Difficulties Management Faces with the Millennial Generation
As a rule, management prefers hiring experienced employees who have already worked in the sphere for many years. Still, any organization also needs to work with the most junior population of millennials who have different values, experiences, and educations.
Professionals tend to notice that they are more entitled and career-oriented. They are also looking for an entertaining and engaging environment in the workplace that can give them an opportunity to balance their lives.
This paper will focus on three main challenges faced by the management that works with millennials, including communication, stereotypes, and expectations. It will investigate those issues that are on the front burner and provide possible solutions to them.
In the organizational framework, much attention is always paid to employee engagement and retention because they influence greatly the company’s ability to achieve success and be competitive. That is why management teams always develop special policies that can help them to improve the situation and ensure employee involvement.
Still, generations of the workforce tend to alter with the course of time, which means that people with different values and ideas enter organizations. Thus, professionals need to adjust their policies and ensure an appropriate environment (Bateman & Snell, 2014). Today, a substantial part of the workforce comprises baby boomers, who are also known as millennials and the representatives of Generation Y.
These are people who were born in the last two decades of the 20th century. Due to the environment in which they were raised, millennials tend to have views that differ greatly from those Generation X (predecessors of Generation Y) has. Thus, particular communication discrepancies, stereotypes, and expectations cause great difficulties for management.
Many people, including those who are not connected with management, tend to notice that the ways millennials choose for communication differ greatly from those preferred by the previous generations. Professionals who are used to sharing information while interacting face-to-face may have problems because baby boomers tend to call and send messages or emails instead.
Management teams often plan meetings even on an everyday basis for the employees to have an opportunity to share the information they have. Still, millennials tend to find this approach ineffective and time-consuming, so they may neglect them.
In addition to that, communication may be perplexed by the frequent usage of abbreviations and informal language. Digital interaction rarely appeals to the older generations because they do not understand the sense of the messages. The inability of the working team to understand each other can lead to serious problems and is a great issue for management, which is expected to find a resolution.
The way others perceive millennials and the way they perceive the representatives of Generation X can also be a difficulty. Baby boomers are often treated as lazy and stubborn individuals who are obsessed with technology and are over-eager.
On the one hand, if managers and other employees have such views, they can limit the range of millennials’ duties. As many baby boomers are willing to reach something more and prove to others that they are able to cope with various tasks, this approach can lead to dissatisfaction and conflicts.
On the other hand, Generation Y often believes that their predecessors are conservative and unable to be creative and innovative, which makes them neglect some orders. In this way, managers seem to have no opportunity to control millennials and make them follow organizational goals.
Even when people do not reveal those qualities that are promoted due to the stereotypes, they often start doing so because they are initially treated according to them. Thus, it is critical for management to evaluate employee’s behavior and make all representatives of the workforce overcome existing stereotypes.
The stereotype of a loyal employee is often taken as a basis by management teams; that is why they do not pay enough attention to the retention approaches and face problems due to the high turnover rate. The predecessors of the millennial generation believe that working at the same organization for a long time is an advantage, which ensures stability.
However, baby boomers are looking for a working place where they can be involved in fun and cooperative activities and where their contribution is recognized and appreciated. They believe that having various experiences is good for the future and are not afraid of changing workplaces if there is something that does not appeal to them.
Thus, it is critical for the management team to take into consideration the fact that Generation Y is not going to be loyal if it is not valued (Taylor, 2014). Managers should focus on policies and approaches that can make their organization a more attractive workplace than others to improve employee motivation and prevent the situation when they look for something better.
In general, employees who represent Generation X tend to measure their contribution to the organization where they work by the hours they spend there, and management takes into consideration this approach when they implement policies and evaluate performances.
Still, millennials have different views. Focusing on their parents’ experiences, they believe that sacrificing personal life for a job does not ensure the appreciation of their loyalty. That is why while the rest of the employees try to spend more time working to show that they need their positions and value them, baby boomers focus on balancing their personal and professional lives and concentrate on an excellent performance.
They believe that results are more critical than the way they were achieved; that is why additional problems may occur if management emphasizes the necessity to follow a particular schedule. What is more, new approaches should be developed for the evaluation of personnel achievement.
Taking into consideration the fact that the workforce is usually multigenerational, it is even more difficult for the management team to develop an approach that can be used to acknowledge the efforts of all employees. In addition to that, it should ensure that no misunderstanding between the personnel occurs because of the different work styles.
Difficulties connected with the employees’ expectations also refer to their desire to move up the career ladder quickly. While older generations value their seniors greatly and always follow their demands, millennials tend to believe that promotion is the most significant part of their job.
They do not want to do what others say and want to undertake the positions of their seniors. Burgess even mentions that “they are not shy about telling a boss they want his or her job” (2008, para. 6). Of course, such an attitude leads to the creation of a negative working environment and spoils employee relationships.
It becomes difficult for management to cope with this situation because personnel’s dissatisfaction has an adverse impact on organizational performance, while a lack of needed skills and experience prevents millennials from effective coping with the duties of new positions.
Taking into consideration those difficulties management face with the millennial generation, a range of recommendations can be developed to ensure employee engagement and resolution of the main issues.
When having problems with communication, managers should encourage their workers to practice both face-to-face and digital communication so that a compromise can be reached. The representatives of Generation Y can be asked to avoid abbreviations and informal langue so that misunderstandings do not occur so often. Overcoming stereotypes, professionals should utilize personnel-centered approaches.
They need to pay attention to different working styles and achieved results instead of generalizing. Trying to increase personnel loyalty, they can also implement particular awards for significant achievements, make an organizational environment more positive, and spread the idea of cooperation and mutual goals.
As Generation Y expects to have a possibility to maintain work-life balance and receive a promotion as soon as possible, management should consider the possibility of the flexible schedule and focus on the results of employee performance.
Thus, it can be concluded that millennials and the representatives of the previous generations have different values and expectations related to their careers, which makes management challenging. They are looking for a promotion, entertaining environment, and opportunity to balance personal and professional life.
That is why management that works with millennials often faces difficulties connected with communication, stereotypes, and expectations. Still, they can be overcome if professionals adapt existing policies and approach to the peculiar features of Generation Y. They should develop various communication strategies, improve employee loyalty, focus on results, and ensure awards.
Bateman, T., & Snell, S. (2014). Management: Leading & collaborating in a competitive world. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Burgess, J. (2008). .
Taylor, N. (2014). Tackling the challenges of the multigenerational workforce. Web.
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