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HR Planning for millennials: Challenges and way forward

17 Jan, 2020 / MVS Mani

Imagine being rewarded for coming second, well we all probably got that. What about coming third? That may also sound fair to you. Well, what about being rewarded for participating in a competition? That is what millennials grew up with. They have rightly been described as the most entitled generation and having grown up in households with both parents working, this generation has spent a lot of their time with technology. Born in the mid-80s to 2000, they are a generation that has a lot to give as long as you know how to extract it. You cannot ignore them because today they constitute almost 35-40% of the working population.

The tech savvy and well-connected millennials come with a few hiccups. They are the generation that has brought increased attrition into the workforce and most of them don’t stay in one place for too long. Here are some challenges that HR managers face with millennials and how to overcome them.

Addiction to the internet

Since this is a generation that literally came of age during the digital wave, they are constantly online. This could be browsing, gaming, social media and more. HR needs to live with this hobby of theirs as they will constantly be connected with their multiple networks and there is no stopping them.  

Way forward

There are many ways that this can be used positively. If there is a social media campaign, well millennials will be on top of it. Also, HR managers must keep pace with them and ensure that SM is also a channel of communication and maybe the most preferred one for this age bracket. A slight change in the communication patterns in the company can go a long way.

Security Concerns

Increased and uncontrolled use of the internet can give rise to security concerns for any company. With millennials using Social Media and other websites, keeping your systems secure can prove difficult.

Way forward

Social media access can be given to employees with conditions like usage is allowed only on personal devices. They can even be encouraged to bring their own laptops in case they want to open these sites at work.

Overly Tech Savvy

This is a generation that has grown up with technology and many a time one may find that they are far ahead in their knowledge of tech. This means that HR will need to leverage technology in order to make the best use of them.

Way forward

Being tech savvy is not a problem, however to manage this tech savvy generation, HR themselves need to be on top of the game. The millennials, with their knowledge, can invent cutting edge tech solutions in all industries if they are given the right direction by HR.

Easily Distracted

Millennials’ addiction to tech means that they are easily distracted from their work. Work that needs deep thinking and takes a long time is totally out of scope for them and they are often unable to do these with the diversions that they normally subject themselves to. This makes HR not assign such jobs to them as the results may not be productive.

Way forward

A good solution for this would be a separate ‘work room’ for such tasks where there are no distractions. These rooms can be ‘no personal device’ rooms where they can concentrate and deliver.

Highly opinionated

Millennials are also a highly opinionated generation. This means that simple discussions can often turn into heated arguments and breaks can run into hours. They can even end up becoming employee activists more than employees.

Way forward

There is no real solution here other than to try and keep such discussions out of the work place by ensuring that they are otherwise engaged in activities. If you keep them on their toes with activities and fun during their free time, they will not have to rake up any issues for discussion.

Flexibility

This is one generation that craves their freedom and this means that there will be multiple demands of work from home and part time work etc.

Way forward

HR must clearly define and have terms for work from home that makes sense for the company as well. Clarity in this can ensure that it is a win-win for both.

Imagine being rewarded for coming second, well we all probably got that. What about coming third? That may also sound fair to you. Well, what about being rewarded for participating in a competition? That is what millennials grew up with. They have rightly been described as the most entitled generation and having grown up in households with both parents working, this generation has spent a lot of their time with technology. Born in the mid-80s to 2000, they are a generation that has a lot to give as long as you know how to extract it. You cannot ignore them because today they constitute almost 35-40% of the working population.

The tech savvy and well-connected millennials come with a few hiccups. They are the generation that has brought increased attrition into the workforce and most of them don’t stay in one place for too long. Here are some challenges that HR managers face with millennials and how to overcome them.

Addiction to the internet

Since this is a generation that literally came of age during the digital wave, they are constantly online. This could be browsing, gaming, social media and more. HR needs to live with this hobby of theirs as they will constantly be connected with their multiple networks and there is no stopping them.  

Way forward

There are many ways that this can be used positively. If there is a social media campaign, well millennials will be on top of it. Also, HR managers must keep pace with them and ensure that SM is also a channel of communication and maybe the most preferred one for this age bracket. A slight change in the communication patterns in the company can go a long way.

Security Concerns

Increased and uncontrolled use of the internet can give rise to security concerns for any company. With millennials using Social Media and other websites, keeping your systems secure can prove difficult.

Way forward

Social media access can be given to employees with conditions like usage is allowed only on personal devices. They can even be encouraged to bring their own laptops in case they want to open these sites at work.

Overly Tech Savvy

This is a generation that has grown up with technology and many a time one may find that they are far ahead in their knowledge of tech. This means that HR will need to leverage technology in order to make the best use of them.

Way forward

Being tech savvy is not a problem, however to manage this tech savvy generation, HR themselves need to be on top of the game. The millennials, with their knowledge, can invent cutting edge tech solutions in all industries if they are given the right direction by HR.

Easily Distracted

Millennials’ addiction to tech means that they are easily distracted from their work. Work that needs deep thinking and takes a long time is totally out of scope for them and they are often unable to do these with the diversions that they normally subject themselves to. This makes HR not assign such jobs to them as the results may not be productive.

Way forward

A good solution for this would be a separate ‘work room’ for such tasks where there are no distractions. These rooms can be ‘no personal device’ rooms where they can concentrate and deliver.

Highly opinionated

Millennials are also a highly opinionated generation. This means that simple discussions can often turn into heated arguments and breaks can run into hours. They can even end up becoming employee activists more than employees.

Way forward

There is no real solution here other than to try and keep such discussions out of the work place by ensuring that they are otherwise engaged in activities. If you keep them on their toes with activities and fun during their free time, they will not have to rake up any issues for discussion.

Flexibility

This is one generation that craves their freedom and this means that there will be multiple demands of work from home and part time work etc.

Way forward

HR must clearly define and have terms for work from home that makes sense for the company as well. Clarity in this can ensure that it is a win-win for both.

No matter what we say, the millennials will certainly decide how the work environment structure is for a couple of decades at least. This means that we will have to work with them, around them and ultimately for them. It is definitely better to be prepared. What are your thoughts about this generation? I would love to hear them. 

No matter what we say, the millennials will certainly decide how the work environment structure is for a couple of decades at least. This means that we will have to work with them, around them and ultimately for them. It is definitely better to be prepared. What are your thoughts about this generation? I would love to hear them. 

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