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August 09, 2016

Article: How to make the most of millennial employees

By Thiaghu Radhakrishnan, VP - HR & Admin of Contus

To begin with, a ‘millennial’ is used to describe any individual who is aged in 20 to 35 in the present scenario.

They are iPod toting work bees, who are citizens of the Internet, with access to information on the go that helps them switch jobs at the drop of a hat.

Hiring millennials and ensuring optimal work performance is a daunting task for HR personnel. Millennials by nature are extremely proficient individuals with high work ethic and skills. To meet their expectations and thereby tap into their expertise requires employers to go beyond usual practices. HR practices of the erstwhile period are obsolete in present day scenario requiring HR professional to devise tactics to stay current with the millennial flow.

Thiaghu Radhakrishnan, VP - HR & Admin of Contus
Recruiting millennials and engaging them involves strategic thinking. Below are some key factors that bring out the best in millennial employees.

Foster a “can-do” work culture that boosts self-image

The Y-Gen is led by a strong sense of self-importance where. They want their ideas to be validated and implemented. Unlike the previous generation where job security and steady income were the primal survival instincts, the millennial generation is highly inclined towards job satisfaction and a sense of job purpose.

Employers can no longer turn a blind eye towards this paradigm shift in employee behaviour. They need to create a “can-do” work culture where a millennial employee would get adequate opportunity to showcase his/her innovation and off-beat expertise. Their self-image needs to be nurtured in a subtle way to keep them brimming with an enthusiasm to work.

Provide self-leadership work opportunities

Self-leadership may have been a term of little parlance a decade ago, but now, in major multinational corporations, young candidates with self-leadership skills are given positions of high responsibility. More than the age and qualification, it is this quality that is driving career growth amidst millennials.

To benefit from this, enterprises must also start coming out of their conventional hierarchy cocoons and start giving self-leadership working opportunities to millennials. In today’s scenario, that is how successful corporations of the future are built.

Sponsor their professional learning

Nowadays, almost everyone has an aversion to career stagnation. The primary cause of this is the lack of continued professional education. The Internet has armed the Y-Gen with information about online professional education facilities and their on-going costs. Most of them are continuously on the move to upgrade and update their resume with a new qualification.

The cost of such professional certification works out to more or less equal to a hike in their salary. They expect their employers to fund their learning costs, if not, they are prepared to manage it on their own and move on to greener pastures. The need to sponsor continued professional education of employees to sustain attrition is real.

Money is not the only thing they are after (Non-monetary perks)

Google, Facebook, Airbnb, etc. are the top favourite employers of the world for a reason. They have got the right formulae to make their employees feel appreciated and taken care of. And it is not just money that they put in. The young work generation wants to have serious fun at work. Grey cubicles and rigid rules are a strict no-no for them. Since not all companies can be Google or Facebook, they can start with putting in some flexibility.

For instance, BYOD is a growing phenomenon that millennials are increasingly getting comfortable with. With the portability that BYOD like working styles offer, millennials constantly expect their employers to offer flexible working hours by default. These non-monetary benefits which might seem irrational in a controlled organizational scenario, but it has arrived and is going to stay with the millennial employee population.

Friendly bonding with Managers

Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal is an ardent fan of video games, and plays them with his employees every now and then. That is a great way to forge a positive employee-manager relationship. An occasional interaction about common ground topics rather than work could help break the ice.

For millennials, forging a friendly bond with managers is very important. They want to be sure that their manager is someone who is well aligned to their tastes and preferences. A hint of popular culture in start-ups proves to be massively successful because of this factor. Right from CEOs to interns, everybody bonds over something that unites them and drives them towards a common goal.


  1. The Term Millennial - A perfect sound!!! Relationship makes a better culture between millennials & managers.

  2. Where did Mr.thiagu got the meaning of millennial. I was wondering when I tried to find the literal meaning it says the following

    denoting or relating to a period of a thousand years.
    "the current increase in hurricanes is only a small fluctuation within this longer millennial cycle"
    denoting or relating to an anniversary of a thousand years.
    "the millennial anniversary of Leif Eiriksson's voyage to the New World"
    a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.
    "the industry brims with theories on what makes millennials tick"