How to keep millennials in the workplace

Most human resource practitioners would complain nowadays on how to find ways to handle millennials in the workplace, in this day and age of millennials.

Also known as Generation Y, this very talented workforce is fast taking over the place of baby boomers. According to a research of Laura Laundin (2016), the millennials, the largest generation since the baby boomers, represent a shift in generational mind-sets, moving from the skepticism found in many of generation X to a sensibility that is more free-spirited, flexible and open-minded.

Meeting their needs

As they are about to take over the workplace, one must be able to identify their tendencies and solve their puzzle well to make them stay and be contented with the job. This as consultancy think-tank PWC said that millennials tend to be uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures and turned off by information silos.

“They expect rapid progression, a varied and interesting career and constant feedback. In other words, millennials want a management style and corporate culture that is markedly different from anything that has gone before – one that meets their needs,” PWC said.

When looking at millennials, they are identified as complaining lot, with self–entitlement, easily bored, tech savvy, hopping from one job to another, hungry to travel and easily not contented, either in the role given or salary level.

To answer one of the main personality challenges of millennials is to make them happy or contented in their jobs so one would need to address the salary offer and compensation benefits given to them.

Addressing their career priorities

In fact, a recent Mercer study (in Nekuda, 2011) found that the top three career priorities for millennials were compensation, flexible work schedules and the opportunity to make a difference.

This would lead us back to the basic question to address millennials and their needs. Millennials should feel they are being compensated fairly, relative to their co-workers and to individuals who hold comparable jobs in other organizations.

When employees obtain a feeling of inequality relative to their peers, they try to counter this by increasing their outcomes or by just getting back to the company by being lazy or less productive. Hereon, the individual may justify theft and pilferage due to this inequity. This is also characterized by not working hard, taking longer breaks, coming in late, leaving early, lacking focus or even resigning.

Human resource officers are confronted with these peculiarities day in and out. Millennials like to enjoy their work and maximize their time. They want to enjoy the experience of working with their officemates and they also want to enjoy their workplace.

They want to make friends and cherish their work experience in their workplace. Human resource officers need to worry if their millennial employees are not happy; they are not laughing and committed; as well as when they are less creative.

Maximizing the talents of millennials

Simply put, human resources need to maximize the talents of their millennial employees and put these to use. Also, there should be a greater effort to understand the well rounded needs of millennials. Millennials are not merely employees; they are artists and innovators who possess strong creative energies that should be put into use.

In the Philippines alone, millennials make up a third of the population. According to Ron Cullimore, head of Client Services of Manila Recruitment, career growth is highly important to millennials and they want to be assured of their career path in the workplace. Millennials value achievement, success and career growth that is healthy and enjoyable.

This is where work-life balance for millennials comes in. According to studies, this means being able to attend to their personal life. Filipino millennials value the idea of being able to attend to their family needs and personal interests.

Cullimore added that remote work does not mean less work. In fact, most millennials claim that they check their emails even outside of work. When millennials are happy in their workplace, they are more engaged and willing to do more for their company.

Working to live

This means that a happy millennial is a happy and productive employee. There is a need to understand the essential needs of millennials in order to factor these with what companies want to offer and expect from them. Specifically, there is a great need for more liberal approaches in the workplaces to maximize the productivity of millennials and placate too, their negative habits and put these in check. The challenge is to have human resource officers updated with these latest trends under this generation and set preparations in place.

Millennials, fortunately, are very emphatic and possess a very intuitive nature. Studies have shown that millennials work to live and not the other way around. This means that millennials know what they want and what they deserve.

By Internet research counts, 75,000,000 millennials are preparing to join the workforce and sure enough human resource officers need to be equally prepared.

Jose Tiburcio S. Canlas is a student of Doctor of Business Administration at the Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business of De La Salle University. He finished his Master of Business Administration from the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. He currently runs his own accounting and management consultancy office and teaches Financial Management and Management Accounting in the Graduate Department of Don Honorio Ventura Technological and State University. He can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.