Mindfulness in the workplace
There has been a slew of stuff written about Generation Y: their attitudes to work, their endless ambitions and their own general belief of how great they are! But like it or not, Gen Y, also referred to as millennials, are our workforce of today and leaders of the future.
Rather than Gen Y adapting to Gen X or Baby Boomers’ ways, it is Gen X and Baby Boomers that need to do the adapting. Businesses are the ones that need to change to attract and retain the best and brightest of this young breed of professionals. Millennials often get a bad rap for apparently having no loyalty; for being overly ambitious or idealistic; and for their unrealistic expectations about what they want from their jobs. However rather than being dismissive of these ambitions, we need to find ways of nurturing these young game changers. It’s in our best interests to provide them with workplaces where they will be motivated, engaged, and get closer to the dream careers they’ve always aspired to have.
So how can we attract these talented, tech-savvy and ambitious kids to join our organisations?
Having polled a few of them personally, there are a few shared sentiments running through their responses about why they would be attracted to a job. They want flexible working hours; the ability to work remotely, a great company culture and meaningful work. Oh, and to be recognised for it!
“What are they thinking!” you might say. “They’re barely out of school and haven’t earned their first stripes yet!”
But it’s important to remember Gen Y are smart, they’re hungry, they’re open minded, they embrace change, they’re digitally savvy and extremely social – and not to mention, they make up 35% of the current workforce. We need to figure out ways to keep them on our teams and in our workplaces. After all, they will be the life blood of many successful organisations in these fast paced, complex, ever-changing and evolving times.
Fast forward to having wooed and hired our young millennials. The next question is how to keep them engaged, motivated and rewarded. Only by doing that will they retain their passion and grow loyal to those they’re working for and with.
Here again, my pollsters gave me some insights into their desires: career progression, acknowledgement of achievements, a place to grow and develop new skills, a place where input matters and a place where every individual can make a difference. We can’t argue that these are all highly motivating factors that would bring about great job satisfaction even for us Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers. It’s true!
Gen Y places a much higher importance on doing meaningful work than having a loaded pay cheque. It’s important for them to have jobs where there aren’t too many rules, and where those which exist are there for transparent reasons. They crave feedback and recognition; and their personal growth and development are influential factors in remaining in their jobs.
There’s no question that millennials are taking the job market by storm and having a major impact in the workplace. They have an inherent understanding of how to get the most out of technology; they are willing and ready to embrace new innovations enabling them to problem solve creatively and bring fresh ideas and insights into the way things are done.
Employers should proactively take whatever steps necessary to leverage this new generation of workers. They need to provide them with a positive culture and a flexible and versatile environment where they can be engaged beyond the dollars. We need to provide them with access to technology that enables them to work from anywhere at any time. After all, who says that our best work is done between nine and five behind a desk?
The stage is well and truly set for an interesting evolution. I, for one, feel extremely confident in a future where Gen Y rules the world! Time will tell.