Secrets to managing Millennials

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Gen Y, Strawberry Generation (because they “bruise” easily), Generation Me – the Millennials have been called many things, and mostly with a negative connotation. Born between 1980 and the early 2000s, they are seen to be less dedicated to their jobs, have unrealistic expectations of career advancement, require more hand-holding and are self-entitled. But it would be a costly mistake to dismiss them because, according to the 2014 Deloitte Millennial Survey, the Millennials will form 75 per cent of the global workforce in the next 10 years. And the key to managing them is simply to understand them.

Assign a variety of tasks and challenges to keep them interested. At the same time, allow them responsibility and the flexibility to do the job their own way, says Joni Ong, MD of Great Place to Work Institute in Singapore.

Tell them what results are expected and show them how their contributions are in line with the company’s goals and objectives. Millennials value personal growth so provide opportunities such as training and mentoring. They also enjoy teamwork because they like the sense of unity and collaboration, says Joni.

Martijn Schouten, management consulting director at PWC South East Asia Consulting, also suggests cultivating a culture of on-the-spot feedback to address the need for more frequent and swifter recognition and appreciation. At the same time, implement sharing sessions so that employees from different generations can develop a better understanding of each other’s work processes and benefit from individual expertise.

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