3 Brutal Truths about Millennials every HR should know

Today, it is difficult to turn a blind eye to the plight of HR when it comes to managing millennials or Gen-Y folks, a generation perceived to be the most volatile, stubborn and independent compared to baby boomers and Gen-X folks. Simply put, human resource professionals and managers alike are having a tough luck to becoming BFF with millennials.

Though millennials really aspire to accomplish wonders and contribute to their companies, it is equally important for HR managers and leaders to support their goals and manage them in an astute manner by shunning those archaic people management practices and tools.

This young breed of employees possesses three distinct qualities that throw a big challenge for the managers, since Gen-Y people simply tend to go against the archetypal workplace norm. Thus, understanding these unique qualities and addressing the same would not only make lives easier for managers, but also would help in making Millennials more productive and focussed.

Here are three brutal truths about millennials that every HR personnel should know:

1. Imagine this: Two individuals – one is a Millennial and the other a Gen Xer meet their boss. The boss tosses a project with only a handful of specifications to them. What next? The Gen X employees simply says “yes” without asking any questions on the boss’s plan or approach of executing the project. On the other hand, the recent grad is keen to understand the project and the boss’s approach before kick-starting the work and already has a few questions in his head. Though this might make the millennial appear disrespectful, it is not the case always. Now what does this infer for the manager? An apt approach here is to conceptualize the decisions for all the employees. Freshers might come up with a long list of questions, inputs and suggestions. Thus, clueing your people into your decision-making process will aid them to think through their own projects and contributions that would eventually be in company’s interests.

2. Conventional workplaces thrive mainly on structure. And when we talk about millennials, the first thing to pop in our heads is “startup”. Yes, the two are interrelated, since startups besides offering free snacks, ping-pong tables and work from home provision allow employees with less experience to take up prestigious and important roles. Millennials thus don’t have to wait for long for leading a department and team, as the ladder is very short here whilst learning curve is pretty high. So what does this infer for the manager? Do your people hold stakes in your company? Not the actual stocks though that would work great as well, but the point here is to empower them in some way or the other. For instance, millennials represent the mobile generation and love being connected 24 x 7, so what about providing them with a self service mobile app that they can use to apply leaves, check salary details, attendance, etc. on the go. 

3. Millennials like to develop ideas, elaborate their plans and receive feedbacks from their immediate bosses. In fact, it is against their very nature to work meticulously or patiently and independently before getting a final feedback for the result. Simply put, millennials are hungry for feedbacks and glory. So what does this infer for the manager? Strike a fine balance by managing in a collaborative manner. Grant autonomy to them. Rather than asking your people to find a way on their own and deliver results, consider having extra sessions for feedbacks and brainstorming. May be, it’s time your performance review process needs an overhaul. 


Today’s young breed of employees are here to stay and climb higher. So if you are able to tap into this the massive pool of Millennial talent out there, your company is sure to attain that competitive edge. Last but not the least, if you are willing to have a more supportive and flexible approach when it comes to managing millennials, you will be surprised to see what these young chaps can do for your business.

For more such exciting articles on human resources management, feel free to check our blog here. You can also write to us at sales@sagesoftware.co.in or SMS SAGE to 56767 or give us a shout out at Twitter or Facebook.


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