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Connecting with millennials

Millennials are technology and electronic natives who increasingly spend their time online, comfortably dealing with social networks. It is the generation that has received much attention and pampering from parents. Here is how you can relate to them at home or at work.

I have a daughter who was born in 1990. She works with an analytics company doing predictive modelling work during the day. After five in the afternoon, she writes short stories that she publishes in New York and which can be accessed through Amazon. She teaches literary writing on weekends in art galleries around the city. What amazes me is her energy to multitask! 

Many of the millennials are employed in fields unrelated to the course they took up in college. Or they are responsive to the interesting jobs today that did not exist three years ago. These new jobs developed in response to an increasingly VUCAD environment. It is an external environment that is volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous and digital.

Millennials enter the work force with high expectations which may have come from protective, caring and encouraging parents. High expectations can often result in disillusion causing frequent job hopping. It is predicted that by age 38, millennials would have gone through 8-12 different jobs.

The fact remains that technology savvy millennials are a big boost in the workplace. They often have the up-to-date technical and digital skills that make them productive at work or at home. The challenge is to tap into their unique abilities. 

One, millennials want to be coached and experience learning opportunities. They realize that coaching can help them overcome their lack of experience and context in terms of situations occurring in the workplace.

They feel good volunteering for causes they believe in. They like mentoring others and teaching people new in the work place.  They like community work.

Three, they want their work to help society and social causes. They are attracted by companies whose vision, mission and values are aligned to theirs.

Four, they enjoy working in collaboration with others. They like a comfortable work environment where teamwork is a key value.

Five, millennials are driven by technology. They want to be in the loop of what is happening. They also want consistent feedback and deserved recognition.

Six, make them responsible. Put them in charge of a project – no matter how small – and multiply the return by explaining how their project fits into the larger company goals. If you encourage them to come up with creative solutions and question the status quo, you might be surprised by the results.

Finally, millennials want to work for a company that listens to people’s point of view, and they are not shy to share theirs. 

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