Change, the only constant, is yet again knocking at the door. This time it is at the workplace. With the Millennials coming of age, by the end of the next decade, they will be the largest generation in the workplace.
The biggest outcome of this change is in the work culture because like all previous generations, the Millennials too bring in a new energy and thought process.
Each generation is different from the one it succeeded courtesy many factors which leave a deep impact on their mindset and have a role to play in the values that they imbibe. So, how exactly are millennials changing the workplace?
Innovative Work Policies
According to Lindsey Pollak, author of ‘Becoming the Boss’, for the Millennials, flexibility matters the most. The work life balance that was an essential part of Gen X philosophy is interpreted differently by the new generation. For them, the line between work and life is blurred so work does not come to a standstill at 5 and neither does personal life start after 5. Keeping this in mind, some Indian startups have refreshing people policies. For instance, InMobi, gives its employees an annual amount of $800 as part of the ‘Learning Wallet’ policy, which they can use for anything including Scuba diving, cooking classes or mastering a new technology!
The New Age Mentors
‘We live in a unique time where new technology empowers people to create more change than ever before in all of history’, says Ben Rattray, CEO of Change.org. The Millennials, having grown with it, are natural at thinking along with technology. Mentoring at workplace is becoming a two-way process. While the older generation, with its experience, retains its status as a mentor they are mentored by the newcomers for technology.
The open book office
In their own workplace, millennials are keen to enforce a transparent culture. There is a system of constant feedback to ensure revenue generation and growth are not issues to be tackled annually. Companies have to make necessary changes to enable the Millennials to develop trust in their relationships with the administrators.
Till now a lot of companies focused on hiring employees only on the basis of their degrees. The new generation however understands the gap between education and on-ground practicalities. Therefore, they favor those who have proven results under their belts instead of just medals and certificates in their resume.
Distributed Decision Making
For the Millenials, the project is more important than the company. They like to work in a team – maybe across the globe. A study by IdeaPaint points to the fact that 74% of the Millennials work in small groups and use social networks to share ideas. This trend will have lasting impact when they become leaders in the future.
Social network and business
Unlike the older generations, ranks and salaries have little meaning for the Millenials. They focus on connecting with individuals based on their strengths and abilities and the office is not limited by the walls but can expand to wherever the social network takes them. “The arrival of digital and online communications has opened up a plethora of conversations about work and the workplace. Employers now have a number of avenues to attract the most compelling talent and to convey information about their businesses as preferred places to work,” Kamal Karanth, Kelly Services India & Malaysia Managing Director.
Interchangeable work place
Relying heavily on technology, work from home or from any convenient place becomes a norm and not an incentive extended to few. According to Forbes.com, it is estimated that ‘in the next 9 years, 41% of the workforce will be working from home’. SAP lets its employees work from home once every week, besides giving them the benefit to work from home for four months.
As a business, it is imperative to have a culture that gets the most out of these millennials. You will surely need to have open communication channels in order to empower them and utilize their talents and resources for your business.