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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

May - 2008 - issue > People Manager

Managing the Millennials

C Mahalingam (Mali)
Thursday, May 1, 2008
C Mahalingam (Mali)
We have been discussing since some time about the demographic changes impacting the workforce, changing the color and complexion of the people we are required to manage. Just when most of the baby-boomer managers thought they began to understand the psyche of the Gen-X workforce and came to terms with it, a quite transformation happened with the entry of Gen-Y, referred differently as Millennial generation, into the workforce. And believe me, managing Gen-Y implies an altogether new learning curve for people managers at work. Welcome to yet another challenging but interesting time of managing the Millennials! For the yet-to-be initiated, Millennial refers to the twenty-somethings that have joined the workforce in recent times.

Worldview is very different
Basically, the Millennials' view of the world is very different from the way Gen-X looked at it, and perhaps way apart from what the world was for baby boomers. With baby boomers in the managers' saddle and Millennial as the workforce 'being managed', the difference in their perception of the world is one of a day and night difference. Neither is patently wrong, but successful management of the Millennials demands a different level of breadth and depth in understanding. Here are some illustrative perspectives to this difference:

* The Millennials hate the 'either or' choices at work. Say, either work or gym, either work or early to home, either overseas assignment or promotion offshore.
* They also do not see value in 'butt-on-seat' work demands, as they believe productivity is all that matters and not the face time.
* They value jobs that offer unambiguous opportunities for self-development rather than some vague development potential.
* And, just because they think they know a lot and are knowledgeable, it does not mean they are not! Chances are they do know a lot, given their exposure and experimentation.
* The Millennials do not fit into any single mould. Each of them may have much in common, but are also very individual in their motivations and aspirations.

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