Millennials in the Workplace (Part 2)

The internet has changed the face of the world for good, we are now more globally connected than ever because of the products we use, and the information we absorb. The way business operates creates an opportunity for the millennial to question their existence and relevance in an organization. It is a continuous cycle of self-introspection that keeps us on our toes, and if we don’t feel our relevance is appreciated we are quick to look outside of our current employment. I can safely say that we are a generation that relies heavily on emotions to validate if we are content with where we are in life.

Regular feedback on performance is key for us, and not in the traditional sense of a questionnaire rating how we did on a project, but rather a pop-in into my office by the boss, in a relaxed manner, sitting at my desk and saying “wow you did well on that project but please be more stringent on cost containment when dealing with bigger clients”. We love this type of feedback. What I have come to realize is that this keeps the employee close to the organization, because we aspire for a healthy work relationship with our employer. The employer should embrace our contribution, because it makes us feel that we are part of the bigger picture, and part of the company’s strategy towards success.

This ‘9 to 5’ set working hours is becoming more and more irrelevant in the modern world of millennials. Some people’s priority is to drop off their children at school before heading to the office, and that could be the one thing that fulfills them and if their employer allowed them that luxury to start work a bit late for that reason, they would be entirely happy. Working time has never been less of a focus as it is now, the focus should be on the output you can get out of your employees, by allowing them the flexibility that will make them be more productive.

It is also more apparent that a work-life balance is a priority for millennials and that’s why we see them mostly venturing into careers that are in touch with their social space (like; photography, art, television broadcasting, DJ’ing, events management, etc.) and by the look of things these are the most fulfilled employees alive. These working conditions connects us with the outside world, you travel and work flexi hours. My view is that in the next decades we might not have offices fixed at one location, we will see more and more virtual offices, or rather corporates may start to invest in technology that allows their employees to work strictly from home.

We might want to prepare ourselves for the time when the Generation Z takes over the workforce space. This is a different generation altogether, one that is born into the world of technology, their perspective of the world differs completely to that of a millennial. Their world of social media has exposed them to the ever changing world of mixed cultural beliefs. So the Gen Z will not even attach emotions to belonging to a certain company, they will seamlessly transit to the change which actually attracts them to their next destination. They are generally free spirited entrepreneurs. They are self-taught in most careers they pursue because of the availability of the information on the internet. So you can bet that you will see less and less tertiary qualifications in the future, this changes the whole dynamic of employment. In future a CV will be a portfolio of achievements rather than a list of qualifications and years of experience. An office will be a handheld device and any spot an employee can find to concentrate. We better be ready as millennials to manage the Gen Z and make a success out of them.

Writer: Kabelo Motsugi           Photographer: Max Mogale