Millennials, a new challenge for HR
Talent Development November 22, 2019
In one of his speeches, organizational consultant Simon Sinek points out that the generation of millennials is characterized by a need to “making an impact”. In a few years, members of this generation, composed of people born between 1980 and 1995, will make 50% of the global workforce and it is important to consider how characteristics of the millennials affect their professional habits.
The great desire of this generation to significantly contribute to the companies where they work can be a great advantage for employers. For several decades, one of the main challenges of HR professionals is how to motivate employees. The influx of young, ambitious and educated professionals at first glance seems like an ideal solution. Still, Simon Sinek points to the other side of the coin. The millennials, although ambitious, can hardly be described as patient. If the experience of “making an impact” is missing shortly after the arrival in the new company, it can often be followed by the decline of motivation and frustration with professional stagnation. In extreme cases, the consequence of the lack of impact can be a transfer to another company. In this way, paradoxically, highly motivated workers become a challenge for the HR sector.
On the one hand, HR experts are trying to cope with this problem through a design of continuous education and advancement programs. This is how you try to focus and seize the potential of that motivated generation. Still, it seems that these efforts seem not to have given much effect so far. A 2018 Deloitte survey shows that even 48% of the millennials do not plan to work for the current employer within two years, while 28% of them plan not to stay longer than 5 years. Apart from the opportunity to advance, one of the main reasons why millennials move to other companies is a better balance of private and business life and greater flexibility.
It seems that, for now, millennials accept a career path that implies frequent changes. Some estimates suggest that if the trend continues, the average millennial will change up to 20 positions for the rest of their career. Still, as Simon Sinek himself says, making impact is a process. The actual contribution of the company does not come with the position, it is built through long-term advocacy. It seems that if the impact of the influence remains the ultimate goal, the changes will have to be also made by millennials, not just companies.