While we all agree that technology has radically altered the way we consume information, connect, and do business, it’s fair to say that technology is also changing the way we work. This has significantly influenced a generation of the workforce, generally defined as millennials. Some may not like the way they work, having earned a reputation of being hooked to social media and ‘selfies’. However, regardless of how older generations feel about millennials, the truth is that the latter have been seen as the driving force in how organisations manage employee engagement and retention and push themselves to modernize in order to keep up with the competition.
Defined as those born between 1982 and 2004, millennials are a generation of digital natives – they have the world at their fingertips. Perpetually hooked to their smartphones and mobile apps, they are habituated to everything instant – gratification, access to information, and feedback. They consistently demonstrate increased global exposure, social empathy, and a deep desire to create an impact.
So what can companies do to build loyal relationships with millennials? What I’m going to share with you isn’t anything new – we’ve been talking about transparency and authenticity in workplace culture for what seems like ages. Yet, it truly is important, now more than ever, to demonstrate these qualities if brands desire to make the right moves with the millennial group.
The first and most important aspect towards capturing millennial attention is to be transparent. Millennials interact with brands that are open, transparent, and stand for more than just their bottom line. Millennials want to feel good about their work. They value authenticity and therefore want to work with companies that help them create an impact on society. They don’t fancy monotonous jobs; they like to make their job an experience which gives them a lot of learning. According to a recent survey of millennials, employees who share their organizations’ values are most likely to remain with the employer for an extended period of time.
Transparency in the right place in an organization leads to improved communication. When millennials get to understand as much as possible about their workplace, they feel more committed to the organisation, which in turn produces trust, impedes corruption and politics.
Honest, transparent leadership is one of the main leadership traits millennials value. They desire honesty, meaning, and flexibility in the teams they work for and want to be involved in discussions. They want to be given feedback, and they want to feel free to share their ideas, opinions, and suggestions. While organisations gauge employees’ contribution through annual performance reviews, millennial employees want a greater number of touchpoints with their managers – through progress reports, quarterly reviews, or regular healthy conversations. They are averse to unnecessary hierarchies in the workplace and prefer ‘holacracy’ – a flatter structure which promises their voices will be heard and provides easier access to leadership.
Razorpay, where 60 percent of the workforce was born after 1990, encourages innovation and business ideas from its employees. The company enjoys the lowest attrition rate in the sector. A highly data-driven approach environment clubbed with a culture where they can take on challenges and grow from the start is what millennials seek at Razorpay.
Third, it’s key for companies to discover how to build meaningful relationships with millennials in the one environment they thrive in – social media. A great number of millennial employees are engaging on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram to capture and share photos and videos of their company culture. These tools demystify organizations and institutions as people document and share what goes on behind-the-scenes. One can learn about a company’s culture just by looking into the company’s social media handles. This influences millennials, or anyone for that matter, in their decision on the company they want to work with.
Knowing how critical and vital a transparent workplace culture is, we still see many businesses struggling to retain their Generation Y employees as job hopping becomes increasingly common. As per Deloitte’s Millennial Survey, two of every three respondents hope to have moved on by the end of 2020, while only 16 percent of millennials see themselves with their current employers a decade from now. Probably now you agree why a transparent workplace with a modern outlook is vital to maintaining their loyalty.
A report by CNN stated that two years from now, 2020 will be the turning point when millennials make up the majority of the workforce. Considering it’s not too far from now, we have to gear up to cater to this generation who is distinctly different from their predecessors. We all need to remember that all they seek is a transparent work-life integrated environment that respects and gives them visibility into decision-making, and allows them to contribute and make a meaningful impact.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)