Who are Millenials ?
Social scientists have given various age brackets to identify “Millenials”. It is broadly agreed that all those born between 1980s and 2000 would belong to this group. This is a social cohort with specific behavioural characteristics. While there is a lot of talk on the concept of dealing with multiple generations in organizations today, it has been so even in the past. The only difference could be in the radical behavioural shift of this cohort as compared to the past.
The first distinguishing characteristic of Millenials is that they are very clear in what they want to do in life. They are confident and ambitious and define their own path. They are not worried about what society thinks of them. They can deviate from time tested paths and carve a road of their own choice. This makes them difficult to understand as a cohort as individual behaviours may not necessarily reflect the behaviour of the group as a whole.
The second unique characteristic of this group is that they are technologically savvy. The mobile phone is ubiquitous in their lives. They easily adapt to technology and make the best use of it. Sometimes you do get a feeling whether technology determines their behaviour or they manage technology that way. They are well versed in technology and know how to use it to their best advantage.
The third nature of this cohort is they are restless. While being impatient for results may be a good idea, it may make them demotivated very fast. For eg., if they post something on social media and do not get many likes within minutes of their post, they get disappointed easily. This impacts their work and their life. They want to achieve success in half the time of their seniors. While it is good to be ambitious, it may be necessary to be patient for results.
The fourth quality of the Millennials is they have a lot of ideas. If their ideas are channelised and they are guided properly, they can achieve results much faster than their older generations. I have always felt energised in the company of these people. They challenge you all the time but are also willing to be challenged in every way. We need to have a participative style of leadership to deal with them.
The last quality which I admire most in this group is their ability to take risks. In my class in college, hardly one or two students would venture out to start a business after completing our professional education. In this generation, more than one third of the class wants to start something of their own. They are willing to work hard, put forth their ideas and are not afraid of failure. On the contrary, many of us do not have the guts to do that even today.
As in the photo above, this duo is full of energy and they only are looking to channelise the same to bring out their best always.
I have enjoyed every moment I have spent with this generation. It is not right to imagine that they have arrived from a different planet and behave differently. It is true their goals and aspirations are different. They have clear goals, willing to take risks, adapt to technology faster and are impatient for results. If we are willing to channelise their ideas and create a supportive environment, they are bound to succeed.
It is up to us to learn from them and lead them into a brighter future.
S Ramesh Shankar