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The potential of millennial employees

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The term ‘Millennials’ corresponds to the multitude of people born between 1981-1996. Tracing down, they will now be between the ages of 22 and 37. Each Generation possesses distinct characteristics. Millennials are known for their confidence, open-mindedness, liberal mindset. Likewise they are open to new ideas and ways of living. They typically look to work in a flexible workplace whilst also receiving more ‘me time’. The above statements are backed by several polls. In addition, a poll conducted by the ‘Time magazine’ has found that that Millennials expect nearly nonstop feedback and career advice from their chiefs.

Baby Boomers

Consistently high birth rates between the years of 1945 and into the start of the 1960s resulted in the Baby boomers influencing the society as they had a strong societal presence (They constituted a major proportion of the society).

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People born in this generation are widely perceived to be achievement oriented, hard-working, competitive, and materialistic. Their materialistic nature of indicates that they tend to be motivated by extrinsic factors which may not be a positive trait. Several empirical evidences do support the stereotypes. Boomers have also been found to possess strong self-enhancement values such as power and achievement. This maybe both good and bad as achievement and power can induce a healthy competition which can contribute to organizational success but on the flipside it can contribute to rivalry, internal politics and may induce one to resort to immoral means. Boomers have also been found to be more hard working and work centric than the newer generations. This is likely to benefit the organization they work for. This quality can prove to be unfavorable as the employee may lose out on work-life balance.

Generation X:

Generation X, or Gen X, was born between 1965 and 1979

Individuals who belong to Genx are known for their diverse ranging life experiences. This is mainly because they have braved and lived through major times of economic uncertainty and economic severances such as recession. They attempt to strike a balance between work and home as their parents were rarely at home as they were compulsive workers. This is believed to have enabled them to be individualistic. From an employer point-of-view this can be advantageous as such kind of people are self-directed. However, their evident distrust towards corporations and lack of loyalty may transpire as a con as it may decrease employee retention rate. Besides they are financially self reliant and don’t hesitate to take risks. This proves advantageous from a country’s economic perspective. They also expect promotions sooner than the older generations as they are stuck-up with a memory wherein loyalty and commitment towards a job weren’t recognized or rewarded. It has also been found that GenXers place more importance on change values such as stimulation and self-direction rather than self-enhancement ones such as power and indulgence.

Millennials:

The millennial generation starts with birth years between 1980 and 1983. They are adverted to be the first “high-tech” as they have not lived a life devoid of gadgets and technological advancements. They are also regarded to be the most racially and ethnically diverse of the three generations and are thought to value to same. Common stereotypes correlated with this generation includes distrust towards corporations, family-centric approach. They seek meaning in the jobs they do and priorities lifelong learning. They are resolute to succeed and use meaningfulness of work as a measure to gauge success. They also value leisure and work harder than Generationx.

Similarities across three generations:

Appreciation and Recognition

Employees from all three generations want to be appreciated and recognized for their work. The basic premise seems to remain the same while the type and regularity of the recognition differs from one generation to another.

Work Life Balance

Employees are humans. Humans try to find balance between work and life. Needs required by employees differ from one stage of life to another but the desire for balance is consistent across all three generations.

Debt and Savings

Financial priorities may vary by the stage of life an individual is at, but financial goals are seen to be a priority across all generations. Millennials may be paying off student loans, Genxers may be under the clutches of mortage and childcare costs while Baby boomers maybe scrambling money for retirement. Financial goals affect career decisions. Therefore financial goals are a recurring priority across all three generations.

Actions to maximise the potential of millennial employees :

Be flexible.

Millennials bring value from their outside lives into the workplace, but they expect the same flexibility from their employers. Business is no longer 9-to-5, and employers ideally should offer flexible working hours and remote working options. Young people look for work opportunities with the option to “plug-in-and-play” at a time and location to suit them.

Nurture talents

Millennials need room to grow and thrive, so give them the relevant and personalized training they need. Listen to what they want and see how you can accommodate them. Employers should consider changing their style from “command” to “coach” as Millennials also benefit tremendously from mentoring and access to senior leadership.

Connect individual work to overall organizational goals

When employees know that the task-at-hand fits into a bigger picture client or agency goal, they’re more likely to think strategically, see the value, and produce better work. Always offer context and connect the dots.

Impact of millennials. Is it positive or negative?

They are replacing the other two previous generations at an increasing rate. Avoiding them entirely is not a choice however their potential can be harnessed/used to the company’s advantage.

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