Are you one of those who think leadership roles are for the experienced? Well, in today's workplace, millennials are fast moving into leadership roles. Surprised? Wondering how the young minds bring workplace discipline or what their management style would be? To answer all these questions, we at SheThePeople.TV caught up with leading women in organizations that work with millennials. And here's what they have to say…
The Future In Millennials’ Style:
Shachi Irde, Vice-President and Executive Director, Catalyst India WRC, says, “The industry is currently in the phase where more millennials are joining the workforce. They are projected to be 50% of the global workforce by 2020 and are the primary facilitators and beneficiaries of the many positive changes happening at organizations.”
Ruchi Bhatia, an IIM-C Alumni and Recruitment Branding Lead at IBM, echoes, “By 2025, millennials will compromise 75% of the workforce, according to World Economic Forum. Millennials are joining the workplaces in large numbers. Today, if you talk to any of the HR Leader, the top most question on their mind is ‘How to Manage and Engage the Millennials’.”
Sindhu S., India HR Head at Brillio, proudly says that she works in a company where 70% of their workforce comprises millennials and they have some interesting policies at the company.
So Why Are Millennials The Change-makers?
Irde explains, “Unlike the previous generation, millennials are often said to be more inclusive and expect more collaboration and transparency in the way organizations work. They stay at jobs that best fit both their values and lifestyle.”
While Sindhu expresses her personal experience, saying, “Some unique changes due to millennials is the expectation around ‘being one’s own boss’ or being an ‘entrepreneur’ while working for an organization. The performers of this generation clearly need autonomy. They don’t want others to tell them what to do. Leaders have to adopt a coaching style to keep them motivated.”
Sindhu further adds, “These changes have already occurred and many evolved organizations and leaders are adapting and changing. It is paramount that we change as the coming generations will not have too much patience to put up with outdated mindset.”
Also Read: 21 Changes Feminists Hope To See In 2017
How Impactful Are Millennials?
Sindhu thinks, “The millennials and digital natives have had a huge impact on our work environment and they will continue to create changes. One of the key impacts we have seen is the high need of this generation to have a socially interactive and inspiring work place. They won’t settle for anything less. Be it interactive communication platforms, inspiring leaders, and quick, byte-sized interactive learning, organizations can no longer be traditional. It will be fundamentally disastrous if we hang on to the traditional mindset.”
"Millennials expect to ‘being one’s own boss’ or being an ‘entrepreneur’ while working for an organization. The performers of this generation clearly need autonomy. They don’t want others to tell them what to do. Leaders have to adopt a coaching style to keep them motivated” - Sindhu
Irde believes, “Many organizations are accordingly modifying their work culture, to attract and retain millennials, by being less hierarchical, more democratic, open, transparent, friendly, diverse, promoting teamwork and gender parity, encouraging risk-taking behaviours and flexible work arrangements.”
While speaking of the importance of adding millennials’ new-age thinking to the everyday work process, Irde says, “It is important for companies to understand this generation and provide opportunities that will benefit both sides. According to Catalyst, organizations should avoid making assumptions about millennials as a whole and listen to individual employee aspirations to better support all employees and retain the best talent. This would be one of the primary changes that we see taking place in the workplace as more and more millennials become part of the workforce.”
So What Makes Millennials Different?
According to Ruchi, “Millennials are the people born after 1980. While earlier generations i.e. Baby Boomers, Gen X followed the top down corporate structure, millennials like to operate in Networks.”
According to her, “For millennials, it is all about networking. They have grown up with new technologies. Social media is their way of life. Therefore, Gen Y or millennials expect different employment experience. They are more comfortable with flat structures vis-a-vis hierarchies. Command and control style of management doesn’t work with millennials, therefore Managers will have to learn to give up control. This is a new management shift that managers will have to deal with, caused by rising number of millennials in the working population. They grew up in an environment where they have a say in everything from electing Leaders to choosing vacation destinations for the family.”
“By 2025, millennials will compromise 75% of the workforce, according to World Economic Forum," - Ruchi
While we completely agree with Ruchi’s progressive thinking, as in the more tech-savvy the workplace, the more the development.
When asked about what millennials ask for in return, she added, “They want their voices to be heard and have the need to have their inputs in collective decision-making. They are not comfortable with decisions being taken at the top and thrown at them which affects their lives directly. The need to lend their share of voice is greater.”
Ruchi gives us some example within her company. She says, “At IBM, the policy to use Uber for transportation was shaped because a millennial wrote a blog stating that Uber is cost effective. Leaders took a note of his blog post and within 24 hours, the policy decision was accordingly modified and adjusted.”
Ruchi explains, “The employer culture, salary, every aspect of working environment is openly discussed by millennials. If they don’t like something, they highlight it. Leaders are paying attention to glassdoor in terms of what is being said about their Brand, culture, management, leadership. The most acknowledgeable point is that they thrive on fresh goals and challenges to keep them motivated.”
"Organizations should avoid making assumptions about millennials as a whole and listen to individual employee aspirations to better support all employees and retain the best talent. bring as more and more millennials in the workforce” - Irde
“In this hyper-connected world, they demand flexibility – the ability to do work anytime, anywhere. Hence, more companies are offering Telecommuting or flexi work or work-from-home to their employees,” Ruchi says.
Aiming For Leaderahip Roles/Startups:
“Millennials have also started occupying Leadership positions at workplaces. So we see a new breed of startups, and fresh thinking at big corporates. They bring new perspectives on how work gets done. They have the underlying desire to shape workplace policies, to make a contribution, to play a role which contributes to society. Their communication style is open and transparent. They are open to be mentored, place emphasis on networking to succeed at work and at life. They demand flexibility and use mobile phone and apps for routine and specific tasks. In fact, they are the ones who are building these new apps to make lives easier,” Ruchi says.
So what's the bottomline? Millennials are definitely not to be ignored. In fact, we need to invest in them if we want our organizations to move forward!
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