The Millennial Question – A Big Itch!
A recent article was published in the Economic times on (14th July 2017) addressing the expectation of the Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi from the millennials (born during 1977 to 1995) or generation Z (born during 1996 to present) and how they’re unsure of his expectations being met. This isn’t an isolated observation, many companies and leaders around the world are complaining about millennials in their workplace. How they are confounding leadership and can’t seem to ever just be ‘happy’.
So, who are the millennials and why they matter?
Millennials as a generation; which is a group of people born approximately in 1984 and after and have been described in both popular literature and popular press as the “Look at Me” generation, implying that they are overly self-confident and self-absorbed. The rise of selfies taken is a proof to the exigent need to constantly portray their life in a different alternate perception among their peers.
They are also accused of being entitled, narcissistic, self-centred, unfocused, lazy and generally tough to manage. They’re fast, enthusiastic and impatient. And more importantly, are going to or have already started running the world, as we know it! Replacing the retiring Baby- Boomers or generation X.
A huge chunk of our population by the year 2020 would be below the age of 25, and all of them would belong to the millennial generation. Hence the market cannot afford to ignore them.
A new generation is taking over. Therefore, the problems that they are facing are also different than the ones faced by the previous generations.- Source – LinkedIn
Why are they so problematic?
Firstly they aren’t the problem. Even though most of them think that they are. But in actuality, it has very little to do with them and a lot to do with:-
In 2012 a study conducted by a HARVARD research scientist reported that engagement in social media activated the release of a highly addictive chemical called dopamine. This is the same chemical that is released when we drink, smoke and when we gamble. This is why many of us would message our friends when we feel a little down. While there are age restrictions on all of them there isn’t any on social media engagement. Hence as unchecked access is provided to these devices and media, its use is being hardwired into children’s lives. And as they don’t have the coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Of course, technology has made our lives much easier as well.
Currently, we’re going through the world’s largest epidemic of impatience. Everyone now wants instant gratification.
Do you want to watch a movie? Stream, you don’t have to check show timings.
Do you want to buy something? Go onto Amazon and order it to arrive the same day.
Do you want to watch a TV show? Binge. You don’t even have to wait from week to week anymore. There are some of us who would skip seasons just so that they can binge at the end of the season.
Looking for a Date? Just swipe right!
Hence everything you want, you can get. Instantly. Except job satisfaction and trust worthy relationships. As Simon Sinek says “there isn’t an app for that”.
This very impatience has many individuals dropping out of their entry level jobs at the very beginning of their career. As they feel that they aren’t making any progress or as Simon says “Impact”. We do not give things the required time it needs. Hence, most millennials hop from one job to another before they even settle in. Failure is a very integral part of success and one must learn to crawl before they can run. There are quite a few individuals and organisations who have had an innumerable number of failures in their past. For example, Nintendo was a failed gaming console until Mario and Luigi changed the American gaming scenario. Steve Jobs and his organisation Apple prevailed despite many downfalls. Thomas Alva Edison failed an exorbitant number of times before he could make the first light bulb. All of these organisations and individuals have scaled the peak in their respective fields only because they gave it the required time and mountainous amounts of effort.
An environment that one grows up in plays a major factor in shaping and moulding an individual. The world as we now know it is deteriorating. And there is a slight amount of resentment among the millennials about the baby boomers as the former feels that the latter are responsible for the deteriorating economy, global warming and various other problems currently faced. But in actuality, these problems are not recent but age old and are only being addressed or taken much more seriously right now. Although any one generation cannot be solely blamed for it. The facts cannot be changed, rather than playing the blame game a vast number of millennials are working together to solve the problems of today to create a better and safer tomorrow.
The see-sawing effect of the change in culture and environment of work?
Remember the last time that a coworker replied to your work email with a smiley emoticon?
Being the first generation to have been born into households with computers and to have grown up surrounded by digital media. Millennials hence are comfortable with interactive and networked media than older generations. Management everywhere has raised several questions about how Millennials “unique & eccentric” qualities could translate into organisational benefit and commitment. Additionally, how can they be best motivated?
Firstly, Millennials want a better and fair professional relationship and frequent feedback from supervisors. Second, they expect an open form of communication with their supervisors and managers. Third, they prefer to work in teams, they feel group-based work could be more fun and also this way they avoid risk.
They expect communication with supervisors to be more frequent, positive, and more affirming than has been the case with employees of prior generations. This need for positive and constant communication from supervisors (and coworkers) could feel burdensome to many senior and seasoned organisational members. However, it is a much sought after work environment quality for any millennial. Popular literature and academic sources argue that this need for affirmation derives from the constant flow of supportive messages millennials have received from parents, teachers, and coaches throughout their childhood.
Contrary to their predecessor’s millennial workers are interested in flexible career paths as their priority is a work-life balance. While it is likely that boomer generation workers would never completely accept new colleagues who do not share their work ethic.
Differences between millennial generation and other generations’ beliefs about time are also worth noting. They multitask and view time as a valuable resource that mustn’t be squandered. Hence many millennials who are not yet driven by pressure to support themselves or families treat the first years beyond their graduation as a time to extend their education with advanced degrees. Some millennials view their early adulthood as a time to make a difference in the world and in their community and volunteer for non-profit organisations. A few are also using their time for career exploration.
They have come to expect an evaluation of their work to be based on the outcomes they produce, not based on the age, experience, or tenure of the person who produced them.
Millennials, much like Generation X workers, may not share Boomers’ beliefs and values; building a career is not a primary motivator for most Millennials. Instead, and as touted in popular literature, work is a less significant part of their personal identities, instrumental to supporting the lifestyle they desire. – Source – Springer
NAVIGUS – Staying in tune with what millennials seek!
Millennials are more accepting of diversity, have capabilities of advanced communication and information technologies, the insight to see problems and opportunities from fresh perspectives, and are comfortable working in teams. The world as we know it is highly globalised and it couldn’t ask for a better workforce. If you identify with being a millennial or know them, it is quite possible that you/they feel lost and overwhelmed and haven’t quite found your/their ‘purpose’. We here at Navigus can provide clairvoyance in finding the path to your/their purpose. And can even give you insights from experts within various fields to better your/their understanding of every path. Allow us to help you find your purpose: https://navigus.in/
Zen of the day- “He who asks for directions, would not walk in circles.”