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Managing IT Millennials: How to motivate this new generation of employees The IT millennials are fairly demanding and do not want to follow certain diktats or set ways of working just because they've always been so.

By Nandini Tandon

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With more millennials or Gen-Ys forming a large part of the workforce today, organizations may need to take a relook at their current HR systems and people processes. Organizations world over are trying to figure out this "misunderstood generation" and deploy measures to align with their new ways and work habits.

The IT millennials are fairly demanding and do not want to follow certain diktats or set ways of working just because they've always been so. They have their own ways of showing their work commitment and do not want their jobs to come in the way of their overall quality of life or balance. They want more flexibility in their work schedules and will not stick to a job if they see no "meaning' in it.

Managing this new generation of workers has therefore become a challenge that HR managers are trying to deal with. What is it that millennials really want – this is a question that every organization faces today.

IT Millennials want a leadership role

Two out of three IT millennials want to become the CEO of a company that they would want to start themselves, according to a recent survey conducted by a staffing firm Modis. There is a striking difference here when it comes to professionals aged 35 to 50 years, where only 50 per cent share a similar goal.

According to the survey presented in the report "Millennials: Understanding a Misunderstood Generation," 63 per cent millennials in India claim that becoming a leader is very important. Clearly, IT millennials want to take charge and that is what organizations need to provide them with. It is therefore, extremely essential for the organizations today to constantly provide the millennials with a role where they take complete charge rather than being spoon fed.

They are more outspoken and free spirited

They are more outspoken and free spirited The attitude that most millennials exhibit today is posing an HR challenge of sorts. These people don't want to be merely restricted to the set work assigned to them. The IT professionals, in particular, have a very entrepreneurial mindset. They want to participate in management decisions, share their ideas and opinions more freely and want to try out their own ways of doing things. If they don't find meaning in their work, they are quick to look for options elsewhere. Therefore, it is important to provide the right leadership and guidance to the millennials and boost their approach of pushing the envelope to work effectively.

IT Millennials want value for work

A millennial won't commit himself or herself to any company in particular, but will certainly commit to meaningful work. Gen-Y'ers, unlike the earlier generations is quite open to hopping between organizations to achieve faster career growth. They are a bit impatient and demanding, and won't easily stick to any organization unless it provides them with the kind of opportunities and value that they seek for their capabilities.

Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace

IT millennials prefer a workplace that gives them a platform to enjoy their work. They prefer to have friendly relations with their seniors as well as co-workers and seek an environment that lets them grow at their own pace. A fun, employee-centered workplace brings out the best in a millennial.

Work-life balance and other activities

Millennials today ram up their lives with a plethora of extra-curricular activities outside of their work schedules. The assertive approach is accompanied by commitments to family and friends. Expecting them to commit to sixty-hour work weeks would be unrealistic as it will compromise their work-life balance. If organizations ignore this fact, it would lead to dissatisfied employees.

Lastly Big is not necessarily the Best

With work-life balance being so core to them, millennials no longer feel that only the big cities, the so called metros can give them the career high they aspire to reach. In search of striking the correct chord with the work-life balance there are several youngsters who are choosing to opt for tier -2 cities too and leaving behind the rigmarole of the maddening Indian metros. There is every reason to believe that their entrepreneurial spirit will be further enhanced should they be happy individuals with lesser life stresses making them more productive and focused.

Whether you like their "millennial' attitudes or not, this generation is going to form a majority of the workforce and leadership, and they will define the future of tomorrow's organizations. Therefore, HR will have to be responsive to their needs and evolve systems that are better suited for this generation of workers.

Nandini Tandon

Chief People Officer, Indusface

Nandini Tandon is the Chief People Officer of Indusface, a privately-held information security company. The firm helps safeguard web and mobile applications using its flagship product IndusGuard, giving customers the distinctive edge of having total application security.
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