Let’s face it: for the next five years at least, any business hiring new talent will have to get used to dealing with millennials and their work styles.
There are many stereotypes, such as “always glued to their social media accounts” or “always dissatisfied and changing jobs after just a few months.” While to some extent this may be true, understanding the way this generational cohort thinks and feels has become essential to managers, recruiters and HR professionals.
We interviewed Anna Esperanza, a licensed Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner who has researched on, and works with millennials, for some of her insights.
What are the usual challenges brought about by a workforce slowly being dominated by millennials?
Millennials have a burst of competitive spirit and passion. They are acquiring leadership roles sooner, and at a younger age compared to other generations.
Also, 60 percent of millennials are expected to leave their current employer within a period of two to three years. This creates alarming concerns: loss of knowledge, reduced productivity, higher recruitment and training costs and succession gaps.
The current leaders of the organization must understand how the presence of millennials changes work dynamics and organizational culture.
Why is it important to understand the values and work styles of the different generations? How will this help the bottom line?
Following Maslow’s Learning Cycle, the goal of any organization is to bring out unconscious work challenges to the conscious level, pushing the team to learn and be competent in the area until it becomes ingrained in each member of the team making these “pushed competencies” be unconscious competencies.
We have observed that millennials have their own unique traits, behaviors, priorities and their own set of work challenges.
But older generations, who are more set in their ways, may be less accepting, even with the understanding that innovation, technology and change are inevitable to sustain progress.
Personal biases, work style preferences, stuck behaviors and lack of clear work boundaries add on to multi-generation conflicts.
But once we understand each generation’s uniqueness, it is easier to respect diversity and adjust to a variety of work styles promoting fluidity of inter-department and multi-level work process flow.
What are the proactive ways an organization can do to build a productive relationship among different generations?
Bridge the gap between generations: mold and empower the youth. Know there is continuity of life, leadership and progress.
An organization can practice open communication and embrace diversity by doing the following: (1) Find a balance addressing the teams’s core human and “generation” needs while driving to attain financial business goals; (2) Define cross generational values, acceptable work styles and incorporate it within the culture of the organization; and (3) Practice flexibility to the constantly changing internal and external work environment.
If all team levels of the organization are aligned, it will ensure leadership succession and sustainability of the business.
Esperanza has an extensive knowledge of brand management, new product development, marketing communications, program management, organizational development and organizational counseling.
She will be facilitating a workshop entitled “Multi-Generation Workforce Management: Building Work Styles Across a Diverse Workforce” on Aug. 15-16, 2016. It will be held at the Inquirer Academy Building, Don Chino Roces Avenue corner Ponte Street, Makati City.