4 smart ways to engage with Millennials in India


The psyche, work ethic and life choices of millennials are dissected and discussed continually by everyone from opinion columnists to psychologists to economists.

The millennial generation, whose members, born from 1980 to 2000, grew up during an unparalleled digital revolution, has a unique position in history, coming of age simultaneously with the rise of the internet, social media and all the other huge technological and communication advances we’ve seen in the past few decades.

These advances brought with them globalization, drawing the world in closer contact, and opening up new lifestyle and employment possibilities unimaginable just years before.

Because millennials grew up in an age of such progress and possibility, there is a lot of talk about how to engage them in the workforce.

By 2020, millennials are projected to make up 50 percent of the global workforce, and a whopping 75 percent by 2025.

In India for example, a country of over one billion, nearly 65 percent of the population will be of working age by 2026. This striking number of individuals will not only drive India’s progress, but also supply human capital around the world.

Companies around the globe are aiming to provide the kind of work environments that attract and motivate millennials.

Of course, not all millennials can be painted with the same brush; culture plays a huge role in motivational factors and personality.

In that case, what are some key motivators for Indian millennials?

Titles and avenues for progression

Millennials in India are ambitious and conscious of titles. Providing an organizational structure with designated roles and the opportunity for upward movement is key.

Mentor programs

Mentors make millennials feel valued and looked after by an organization. Effective mentor programs show fresh employees there is a path to promotion, and give them guidance for continued success along the way.

Skill development

Millennials have grown up in a society that is constantly reminding them of the need to stay relevant. Many do not want to stay in one role, or even one place, for too long. Offering training programs and skill development courses which allow them to multi-task and fulfill a variety of roles over time will keep them engaged.

Feedback and recognition

Communication with management is vital for millennials. They want to feel challenged and recognized, in order to feel they are an integral part of the organization, and that they are making a positive difference within the company. Give constructive criticism when improvement is needed, but make sure to equally dole out praise for a job well done.

Millennials, with all their quirks, are here to stay in a big way.

Therefore, it’s imperative to harness their collective power, understand what makes them tick, and motivate them for maximum productivity, on their terms.

Here is Sanjay Behl, CEO Raymond with his thoughts in the BusinessWorld Kwench HR Masterclass on how to engage the Millennials.

Do leave your thoughts and comments in the section below. I would love to hear your opinions on the topic.

Related Posts:

Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 1 – the Hero Generation)

Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 2 – The chasm)

Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 3 – The strategies)

Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 3 – The strategies)

_Strategy_Success_This is the third and final post in the series. The first post is here, the second is here.

It was almost 6. Kaushik, as the HR director was called by all his peers in senior management was slouched in a plush leather chair in one corner of the bar in his club. The chair in front of him was vacant. Kamal, the director of operations was late, since he was battling some crisis at office. And just as well – Kaushik needed some time to think.

The atmosphere in Nymphaea (as the lounge was called) was muted. There was a smattering of people reading or chatting with friends ensconced in over-sized leather chairs and sofas. The lighting was dim and the view of the perfectly manicured gardens, with its lotus pools, soothing – A far cry from the tense atmosphere in office these days.

Kaushik took another sip of his drink and stared out of the large french windows. The spectacular hues of a summer sunset were lost on him as the impending discussion with his friend loomed. He knew that his initiatives to actively engage Gen-Y would be challenging, but he hadn’t expected an outright war. The senior management were people who had vast amounts of industry experience and were more than competent. To their credit they had built the company from ground up over the last three decades but they could not afford to be blind to reality. Growth was slowing. Costs were rising. Each time a trained employee left the company, it impacted the bottom line. The costs of training and bringing new employees up to speed was non-trivial and was a topic the CFO kept bringing up in the quarterly management meets.

Read the full post

Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 2 – The chasm)

(This is the second post in a three part series. The first post is here)

 Gen_Why_InTheWorkplace_“Just another brick in the wall!” Arvind changed his facebook status message using his Smartphone and he knew the inevitable flood of questions from his network would follow. He was bugged. His status “Da man has arrived – now EA to the Prez!” a week back, had gotten him over 70 ‘likes’ – a personal record.  But it didn’t take a doctorate in human psychology to figure out that he was not really hitting it off with his boss. “The man just refuses to think differently or even consider there is a better way of doing things. He wants everything to be ‘thought through’. That approach is so-dead” Arvind ranted over a Whats-App chat session with his close friend. Arvind had slaved the entire weekend and come up with a detailed presentation outlining what he felt was a massive improvement over the current process. “Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken” is all that the president said when he shooed Arvind out of the room after having barely glanced at the presentation slides.

Up on the seventh floor of the corporate office: The president once again opened the presentation his EA had sent him. He was impressed with the way the young entrant had tried to use new technologies to reduce some of the inefficiencies in the process but what was also obvious was that the impatient young man didn’t have the depth of understanding required to overhaul the entire process chain. In the good old days a new comer would immerse himself for years before daring to come up with a plan to overhaul an established process and this was the fifth time in the last week alone that Arvind had come up with a ‘game changing’ plan – none of which was really necessary right now. There were more than enough burning fires that needed putting out. “This new generation thinks it can change the world overnight”.

The president shook his head as he picked up the phone to call the HR head.

Read the full post

Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 1 – the Hero Generation)

I love Gen_Y_“You want to think about how to prepare the next generation to move into leadership and they’re already thinking about buying the company.”*

Arvind had just joined the company fresh out of India’s best B-school. The CEO himself was on the panel that selected Arvindt to join his company’s young leaders program. Quick introductions to the senior management over, Arvind is assigned to be the EA of the 55 year old President of Global Operations, a 20 year veteran.  A fortnight later, the senior man is in on the phone with the HR head. The “kid” is overconfident, he says. Arvind is pushy and impatient and worst of all, he wants to leave at 6pm every day. The president want’s the HR head to intervene and have a frank talk or he wants the “brat” gone by the end of the month.

HR professionals today have a unique challenge. The typical workforce for large and medium organizations now has the ‘Independence Babies (Boomers)’ retiring, Gen-X at the helm of affairs or in senior positions, and Gen-Y entering the workforce eager to take charge. To make matters more interesting, the behavioural gap between those in charge and the incoming workforce couldn’t be starker. Organizations can no longer hope to actively engage their workforce by having an undifferentiated ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach towards employee engagement.