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There is no better time to pen these thoughts than at a time when we have entered 2020, a new year full of promises as well as challenges. Old business models crumble, new competitors arise and new concepts dawn with newer challenges. However, one thing appears to be unique. This year we will see the beginning of the Millennials joining the industries.
Many of us in management positions often miss out on this fact, busy as we are chasing the new targets for 2019. Our view of the Millennial, if often a nerd or a youngster in casuals, a 2-day growth of beard (in males), always immersed in his phone.
These guys are often taken on board with a bit of resistance on our part, primarily because they were the best that our HR could find for us. As soon as they join an organization, we put them through the loops, teach them the ropes and get them into the system. We look back regretfully at the age-old days when the recruiters would get us “capable guys” who would slog on the shop floor get their hands and knees dirty run here and there getting their jobs done, often staying back late. In our opinion, today guys lack patience, avoid physical strain ask too many questions, and so on.
Here’s where we go wrong.
We need to be aware before comparing them with us oldies, these Millennials come with a unique bunch of talents.
For one most are TEAM WORKERS. Team working was abhorrent for most of the older group. Though there has been a steady metamorphosis over the years (many consultants thrived as a result) we still work in an era of individualistic goal pursuit, not so the Millennial. They bond easily, work in groups, and are open enough with each other. In my opinion, one main enabler for this talent is their involvement with social media. While this has its own disadvantages, social media has enabled bonding between strangers, like-minded people. This talent is vital in today’s working environment. We should not miss the opportunity to leverage this asset and must look at involving them in the most critical group activities in our organizations.
The second talent these guys come with is that they are very well acquainted with IT. Most of them have more than a basic level of knowledge in some software or other. As we move to a less human intervention model of business where the main role of humans would be to manage “exceptions”
We would be fools not to use such talented Millenials to look at using IT to remove all routine work and allow people to value add.
I was astonished myself then a new joinee pointed out the multiple screens that he had to switch for a particular task, calculated the time lost which when we calculated for the entire group came to 260 man-hours a day! All the while we and IT had ignored this fact and accepted this labour as normal. Use them for making a working process better IT or App enabled.
The third and possibly the most critical talent that many Millennials have is Self-confidence. Most of them are unafraid of authority as well as responsibility and call a spade a spade. As Managers, we need to LISTEN, implement to our benefit.
The businesses of the future will be run by the Millennials and run by their rules. It is the responsibility of the current generation to leveraging the Millenials!!!