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Managing millennials in the workplace


Lanre Olusola

The world of work as we know it today has drastically changed, approximately 60 per cent of the workforce of most organizations now have, generation X to millennials as their staff.

According to Time, Millennials are the largest generation on our planet, As of 2017 – 56 million Millennials (those ages 21 to 36 in 2017) were working or looking for work. In 2018, nine million post-millennials (those who have reached working age, 16 to 20) were employed or looking for work. Millennials are a different breed and they have to be handled differently that’s why many organizations have to give cognizance to this article because many Managers are complaining about the millennials in their workforce. The very first thing we need to come to terms with is the fact that there is a significant difference between lifestyles, perception, beliefs, values, ideologies, education and how millennials and other generations are raised. These are major influencers to their expectations and interactions within the workplace.

The second thing about millennials are their norms, behaviour, habits, and what they think is important and not important. The third thing is how they are brought up, many of them feel entitled, they are spoilt, cannot delay gratification, challenge constituted authority which can border around disrespect but they see nothing wrong with it


To succeed in the 21st-century organizations have to unlearn and relearn, using the following tips listed hereunder:
1 CREATE AND ENFORCE YOUR COMPANY VISION, MISSION, VALUES AND CULTURE; it is important for companies & organizations to have a clear, written down, and articulated company’s Vision, Mission, Values and Culture; these Critical Organizational Success factors create the IDENTITY and Winning Strategic Thrust of Every company. All these elements define the environment in which every employee work, this provides meaning and purpose to the various roles and responsibilities millennials handle, millennials need to see the relevance of what they do on a daily basis, they want their contribution to work to have meaning and be purposeful. Millennials love to work in organizations with very strong Culture, Vision, Mission and Values, which align with their own personal ideologies and lifestyle. Millennials will invest their time and effort to an organization they feel is worthwhile and gives their lives meaning beyond just making money. Being part of something important that positively affects and impacts people and their environment motivates Millennials. If the company culture is not consistent, they will quickly notice and seriously reconsider whether they will stay with your organization or not, this single-handedly is the cause of high millennial attrition.

Most millennials work today thinking about the position they will have tomorrow, so progress and promotion are very important to them, there must be a clear rapid career path: they will not wait around indefinitely to achieve their goals like other older generations. Many millennials are not afraid of change, If they can’s see or feel an alignment, identity, clear purpose, development opportunities within the company, they find it difficult to be productive or give their best, and they would rather leave.

2 PROVIDE LOVE LEADERSHIP, INSPIRATIONAL GUIDANCE WND COACHING; Employers should ensure that their internal, external language and environment in the workplace provides love leadership, inspirational guidance and coaching to millennials, they are a result-oriented generation who doesn’t need micro-managing all you need to do, is to create and agree with them beforehand what their goals are, these must be aligned with their personal ideologies, beliefs, and values and your organizational values and culture. Once this is done ask how they want you to measure their performance and how regularly they want you to assess their journey goals, then step back for them to do what they need to do. This process must, however, be documented and reviewed regularly as agreed. Failure to do this will cause leadership and followership conflicts.

Most Millennials don’t like organizations that run a hierarchical, traditional and authoritarian culture. Because their upbringing education and exposure over time has been permissive, and lax they will revolt, as they can’t handle rigid and formal protocols or displays of power.

Rather, they need their leaders to be accessible, approachable, encouraging, empathic and loving. Leaders must take note and avoid setting themselves up to fail, millennials don’t respond well to positional and authoritarian leadership styles. You can only earn the respect, commitment and uncompromising followership of millennials through love leadership, your professional prestige, your achievement and the consistency of their actions and success, so it’s got to be a matter of doing as I do not do as I say. You have to lead from behind and by example to buy the commitment and diligence of millennials.

Millennials are technology savvy, performance-driven, quick to learn, bold and results-oriented. Many millennials believe they should have the option to work and deliver from anywhere; hence many organizations are referring to their demand for remotely on certain occasions or even exclusively. They believe they don’t need to show in the physical office if they can deliver remotely. 21st-century organizations have to be flexible in this regard and will be more successful at attracting and retaining the best of the best among millennials.

This is a very important factor for many millennials, as they all want to work in very dynamic, diverse and flexible environments that foster consistent productivity, peak performance and profitability. A Deloitte survey shows that millennials value and are most willing to stick with organizations that have diverse management teams and flexible work environments. Taking advantage of this means building a diverse leadership team and workforce. Most important is providing diverse services and solution or creating multi-diverse products, which ensure than these millennials meet and Interact with a diverse plethora of clientele. It is important for employers to include employees’ package with things like, flexible work hours, health insurance & remote working, enabling a practical working environment that enables them to thrive and a mindset to perform.

By structuring your workforce this way even though everyone working together will have their specific and defined roles, they must work collaboratively. The organization that is set up this way will be able to take advantage of this strength and advantage.

The world is evolving there’s an urgent need to embrace the use of technology and Artificial Intelligence for cost-saving, improving processes and deliver better performance, productivity and profitability. We are now in the 4th digital industrial revolution and this is the domain that Millennials thrive the most in and the older generation struggle with the most. Millennials are the first generation to grow up with the Internet, devices and tools as an everyday integral part of their lives. They are the first to embrace and take advantage of technology that connects over 4.2 billion people digitally. In this digital world, they have special rules, communication jargons, codes, a different culture and way of operating.

Most Businesses are going tech and digital, which positions millennials with their digital savvy experience at an advantage over the older generation. Organizations that want to succeed in this new era must make sure that their work allows the effective use of technology because millennials are the driving force behind many technological and digital innovations. Most top companies like Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Dropbox, Airbnb, Tumblr, Quora, etc were founded and developed by millennials. Millennials are not afraid of the changes that are brought about by AI, machine learning, automation, chatbots, and other technological innovations, they have embraced tech for more productivity and efficiency. They simply cannot conceive of an unconnected life: so much so that up to 56 per cent of millennials would turn down a job that denies them access to social and digital communities and networks.


Coaching, ensures a rapid transition from where you are today to where you should or desire to be in the future & this is necessary for the workforce to help companies & organizations transit with the various age-grade generations. Conflict, Emotional Intelligence and relationship, team building and performance management. It is necessary for matching millennials with their older colleagues and also coaching helps create a non-judgemental, flexible, dynamic, solution-focused, systemic thinking integrated high performing workforce.

Behaviour Change Coaching is also a critical success factor for most 21st century creates and encourages open-minded learning, curiosity, innovative and creative thinking. It is important that organizations hire either internal or external coaches to reinforce help them in this new era to thrive, succeed and grow. Coaching is an effective way of harnessing and leveraging on the talents, energy, youthfulness and passion of millennials.

To effectively manage millennials & other employees to ensure productivity & performance of work with your organization, people and self engage us as internal or external coaches today.
Call us on 08098883555, 08077077000. Email us at,
The Catalyst, Lanre Olusola
Transforming Lives by Transforming Minds.
Integrative & Transformative Catalysis.


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