World Youth Skills Day: How To Up The Millennial Workforce Potential
There’s nothing like priming the next generation of leaders to set your company up for future success. Here’s how to up that potential—especially for the millennials in your workforce
In our hyper connected world, everything has become about the brand. From self-made Instagram stars to founder-centric enterprises, one’s online persona goes a long way in attracting the right opportunities. And thanks to young individuals who are with the Internet, no generation has become more adept at managing their own brand than millennials.
After all, it’s the millennial generation that has debunked myth after myth about their self-image. People say that we’re lazy, but it’s been proven that we just work a little more intelligently. They say we are entitled, but we aren’t that either. Contrary to that theory, we just prefer to take our professional growth into our own hands, rather than wait for a company to do it for us.
If you need proof, then here it is: Contrary to popular belief, millennials have a longer average tenure of about 3 to 6 years in their first jobs compared to previous generations. Moreover, 43 percent of millennials tend to be work martyrs when only 29 percent of the total population are.
So it’s no wonder why companies are starting to realize that stereotypes about millennials are nothing but stories.
The reality is that millennials are showing a lot of potential in the work place, especially when they’re given the freedom to lead. So as they continue to shape the future of work and eventually begin calling most of the shots, current leaders are faced with the responsibility of teaching them (and learning from them).
Because World Youth Skills Day—a globally recognized UN event that raises awareness on how important it is for the youth to develop new skills—just finished, here’s to looking at how leaders can own a vision of progress.
But how? The best way for leaders to pave the way for the next generation is to embrace millennial strength, adapt to their needs and to create the best environment for them to flourish—and we don’t mean bean bags.
Transforming hard work into intelligent work
What millennials are doing. Instead of accepting things as they are, millennials tend to propose better ways of doing things, especially if it makes the entire process faster. As Amber Fehrenbacher, Chief Marketing Officer of Suretybonds, puts it, “That’s not laziness. That’s problem solving.”
Thanks to their adeptness with technology, millennials are able to produce concrete results in real-time by building the tools they need to get where they want to go.
How leaders can maximize this. Let’s take a page out of Google’s handbook. The company’s structured 80/20 time promotes growth mentality by allowing millennials to work on their own ad hoc projects.
Not only does this encourage some sense of autonomy, but it enables millennials to deepen the quality of their expertise as well. The odds of producing innovative solutions for the company increases as individuals learn and take action on their own.
Collaboration over competition and hierarchy
What millennials are doing. Since millennials aren’t exactly interested in doing things the old way, there’s more attention to companies that support the following: Flatter hierarchies, impactful initiatives and a strong sense of diversity.
How leaders can maximize this. Creating fixed times and spaces in the workplace, where teams can come together and check on each other (as seen I the Rockefeller Daily Huddle) fuels more open communication lines. Moreover, there’s always the option to adopt remote work policies so that collaboration amongst distributed teams is more streamlined.
Both of these structures ultimately promote an idea of meritocracy and a results-driven organization—which, let’s face it, is important if millennials are to learn how to lead companies in new ways.
Values and experiences over benefits and pay
What millennials are doing. In general, it’s been found that millennial employees value things such as feedback, growth and happiness equally with or even more than benefits and pay. This ties in with their need for a strong sense of purpose in their job, which is also why things like corporate social responsibility and workplace inclusion are of importance.
How leaders can maximize this. Leaders need to create a culture where values aren’t just words on paper, but are actually demonstrated by leaders and employees alike. By promoting a workplace of accountability and transparency, millennials are primed to both aspire and become leaders with the same level of integrity.
When it comes down to it, companies need to support the millennial workforce if they want to still be valuable market players in the future. After all, as they strive to advocate progressive leadership, diversity-first workplaces and meritocratic organizations, current generations still have a lot to teach millennials.
As seasoned veterans work hard to impart their wisdom, grand visions and strategies for success, they can (and must) learn values, transformative ways of working and innovative solutions from millennials as well.
At Globe Business, there is the belief that empowering leaders is empowering others in shaping the local business landscape for the better. As we preserve wisdom yet honor innovation, let us all continue to work towards the next chapter as we shape the future of work in the Philippines.
Together, we can promote #SkillsForAll for a more enlightened workforce.
To learn more about Globe Business Solutions and how we can take your enterprise further, visit globe.com.ph/business.