Millennials make up one of the largest sectors of the Malaysian workforce and they have been subjected to a lot of naysaying such as “they are lazy”, “they want everything hand-fed to them” or “they feel entitled to what they have done”, but the most complainbiggest complaint they have had so far is that “they are unteachable”.
Yet if business leaders learn to adapt to the millennial workforce culture, they will turn unteachable millennials into disciples and unlock the potential of a generation that can transform their business’ work and culture. In fact, millennials are the best problem-solvers and hardest workers in any given workforce. As a company strives to provide a service that hasn’t been around until now, it’s the millennials that learn the fastest and delivers the best result ever.
Below are three key lessons for working with millennials.
- A cause that trumps profits and losses
A common thread among millennials is that while they want to make a fair profit, they also want to make a difference while doing it. Therefore, connecting with a noble cause is the starting point for building a team of millennial disciples. For example, if you are a media firm, you might team up with a non-profit to help teach English to under-resourced children in your city.
Remember, just because your product or service isn’t directly helping a cause doesn’t mean your business can’t. As such, when we focus our business on problem solving and ultimately impacting lives, we will thus inspire our millennials to work hard, keep learning and constantly improve.
And this leads to the second lesson of creating a culture of millennial disciples.
- Keeping it all in the ‘framily’
Millennials are often criticized for not starting families sooner. When asked what big accomplishments they hope to have achieved by age 30, getting married and having a family was not of significance importance to millennials.
That might seem selfish, but this is a generation that grew up seeing more divorce rates in Malaysia. Hence, they will tend to find the value of ‘family’ elsewhere and managers should leverage on this dynamic by creating an office environment where millennials can find their “framily” — friends and family. The outcome? They will be the last to leave the office and be the first to ask questions about how they can improve.
- Centralise your office, but nix the cubicles
Millennials want community where they can be around one another and they will find it elsewhere if their workplace doesn’t offer it. Based on those dynamics and the collaborative nature of our work today, an open-office concept is the best deal for millennials as they prefer to work and learn together than be stuck in separate cubicles.
Between finding a cause, creating “framily feel” and designing an open office, we still have a lot to learn from millennials and also learn on how to work more effectively and efficiently with them, as they have the power to revolutionise a workplace and bring forth trends in an ever changing economy.