Millennials in the workplace: Challenges and solutions for talent management for young workers

Millennials benefit from using technology to improve their performance and connect with colleagues

By Sathee Brent,

With a generational shift in the makeup of the U.S. workforce, some corporate heads are calling for millennials to take the reigns in talent management from older generations, according to TLNT magazine. Although millennials are set to take over the bulk of employment in the decades to come, they are little represented as talent management leaders in organizations. To help millennials succeed in the workplace, TLNT encouraged companies to hand over the baton to millennials. 

With the transition to allow millennials to take their place higher up in companies underway, current employers should understand what it takes to not only recruit millennials but also retain them for the long term. 

Having several generations in the workplace could complicate talent management, especially as younger workers are itching to serve in leadership roles. 

According to the Future Workplace survey, two-thirds of millennials agree with the statement that their personal drive could intimidate other generations on the job. Millennials are often characterized by their confidence in their skills, diversity and ability to adapt to changing forms of technology, including social media. In contrast, older generations often highlight their experiences as innovators, hard workers and independent employees.

Opportunities for advancement important to millennials
As millennials look forward to the future for their rise up the corporate ladder, employers should be sure to offer plenty of opportunities for advancement. More than 61 percent of millennial workers believe chances for promotions in their careers is one of the top three reasons why they will join a company.

Employers need to be able to strike a balance between providing opportunities for new workers to grow in their professional lives as well as keeping older workers engaged. The Future Workplace survey found 22 percent of boomers were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with their career advancement opportunities. On the other hand, 71 percent of millennials said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the same issue.

While millennial workers say that the sky is the limit as they have plenty of room for advancement, there is more to retaining these employees than giving them chances for promotion. A survey by Elance/oDesk noted that 53 percent of hiring mangers believe it is a challenge to recruit and retain millennials. Millennials said their commitment to the job may waver, as 58 percent of millennials anticipate moving on to a different job in three years or less. 

Keeping millennials on the job
Since companies often struggle with keeping millennials on board, they could invest in performance management solutions that give more insight into these workers' performance and engagement levels. 

Employees like millennials who benefit from technological solutions could use performance management software to track their performance and determine their progress in meeting company goals. Millennials are often skilled in adapting to new technology to increase their productivity. 

"Among findings, millennials offer unique skills - such as fresh ideas, adaptability and tech-savvy - that businesses need in order to innovate and remain competitive," the Elance/oDesk survey said. "Although clear contrasts exist between the prior generation and millennials, these are to be expected as millennials reinvent what it means to be successful in a rapidly changing, technology-driven world."

Not only can technology help millennials improve their performance, it can also ensure that they are connected with their colleagues, according to Generations at Work.

In the workplace, collaboration, personal involvement and trust are critical to creating engagement. For employees to be engaged, they must share a sense of belonging and of being part of something important. They need to trust that management is focused on the best interests of the organization and those who work there.

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Sathee Brent