Decoding and Managing Millennials

By Bala Sathyanarayanan

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ numbers reveal that Millennials represent the largest generation in our workforce today, This means leadership positions will be filled by the very same Millennials by 2020.

As you get ready to scale great heights under this new leadership and build a diverse workforce that will take you to the next big milestone, you cannot overlook the importance of attracting, retaining and drawing out the best from this generation.

“You must look at characteristics that are unique to Millennials and understand how they can create success.” – Bala Sathyanarayanan, vice president for Business Transformation and Human Resources at Xerox.
“You must look at characteristics that are unique to Millennials and understand how they can create success.” – Bala Sathyanarayanan, vice president for Business Transformation and Human Resources at Xerox.

To be successful, you must look at three characteristics that are unique to this generation, and understand how they can create success:

  1. Millennials are fast-paced, they want it now and will go that extra mile: What it means to managers is that Millennials seek a wealth of learning and lateral moves. This also makes them extremely willing to explore multiple disciplines over the course of their career.
  2. They are used to constant feedback and work structure: They have been raised in an environment where their actions are measured against results. Having regular check-points is the need of the day when it comes to Millennials. The payoff is high accountability, and result-oriented performance from their end.
  3. They thrive in collaboration and diversity: Millennials embrace diversity and have been working on team building activities since childhood. Their social networks are global and they are savvy users of technology. As you aim to go global as an organization, and as you make technological advances, this attribute makes Millennials ready for the workplace of the future.

So there you have it. Their tribe is everywhere. They will challenge themselves and explore. All they ask for is feedback, and what they possess is the skill to work in a diverse, global and virtual environment.

At Xerox, our belief in diversity as a business need, and a powerful employee value proposition, has led us to embrace and advance a multigenerational workforce. Going forward, our focus will only intensify because that is real business.

Learn more about diversity at Xerox on Xerox.com

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8 Comments

  1. Padma July 29, 2014 - Reply

    Integrating millennial’s mindset into an existing company culture is challenging. Especially a company with an illustrated history such as Xerox. Great job in breaking down that complexity into 3simple actionable items!

  2. Richard Beatty July 29, 2014 - Reply

    This tribe will dominate the workplace in the future. Organizations need to find a way to not just integrate them in their firms but also maximize capabilities by understanding their motivations. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Monserrat Ames July 31, 2014 - Reply

    Good insight for managers that are leading different generations. Knowledge and understanding of each generation’s behavior characteristics is essential, to capitalize on their capabilities. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Chris Wood August 4, 2014 - Reply

    The temptation to treat Millenials as a homogenous group is understandable. But just like generations before, Millenials comprise multiple sub groups and segments – some of which will portray the characterstics described in Bala’s blog. On the other hand, there will be segments in Baby Boomers and Gen X ers that show these characteristics. I guess the message is, that generalisations need to be treated with care.

  5. Wyatt August 5, 2014 - Reply

    As a member of the Generation Y demographic myself, I am amazed of the accuracy of this post, but I just wanted to throw in my two cents.

    Most members of Generation Y will immediately become personally invested in their job, as long as management or the party involved in training maintains a constant, dynamic and enjoyable work flow. Boredom at the beginning will kill their performance in the long run.

    Hope this helps someone,
    Wyatt

    Sources: Personal experiences growing up on the farm, helping out veterans and enjoying shuffleboard with the old timers.

  6. Lianne Coffman August 6, 2014 - Reply

    I published a piece on LinkedIn based on this article. I happen to agree that these three principles are ideal core standards when it comes to managing our generation.

    Read it here http://www.linkedin.com/in/liannecoffman/

  7. A J Cohen August 7, 2014 - Reply

    Bala:

    When using the BOL to open and emphasize the initial point you want to make regarding millennials in the workforce, actually use their stats. The Ntl avg shows Millennials leave their place of work in two years. It’s not about salary, it really comes down to corporate culture, meaningful work, feeling entrepreneurial, moving up, learning up….and flexibility. Millennials are @ 49% of the total workforce this year ! ! And will rise to 75% by 2023-2025. Those are the core reasons for decoding and then supporting your millenialsl.

  8. Travis Gnehm September 8, 2014 - Reply

    “At Xerox, our belief in diversity as a business need, and a powerful employee value proposition, has led us to embrace and advance a multigenerational workforce.” – love it! Having a multigenerational workforce is a good strategy for any business.

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