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Helping young workers navigate career paths



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Helping young workers navigate career paths

A better understanding of millennial professional is critical to company success. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Today’s young professional is a person of interest to many HR practitioners, researchers and employers. They hold enormous potential for driving organisations to success. Their digital prowess is of immense value to the current business landscape where speed, efficiency and precision are of paramount importance.

A 2017 study indicates that by 2030, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the workforce. Stakeholders are already aware that this change in demographic will influence dynamics in the workplace, and in order to embrace the changes effectively, a better understanding of the young millennial professional is important.

To the conservative manager or a baby boomer, a millennial is something of an enigma. They work independently and effectively and their lack of propensity for sycophancy is often interpreted as disrespect. They value job satisfaction and work-life balance.

Millennials are not unaware or ignorant of the future; they simply don’t see the need to relegate pleasure and comfort to middle age. This can sometimes make them seem insensitive, inconsiderate, impatient and entitled.

I have worked and interacted with young professionals, and would like to describe them using three key areas: Performance Management, Organisational Culture and Communication.

EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Young professionals between 25 and 38 years old—also known as Generation Y or millennials–are well educated, confident, well connected and possess boundless energy. They’re generally very committed to work and can be motivated to do more if the fruits of their labour are recognised regularly and promptly. If not, they often become unsettled, anxious and frustrated. They are not wired to wait or believe in vague promises; they want tangible evidence of the promise. Moving from one job to another is therefore a common trend among millennials and they do it without blinking. Conversely, they are likely to stay longer with an employer who offers flexibility – where personal aspirations can be integrated with daily tasks and duties in the workplace.

ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE: A strong organisational culture creates a solid brand. It is the total behaviour of the organisation guided by the vision, values, beliefs, perceptions, policies, expected behaviour and operational activities.

A good culture brings with it order and positively influences organisational effectiveness. Millennials abhor groping in the dark. They are drawn to employers who allow them to be key players in the organisation’s journey to success.

In the right setting, they often demonstrate discipline, drive and unwavering dedication to the cause.

COMMUNICATION: Organisational culture evolves gradually and it evolves better if the direction of organisation functionality is communicated clearly.

Digital means of communication are a blessing in this scenario. However, employers should always strive to have face-to-face interactions as regularly as possible to clarify matters.

Despite their love of all things technological, millennials appreciate human contact. It makes them feel valued, at ease and at home in the workplace.

The writer is Human Resource Consultant a Transition Bridge.

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