Who said it was going to be easy for Baby Boomers and Generation X to work with Millennials (referred to as MLNS)? How can we manage people who see work as a multi-tasking activity, unlike us in Generation X, who learned that sacrifice was the only path to achieving successful careers? Did you know millennials will dominate the workforce by 2020?
That is only three years away!
Not surprisingly, directing Millennials with management models from other generations certainly poses issues. Some weeks ago, I gave a presentation in Miami on the key factors used to engage Millennials which today represents a high percentage of the work force in companies. In fact, the insurance industry has a great challenge and opportunity at the same time with this generation. Only 24% of millennials use a Local Agency. They purchase directly from an insurance company. Interestingly, this interest survey points to the fact that only a 5% of Millennials said they were very familiar with the insurance industry including 2% of the students in this group. What is more, about 8 in 10 said they were not familiar with the insurance industry. This industry has to stay competitive if they want to penetrate this growing tech- savvy social media inclined generation.
But, what makes millennials so different from previous generations?
Here are some of the readers’ questions on the reflections and practices in millennial work environments.
Are MLNS convinced that it is worth working and sacrificing yourself in the present for uncertain future rewards?
What really motivates an MLN? Money, fame, hours of work? autonomy, expertise or purpose?
Keeping in mind some of these questions: How can companies get the commitment of this new generation? Are the incentive schemes used until now, effective with them? What can you expect from a generation that is said to only think about incentives, promotions and rewards? Why, as entrepreneurs or company owners, should we put ourselves in their shoes? Should it not be the other way around? Is it true that listening to them may make us hostages to their demands which may turn into blackmail? Should we persevere and impose what has always proven to work?
If we are convinced that we must do something different, what is missing in order to drive and understand MLNS? How can we change without betraying our work ethic? Or without affecting others in the company? Is it possible for us, in charge of companies, to understand the change?
Surely, we should not assume that the rest of employees (who have been managed under different values) are willing to change the rules just because some newcomers “impose”, them indirectly! How could Baby Boomers and Generation X not lose authority with professionals who have been loyal to our corporate culture and work standards for years? What should we give to them so that demotivation does not creep in as a result of these generational changes?
What positions do we create for them?
Is it feasible for employers to hire Millennials as interns?
How can we know and appreciate skills that we have never had or known?
How, as a leader, can we assess if we do not even understand or know the ways to doing so?
How can we teach them something they can do faster than us?
What new occupations will we have to create for them?
How do we compete with Millennials in social media?
How do we let them teach us without losing their respect?
There is a “cowboy generational” solution which lays all these doubts to rest, and that, unfortunately, is still applied in many companies today. If a company experiences little growth in competitiveness or in profits they resort to this rule “you do what I say”, or worse, “what has always been done”.
There are companies that are already integrating Millennials, studying their habits, boosting their potential, and reaching them through social media. These companies are the ones which will move ahead of those businesses which stay true to their generational concept of power.
My name is Raúl Castro, and I´ve been working to help companies obtain the talent of their people to increase the results all my professional life.
My expertise is in the services industry: Air transport, banking, consulting, executive training services and tourism. At the moment, I´m working with my own HR consulting firm www.dpersonas.com helping other companies to build solid structures and great teams to bring their clients the best experience.
HR TALENT DEVELOPMENT. I´ve developed my career leading multi-disciplinary teams, taking advantage and learning from all of the challenges and changes. This has given me an extraordinary capacity for adaptation, and an extensive experience in Human Resources. I´ve been leading from small groups to groups of up to 1,200 partners.
CONSULTANT. Working with my own consulting firm in several strategic and HR projects. I´ve worked with the last diagnosis tools, and the best partners in specific areas. I´ve participated, among others, in Talent Management Programs, restructuring family companies, and redefining processes in commercial networks.
BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR. I´ve been teaching as a professor of Strategic Management, Business Policy, HR and Marketing at important Business Schools like La Salle International Graduate School, ESADE, UEM-IEDE, EDIME (Bogotá) and Barna Business School (Santo Domingo).
I am a member of the Strategy Committee of the Centre for Sports and Business Management at IESE.
MANAGEMENT BOOKS AUTHOR. I´ve written about most of the acquired experiences during these years in different articles, my personal blog www.raulcastro.es, and in two management books: “La Puerta Abierta”, (LID Editorial, Madrid 2011) & “Tiempo para Decidir”, (Empresa Activa, Barcelona 2009). I´ve participated in several Radio and TV programs as usual collaborator.