Millennials largely considered those born between 1982 & 1996, currently make up 37% of the workforce. As this percentage is set to increase to around 50% by 2020, what do we know about what they want from a work perspective and how can we integrate different generations?

[bctt tweet=” Millennials have a mind-set of continuous learning”]

Millennials have been weaned on digital technology and this has had a significant impact on how they absorb data and see the world. As technology is part of their day-to-day lives, the way they interact, learn, and prefer to work, is quite different to other employees and the key is to think differently about how to motivate this group. Ideas include:

Rethink the notion of career and standard training courses: They have a mind-set of continuous learning. With a connected device they can consult, reference and share information with others in real-time. If they need some practical how-to advice, they can find a forum, or a YouTube video to learn how to do something. Development is therefore instantaneous. E-learning is likely to be more interesting than sitting in a workshop environment and needs to be built into training and development activity.

Collaboration: This is a major need for Millennials. They collaborate and influence each other online in chat groups, in multi–user  computer games, and share files. Bring this into the workplace and let them help other employees learn to use new online tools to communicate and work. Set up intranet work groups/chat for work purposes and they’ll be happy.

Flexibility and “Need for Speed”: “Millennials” like to have a choice about where they work and use technology to escape traditional office space. They are used to making instant decisions and move between ideas and projects easily, because they are used to instant information from different sources and switching between accounts. For them, innovation now takes place in real time, not over weeks or months, so bureaucracy doesn’t sit well with them! Ensure they understand their boundaries and responsibilities are clear, and if possible, allow them the flexibility to make their own decisions.

Communication: Everything Millennials access provides instant feedback, from an internet search, to a Wiki page. They are used to regular, constant feedback from initial objective-setting to performance feedback, so ensure that regular feedback is given, not just once a quarter.

Finally, everyone can learn through setting clear expectations, respecting and working with each other to share knowledge and experience. Don’t let age be a barrier; see it as an opportunity to learn from each other!

A creative and commercial writer, with experience as a business mentor for start-ups/SMEs, as a HR consultant and as a published author of many books and articles.

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