5 April 2018

Millennial generation: A new challenge?

Today, companies are facing enormous change. No matter the sector, the size or the solidity of the business, they all currently have a set of challenges that they must overcome.

In a few years, the accelerated development of technology, as well as the speed of innovation itself, has altered the way we relate, how we work and, above all, how we organize ourselves in our day-to-day lives. Alongside digital transformation, a new generation emerged, which has already reached the labor market and has been influenced throughout the course by the constant technological innovations of recent years, as well as by the new forms of interaction result. And, in fact, it no longer knows how to live, nor work without them.

The millennials, which are the ones who are, above all, at the origin of these transformations, are totally different from the ancestor generations. They were born in the era of electronic equipment, the fast growth of online and the world of social networks, which makes them more demanding personal and professional, more optimistic and without fear of new challenges. They just choose a company to work for if they share the same values ​​and this is where organizations can act and show how different they are.

Consequently, with the entry of these new professionals, demographic changes in the workplace are beginning to emerge, which are forcing companies to redesign their entire organizational structure, defending and encouraging a culture that is much more focused on their professionals.

In fact, for those who manage human resources in a company the challenge is enormous and quite demanding. The increasing generational diversity with which organizations nowadays have to deal with millennials, working side by side with two totally different generations, the so-called baby boomers and the generation X, is a challenge for business. It is now necessary to manage three very different generations and motivated by completely different reasons. People are distinguished, not only by age differences but, above all, by different experiences, surroundings and habits, marked by globalization; where expansion is synonymous with jumping borders and integrating new cultures into the universe of employees.

In this way, the big companies want to win talented young people with a desire to make a difference in their teams. But…. Do they really know what millennials are looking for in the world of work? They do not just care about the salary. They also want flexibility, the balance between professional and personal life and space for the growth and development of their talent; seek new opportunities and professional experiences; value companies' ethics and sustainability and argue that their focus should outweigh profit, according to the Millennials@work study.

This is the generation that has revolutionized and continues to revolutionize constantly the way of being in the workplace, whether in Portugal or in the rest of the world. An example of this is the area of ​​technology, which has been developing at a speed never before seen, with the emergence and deepening of new areas, such as Big Data, Business Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, among others, which forces companies to look for new talent.

Career aspirations, attitudes about work and knowledge of new technologies are defining the culture of the 21st century. Millennials are more numerous than the previous generation, so it is imperative that companies realize that they have to be able to understand this new generation. In this way, the biggest challenge facing the millennials is to be able to attract and retain these new elements in their teams.

Managing and leading people has always been the most difficult part of an organization. It is essential that professionals feel that they can contribute to the growth of the company and therefore it is important to motivate them and make them feel as a fundamental part of their development. It is necessary to know how to listen to them and to bet on them, as well as to create opportunities for them to evolve and to constantly update their training. Equally important is environmental management, in order to create a spirit of collaboration and a culture of trust that enables employees to grow and develop, while at the same time making them feel recognized.

Opinion article published in media Human Resources Portugal – April 5, 2018