Getting along with millennials at work

Friday August 16 2019

Young workforce. Millenials need mentorship to

Young workforce. Millenials need mentorship to excel at work and face-to-face interactions to build relationships. PHOTO | Edgar R. Batte  

Millennials are an important part of the workforce. However, they work and think very differently from the generations before them. According to a 2018 survey by Deloitte, “Attracting and retaining millennials and Gen Z respondents begins with financial rewards and workplace culture; it is enhanced when businesses and their senior management teams are diverse, and when the workplace offers higher degrees of flexibility.”
According to Julia Kushemererwa, a human resource consultant at Success Africa, while trying to attract a millennial, it is important for you to understand what is important to them and what drives them to perform.

Millennials are driven by impact
Money is not the only factor in deciding where millennials choose to work. They want to know they are contributing to the organisation.
The company must therefore have a worthy mission and they will feel good working toward the fulfillment of the mission in whatever they are assigned to do.
Pius Wandiembe, a human resource consultant says: “As an employer, ensure that you give your millennial employee a compelling reason to work for your organisation to help him see that he is worth working for your company.”
Also, try to find out what their goal is and ensure to help them reach it. It must be a win-win situation. If they work for you, they expect you to help them meet their goal in terms of career.

Ask for their opinion
Millennials place a lot of importance in finding their calling and doing work they are passionate about.
It is, therefore, important that you ask them about their opinion on the different projects you want to try out and please listen carefully to what they say and ensure to consider these opinions.
“Give them a chance to speak and contribute towards a developing project because it will make them feel valued and they will surely work towards what they contributed for,”Kushemererwa says.
Structure your staff in a way that relies on everyone working together with defined roles. This will enable you take advantage of what might be a strength for some of your millennial employees.

Let them try new tasks
Develop strategies that will help millennial workers try new tasks and develop new skills outside their dream. One that may be a little more challenging than the usual tasks they do. Making them do the same task all the time will make them feel bored, stagnant and lose focus.
Stagnation is detrimental to people who want to learn. Millennials often want to learn new skills and increase their knowledge.
He says: “You can resort to a rotational programme where employees can get a feel of how each area of the organisation works. This will make the millennial feel like they can grow, learn more and explore new opportunities. Then later identify who can work where best.”

Provide ongoing mentorship
One of the most important things you can do to manage millennials is to provide a mentorship programme but after doing an assessment regularly to know what their weakness is and try to make them up to standard.
“After the assessment, give millennials feedback about their performance and what your expectation is. You can then provide a weekly team training meeting to help your team refocus. Teach them also the steps on how to better their lives both inside and outside the workplace,” she advises.

Encourage face-to-face interactions
With a lot of technology within reach, it is easy to get out of practice interacting face to face with employers. Millennials are people that want to interact physically.
Therefore, if possible, create space for informal relationship building. If you promote human connection and authentic relationship building, millennials will appreciate it.


Allow flexibility
“Millennials place a lot of importance on the experience rather than the results. Many will choose to make less money for a job that offers a better work experience, a strong company culture because they want jobs that allow them the freedom to develop outside interests. Therefore allow flexibility in how they work,” Wandiembe says.

Adapted from chief Learning Officer
Additional reporting by Beatrice Nakibuuka