002). They are the least number of the
workplaces and with the increase in the Millenials coupled with the retaining
of the Boomers; their effect may not be felt in the future. It is because, by
the time the boomers leave the workplaces, the Millenials will have acquired
the skills and knowledge to compete with the Xers (Deal, 2007). However, they
continue to hold the majority of the leadership positions in the companies.
The Gen Ys also known as the
Millennials are those born in 1978 and later and are perceived to be more into
feedback, teamwork and are keen on embracing technology. They are the second
largest cohort in the workforces and therefore are expected to be actively
participating in the future of the workplaces (Dominguez, 2003). In fact,
experts anticipate that the Millenials may overtake the Boomers at the
workplaces shortly due to their mass increase in numbers at the workstations
beginning working at a very young age.
There is a need for the different
generations at the workplaces to work together at and also peacefully coexist
since all the generations have a role to play at the workplaces (Karp et. al.,
2002). Moreover, they all have some attributes and unique attitudes and skills
to bring to the table, and it is the ability of the different generations to
work together in harmony that will determine the future of most workplaces.
Moreover, working in a multigenerational work environment, decisions made are
made from many perspectives and reflect diverse needs and expertise thus
fostering innovation. Acknowledging and incorporating the values and ideas as
well as perceptions of every generation can also have a positive impact on the
climate as well as the overall effectiveness of the workplace (Gordon &
Ways in which the Millennials are
different from other generations in the workforce.
The Millenials are a generation born at
a time when technology has been at its peak with advancements coming into play
every other day (Rath, 1999). As a result, they have been characterized by
their reliance and strong believe in the use of technology as the primary tool
even while at the workplaces. They are accused of overly relying on technology
by other generations (Deal, 2007). Their excesses in the use of computers and
dramatic technological innovation have led to an increased comfort in
technology than any other tools that may be present in the workplaces.
The Millenials were also born at a time
marred by increased terrorism, drug trafficking and use among other societal
problems. It is these problems that led to greater international and regional corporations
(Gordon & Steele, 2005). As a result, this has shaped the way the
Millenials think and act even at the workplaces. They believe more in
collaborations and teamwork even as they work. They want to be part of teams as
they deliver their work and are more productive in collaboration as compared to
the other cohorts (Dominguez, 2003). Moreover, they have been a cohort that has
been open to more globalization and collaborative working than any other
generations. As a result, there has been an increased level of engagement and
also the globalization of ideas with the Millenials fostering increased
inter-border, interracial and even interregional working relations. They have
been brought together in the face of adversity and are bound to have lesser discrimination
to their fellow workmates based on color, creed or nationality instead are
focused on the abilities and competencies of others before forming a perception
regarding the individuals (Dominguez, 2003).
The Millenials are accused of having a
bad work ethics with other generations accusing them of being lazy. It is
because; they do not spend as many hours at the workplaces as the boomers.
There is a reduction in the rate at which individuals feel that their
performance at work define them as people with more Millenials being more
flexible in their thinking as well as in their workplaces (Glass, 2007).
The Millenials are capable of moving
from one workplace to another without transition fears or difficulties a factor
that has made the other generations further feel that they lack loyalty and
commitment at their work (Mitchell, 2002). However, in an era of internet and
increased parental involvement with the children, the Millenials have grown up
to be independent thinkers, with a high level of risk taking and versatility.
They are highly resourceful and innovative in most cases but at the same time
are more volatile to deal with since they believe that their personal growth
and satisfaction matters more than any other thing. They also want to work in settings
that they can see direct results and impact of their role or jobs (Dominguez,
2003). Millenials want to be more involved and free even with their management
and freedom to experiment and come up with ideas. If such channels or
opportunities are lacking in a working environment then they felt dissatisfied
and demotivated as compared to the other generations such as the Boomers and
the Generation Xers that tend to fit in the structures and bureaucratic systems
already in place at the workplace (Smola, & Sutton, 2002).
Advantages and limitation of the
Benefits of the Millenials
The majority of the individuals in this
generation attach a high value for money and therefore are bound to be greater
savers than any other generations (Smola, & Sutton, 2002). It is contrary,
to the assumption and the perception that they are rampant spenders. The
mentality of saving and also wise investment is harbored on the hard economic
times witnessed in the recent past.
The Millenials are the most technological
savvy of all the generations. They were born at a time when technology was at
its peak and had led to excellent accommodation and use of technology at all
spheres of their lives (Mitchell, 2002). As a result, it has resulted in the
revolutionization of the workplace in that they have brought in technologies
that have made work easier, efficient and even profitable for their employers
as well as the other working colleagues (Gordon & Steele, 2005).
The Millenials are also more involved
and independent in their thinking with the assertion that their opinions and
ideas ought to be heard (Rath, 1999). With the ability and the capacity to
bring out ideas and input at their workplaces, the Millenials have increased
the innovation and productivity of workplaces (Karp et. al., 2002). They are
actively involved in the processes of problem solving and decision-making at
their workplaces which make their management easier and also makes the
workplaces even more efficient instead of having a team that just takes in what
they are instructed to do without getting involved in the processes themselves
(Tang & Tzeng, 1992).
They are also more engaged in global,
regional and international activities meaning that they have led to the
revolutionization of working cultures as well as impacted positively on the
workplaces. The ability of the Millenials to engage and get involved in
international affairs and also accommodate and work together in harmony with
individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds has made the workplaces a
global village (Martin & Tulgan, 2002). The blending of the diversities in
all aspects is what has made the majority of the workplaces even more
competitive, productive and unique. Moreover, their involvement and engagement
in global affairs have led to the emergence of innovations and brilliant ideas
that have revolutionized and also set some businesses apart in service
provision and other quotas. Their involvement in the affairs that may affect
the dynamics of companies and businesses such as politics and policy making has
also led to the lobbying for good governance and protected the integrity and
capacity of the workplaces (Glass, 2007).
Limitations of the Millenials
The Millenials may have unrealistic
confidence ad expectations while entering the working environment (Salkowitz,
2008). The unrealism regarding what they know and can do can make it difficult
for the employers and other generations to deal with them and even train them
to new roles. In an era that information is readily available on the internet
and other sources, the Millenials have a feeling of invincibility or a kind of
a know it all attitude that may make it tough to train them and retain at
workplaces (Howe& Strauss 2000). They may also have a false sense of
importance and expectations regarding their job roles, tasks and also
responsibility and as a result, turnover may be higher. The turnover of the
Millenials is also high because, of the firm sense of independence and also
open-mindedness as well as versatility and therefore, can shift from one
working environment to another in the promise of better-working conditions or
pay (Marston, 2007).
Millenials also indicate lower levels
of commitment and loyalty to their workplaces in that they are open to any
changes in a career as long as they promise better conditions (Martin &
Tulgan, 2002). They are very vibrant and brave generation and therefore,
containing them at a workplace is difficult. As a result, the managers and
employers feel that it's hard to have them train them only to have a shift in
focus into other areas of working. Managers and other employees feel that it
may be difficult to cope and work with Millenials (Geck, 2006).
Criticisms towards Millenials by older
employees and society
While it may be common to have
differing generation criticize one another. As a result, other disparities, the
Millenials have been highly criticized by the older generations (Rath, 1999).
The Millenials are more often referred to as “trophy kids” with other
generations and also employers viewing the Millenials as being more entitled
and having higher maintenance at work. The older generations point to the rate
at which the young people have become self-absorbed more than any other
generation in the workforce (Geck, 2006). The Millenials also a high value for
their social media importance and also the perception of other generations as
being behind the technology has further resulted in criticism and increased the
divide between the Millenials and the older generations (Karp et. al., 2002).
As a consequence of the perceptions, it may lead to a divide in the workplaces
with employers having lower respect and paying lesser attention to the ideas
and innovations of the Millenials as they are mostly perceived to be tricky or
ill-informed. The older generations as well feeling entitled and threatened in
some cases by the Millenials may also look down upon them leading to increased
rift at the workplace which reflects poor working relations (Glass, 2007).
The older generation also perceives the
Millenials as being concerned more with personal gratification and not
attaching importance to their jobs. As a result, they criticize the young
people of lacking commitment and loyalty to their workplaces as well as their
employers (Howe & Strauss, 2000). They are seen as attaching more
importance to personal image and achievements and thus demeaning the
accomplishments at the workplaces if they do not result in their direct benefits
such as promotions.
The Baby Boomers and the Generation
Xers have also argued that the Millenials are too rush and lack patience and do
not want to follow the due processes at the workplaces (Salkowitz, 2008). It
may be attached to the fact that the Millenials want to move fast up the chain
instead of following the contemporary system of experience and merit that takes
time (Geck, 2006). The Millenials feeling of entitlement and a false sense of
importance is what the older generations have termed as being unrealistic and
causing friction at the workplaces. Moreover, the vibrancy and lack of regard
to protocol ion most cases as the other generations would want to argue also
led to the Millenials taking roles and positions set for the other generations who
feel entitled to the jobs due to their experience and expertise in the field
The older generations have also referred to
the Millenials as being lazy and lacking commitment at the workplaces
(Salkowitz, 2008). It is because, unlike the other generations that spend an
enormous amount of time at their workplaces showing personal initiative at
taking extra personal time at executing their duties even at no pay, the
Millenials are fast to work within the hours and leave immediately (Martin,
2005). The other generations believe that working hard entails investing more
hours at the workplace and it is this that has made them perceive the
Millenials having no sense of commitment and self-sacrifice for the greater
good of the workstation and workforce (Howe& Strauss 2000). It is this that
has further led to the branding of the Millenials as being poor team players
and as being self-centered.
How to motivate Millenials at the
workplaces to both contribute and remain loyal
they are aware of the shared vision, goals and objectives and how they can fit
in the system. The Millenials are more interested in looking for and
understanding the meaning of the roles they are tasked with and also making
sense of the direct impact that their role has (Martin & Tulgan, 2002).
Helping them understand what role helps them feel the bigger picture and
increase their sense of importance and viability in the workforce.
community services in the work schedule. A Pew Research Center in 2010
indicated that over 90% of Millenials felt that allowing them to use the
company resources to reach out increases their sense of social consciousness
(Howe& Strauss 2000). The Millenials are more socially conscious than any
other generation and therefore there is a need to enhance that to make the feel
part of the team. Workplaces could organize for humanitarian courses and other
community activities such as making donations to charities.
steps and titles indicating growth. More than many other generations, the
Millenials attach a high level of importance to growth at their workplaces.
They want to see advancement and therefore, there is the need to have a working
structure that allows for gradual growth and equitable growth to ensure that
they are kept engaged and feel that there is career progression (Rath, 1999).
The progressive steps also increase the experience and training that set the
stage for bigger responsibilities in the future.
proper channels for giving regular feedback. The millennial value feedback and
celebrating the small victories every day and therefore, there is the need for
the workplaces to have a place for such feedback that acts as a potent source
of motivation to the individuals.
for structures that are open to flexibility and also open to ideas. The
Millenials are highly technological savvy and technology changes rapidly (Zemke
et. al., 1999). In an attempt to keep up with the technology, the Millenials
tend to be full of ideas that could be of great significance to the workplaces
and also want to feel that such changes are welcome at their workplaces (Howe
& Strauss, 2000). Therefore creating such openings is crucial at motivating
regular educational and professional development. More Millenials especially
the fresh graduate from the universities and colleges identify opportunities
for professional development and educational advancements being the top
priorities as they seek for employments (Martin, 2005). Therefore, there is
importance to offer the young people education and expertise through training
and studying scholarships so as to keep them motivated and loyal to the
for them to be involved and actively engaged in the workplace dynamism and
decision-making processes. The Millenials grew up at a time where parents are
highly involved and allow them to voice their views and are also actively
involved in making decisions right from their home backgrounds (Martin, 2005).
As a result, they want to feel like part of the decision making in the
workplaces especially on issues that directly affect them.
the Millenials to be in the spotlight. In the era of inflated personal
importance and high confidence, the Millenials want to feel a sense of
achievement and outstanding (Rath, 1999). There is the need to offer the
Millenials roles that enhance their self-image and make them feel important
such as presenting in public, organizing major events and also doing media
opportunities for partnerships with a peer of multicultural backgrounds. Among
the Millenials, the world is a global village, and it is highly motivating for
them as they are working in teams that have diversity in composition. They are
actively involved in world affairs and want to make connections across the
board which is very satisfying and motivating (Rath, 1999).
How to connect with workers of various
One fundamental attempt as I enter the
new workplace is to try as much as possible to understand the different
generations present at the workplaces. With such understanding, it is easy to
anticipate and also accommodate the generational differences in attitudes,
values and also believes (Lancaster & Stillman, 2003). In an attempt to fit
in as well, I will ensure that I get acquainted with the work culture and find
a balance between the workplace culture and my personal values, perceptions and
believe and not try to change everyone to fit my perceptions and thinking. I
will also ensure that I develop skills such as active listening, ensure that I
understand my job roles and responsibilities to avoid clashes or to overstep on
my mandate and functions in the workplace (Smola, & Sutton, 2002).
How to balance home and work life.
To balance my home and work lives, I
would ensure that I do not carry any baggage related to specific areas to other
sectors (Strauss & Howe, 1991). For example, I would ensure that my
problems at home do not interfere with my productivity and or motivation at
work but rather try to deal with such issues at home as they arise. I would
also ensure that I work efficiently and actively during my working hours to
make sure that I would not have to carry my work home (Howe & Strauss,
2000). Moreover, I would ensure that I define my priorities and organize my
time to make sure that one does not eat the other to ensure stability and
success in both spheres. I would also ensure that my employer understands the
importance that I hold my family with to make sure that they do not offer and
allocate roles that would interfere with my home life (Sessa et. al., 2007).
Top five things that are important to a
job. Describe possible ways to increase your potential for securing them.
to work in a multigenerational workplace. Employers are increasingly looking
for individuals that can fit within the workplace because there are four
generations in the workplaces (Huntley, 2001). They want to see the high level
of intergeneration accommodation. To increase my ability to fit in a generationally
diverse working environment, I would ensure that I attend workshops and
training on cross-generational engagement and tolerance in the workplace. I
would also spend some time to study and understand the generation mix and
composition of the workplace that I target to ensure that I understand and
accept the realities (Lancaster & Stillman, 2003).
communication skills. It is critical for them to express oneself and also to
explain and pass information in a coherent and understandable manner (Strauss
& Howe, 1991). One of the primary ways to ensure that I get the right
communication skills is to make sure that I practice and expose myself to
public speaking forums and also with my friends (Raines, 2003). It would be
counterproductive to have skills and technical knowhow but lack the capacity
and the ability to sell oneself to the employers.
It is a virtue that most employers look for in every employment opportunity
(Smola, & Sutton, 2002). It is because, in a workplace, there are other
employees and the success of an organization is determined by the ability of
the team players to work together (Lancaster & Stillman, 2003). Therefore,
I would ensure that I demonstrate my ability to be a team player and leader
through engaging in teamwork based activities. I would also participate in
training and also events such as team building events that help one build their
ability to fit in and create a good rapport with others to ultimately fit in a
to negotiate and influence others. It is a major skill and ability in a work
set-up, I would ensure that I engage in activities such as debates and
arguments to make sure that I build my negotiation skills. I would also
participate in activities that make my ability to persuade and influence others
and confidence. I would ensure that I profess and present a strong, positive
image and professional image that inspires confidence as well as commands
respect (Smola, & Sutton, 2002).
Opportunities and challenges faced as
you enter the workforce. Please indicate
how they relate to those faced by older generations
is an opportunity for personal and [professional growth within the organization
and beyond. It is still a chance that the older generations had as they entered
the workforce and could be the motivating factors even as I enter the workforce
also presents an opportunity to demonstrate and also exercise the professional
and personal skills that I profess. The older generations are mostly also
motivated by the sense of self-esteem and belonging exuded from participating
at work and also their achievements at the workplace (Salkowitz, 2008).
is also an opportunity to earn a pay that will be the enabling opportunity to
meet the social, economic and esteem needs that one may hold. It is still a
significant opportunity that the older generations face and still motivates
them to be loyal to the workplace (Strauss & Howe, 1991).
Challenges at the workplace
in an intergenerational workforce presents a challenge due to the varying
attitudes, perceptions and belief systems (Sessa et. al., 2007). The way one
generation does things may be different from the other thus may be difficult to
some people to blend into the workplace. It is still the shortcoming faced by
the older generations who have to get into terms with the younger generations
that may have differing views and way of doing things and therefore accepting
them may be a challenge (Howe & Strauss, 2000).
management. Balancing work, home, and social life may be tough at the beginning
of the working period. It is more so difficult for individuals who are more
engaged in social activities especially being a Millenials with so much
engagement with family and friends (Sessa et. al., 2007). It is a problem that
may have been perceived differently during the Baby Boomers time since they are
engaged at work that other things such as family and social lives were not of a
big priority as is the case today (Raines, 2003).
Lack of open communication channels. In as much as
workplaces are facing changes, they are dominated by the older generations
especially the Baby Boomers that do not question authority or do not like being
questioned (Raines, 2003). It may be difficult to fit into a work set up where
we are not allowed to voice our grievances, ideas and objections (Huntley, 2001).