The Millennials are Here, and They're Bringing Their Friends as Well

Studies found 95 per cent of millennials in India are stressed-a higher percentage than anywhere else in the world, and it is because of their jobs

By Lalitha Indrakanti

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Millennials have been in the workplace for more than a decade, so companies have had plenty of time to tailor their value propositions to this generation. If you haven't been intentional about this yet, it's not too late. The youngest millennials are in their early 20s and are just now setting up LinkedIn profiles and getting badged into their first companies.

So what does it take to attract and develop a loyal, productive millennial team? Here's the top five list.

Number one: A Meaningful Purpose

You may be in business to make widgets, but the most attractive companies are those that link their widget-making to something bigger. Two-thirds of employees expect their workplace to be their partners in driving societal change, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer. This is true no matter where in the company an employee sits. The mission is every bit as important to employees working on finance, technology or HR processes as it is to those on the corporate responsibility teams.

Number Two: Continuous Improvement Mindset

Millennials are not order-takers, expect them to challenge the status quo. They are willing to spend a little extra time or effort to make things better. Embrace this. If someone gives you a suggestion, are you equipped to take action on it? Do you push your team's members to constantly think of ways to work smarter? Do you incentivize good ideas? Things like hackathons or Shark Tank-style idea pitching can make continuous improvement both fun and engaging for employees while helping the company.

Number Three: Teach Them to Lead

We have a lot of millennials leading millennials. A lot of employees' happiness and trust at work rides on their first-level leadership, and new managers may need some training and coaching to be great leaders. What are the skills needed? How to give and take frequent feedback, handle conflict, and deal with important stakeholders.

Number four: Care for the body and mind

A recent study by an Insurance Co. found 95 per cent of millennials in India are stressed—a higher percentage than anywhere else in the world, and it is because of their jobs. Don't let your people get burnt-out. Think about what a workplace can offer in the short-term, like yoga breaks or making commuting easier. You can also remove a lot of workplace stress through good benefit offerings, including employee assistance programs, which this generation is more likely to use than previous generations.

Number five: Bragging rights

Most of us don't work for Facebook or Google, so how do we bring that cool factor to our offices? Think of what matters to your people. For us, workplace design is fundamental. Think of swinging chairs and informal stadium-style meeting areas, bright colours, and places where people can just sit and think. We also offer human-centric lighting that adjusts depending on the time of day. It helps with eye strain and it helps with moods. Getting to and from work can also be part of the value proposition. Employees commute to work in our fleet of electric vehicles.

In the next year, roughly half of the Indian workforce will be made up of Millennials. If you haven't done so already, it is time to welcome them.

Lalitha Indrakanti

Managing Director, Cargill Business Services (India)

Lalitha Indrakanti is managing director for Cargill Business Services in India. Cargill Business Services India operates out of two centres in Bengaluru and Gurugram employing more than 2000 skilled professionals.

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