Industry insights

Generation Y

Generation Y

A generation, that varies by region and social and economic conditions, is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. Millennial’s are all about taking themselves to the next level, with new learning opportunities and the ability to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Finally we have produced the ideal generation – they are open to change and connected with the planet, their parents, their peers and their feelings.

There are about 80 million of them, born between 1980 and 1995, and they’re rapidly taking over from the baby boomers that are now pushing 60. BBD continuously attempts to capture the imagination of these Millennials as they bring a world of new possibilities and could change the world or at least the way things are done in their workplace – using technology. This generation are online natives, their world has always had the internet, cell phones, and now social media allows them to communicate instantaneously. The impact these young people have on technology is constantly improving and changing the ways businesses function today.

The significance of the Millennial generation was underlined by the results of the fifth annual ICT Skills Survey compiled by the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) in partnership with ITWeb, and they recognised that when a company is lucky enough to attract any of the qualified bright young minds, it makes sense to hang on to them, by understanding how to manage them.

To stay in the game, businesses can embrace the change and manage Millennials in the following ways:

Listen to Millennials and respect their ideas. They are dependent on their parents for personal and career advice and used to having loving parents who schedule their lives around the activities of their children. These young adults have ideas and opinions, and don’t take kindly to having their thoughts ignored.

Millennial employees are up for a challenge and change. Boring is bad.

They seek ever-changing tasks within their work. Don’t bore them, ignore them, or trivialise their contribution. Millennial employees are multi-taskers on a scale you’ve never seen before. Multiple tasks don’t phase them. Talking on the phone, while email and answering multiple instant messages – yes! So take advantage of their computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy. The electronic capabilities of these employees are amazing.

Millennials want to endorse and be endorsed, they need constant feedback and in particular, praise. They actively seek guidance and structure from their mentors, therefore be a firm and fair leader, creating boundaries that help them map out their career paths.

The IT Industry is traditionally poor at providing a life-work balanced workplace. Millennials work hard, but they are not always happy with sixty hour work weeks. Home, family, spending time with the children, are priorities, don’t lose sight of this.

Internet research counts 75,000,000 Millennials are preparing to join or joining the workforce. Millennials are ready to take on the world and companies must direct their enthusiasm and energy into projects that allow them to make a valuable contribution.

Although managing Millennials may be a challenge and risk-averse, they are still extremely desirable employees. Make your Millennial employees happy in a fun, yet structured setting, and you are building the foundation for the superior workforce you desire. You are developing the future of your workforce.

What’s next? We’re ready!