Management and Millenials: some tips for better collaboration
Rémi Zunino
Rémi Zunino

Management and Millenials: some tips for better collaboration

Generation Y is now firmly established in the business. In her book “Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now,” Sarah Sladek explains how different Generation Y is from her older sisters. Generation Z, which is just being talked about, is in turn shaking up management methods.

Now, retaining talent born in the 1980s and engaging them effectively is no longer a question of raising a salary. The two new generations are tech-savvy, ambitious, and well aware of the social context of their lives and work. Yes, young people want money and the power to consume, but they value the community and social aspects of their lives more highly.

Understanding the expectations of these two new age groups, which crystallize the fears of managers and directors, convinced that the talents that compose them are “lazy, zapping and independent”, is easy as their needs for innovation and change correspond to an increasingly rapid and complex world. Anticipate these needs and adapt management as a result is undoubtedly more complicated. Young people accelerate business transformation and managerial innovation and sometimes leave managers lacking resources doubtful and worried. Portrait and managerial tips to break down barriers between generations.

The “I want!” generation ”: a challenge for management

Generation Y, comprising nearly 13 million people in France, was built in a changing society, prone to crisis and advocating individualism. The Ys have nevertheless proved to be mature and resourceful, opening the way for exchange and instantaneity since the beginning of the 2000s.

Génération Y

I want recognition

Insertion into “the world of adults” is off to a bad start. Diplomas no longer provide guarantees or protection for many workers under the age of 30. Upon arrival at the company, often questioned by business managers who consider that their needs do not coincide with the traditional functioning of the organization, they may encounter unfounded hostility. As soon as they join a business, millennials therefore feel a need for immediate recognition and legitimacy. Motivated, they want to stay in the company as long as they feel involved and recognized. Managers need to communicate about their work while valuing the fact that they are driving the business forward. They must also give them more autonomy and responsibilities as they carry out their missions.

I want change

Generation Y has a lot of questions... and questions everything. Curious by nature, supported by ICTs (New Information and Communication Technologies), Generation Y is questioning their actions in business by looking for meaning in what they do. The Y want to upset the top-down model of their ancestors and to get rid of any form of authority. And it is not always easy to adapt these desires to management and corporate culture: moving from “you” to “you”; breaking down walls to “co-work” in open space; text messages and headphones in the office... etc. They want change yes, but as quickly as possible. “Have everything at once” is the adage of this generation. With self-centered consciousness, the gap can widen with their elders who do not necessarily go as fast as they do.

The need for change also involves the search for personal development. Even if permanent employment remains an objective for some of them, individuals Y do not limit themselves to a single company and prefer to live in the moment. Their professional career is shaped according to their desires and give as much importance to their professional life as to their private sphere.

It is important for managers to know how to combine this spirited spirit of change with corporate life. Both in terms of professional development by creating intra-company exchanges (exchanges between services for example) and in terms of personal development by offering fulfilling activities (sports, charities, Young Pro days, etc.).

Generation Y is getting a lot of attention and crystallizing the fears of managers worried about codes and behaviors to which they are foreign. However, the company has integrated the wealth and added value of this population. Management today is evolving towards the Y logic, convinced that its ability to attract and retain talent is at stake. However, as fast as technologies evolve, a new generation, still an intern today, is in the process of bringing out new trends.

Génération Y jeunes

Generation Z, generation “Do it yourself”!

This generation, born after 1995, marks even more the revolution in the professional and management world. To demonstrate this phenomenon, three studies on young people and businesses were published at the beginning of the year:

  • The Deloitte Barometer highlights the mood of young graduates when they enter the world of work. *
  • The NewGentalent study (Edhec's center of expertise) highlights the loyalty problems associated with their disappointment with their first job. **
  • BNP Paribas, associated with The Boson Project, presents a focus on 15-20 years. ***

And the observation is clear: Generation Z has a negative image of the company.. So what changes are there to be understood? What are their expectations and aspirations? How to attract and retain a generation that challenges the company inherited from a century of which it remembers very little?

Envy, Technology, Open-mindedness

A synthesis of individuals who also want to stand out from their elders, this generation is the logical culmination of a world in need of innovation.

Their desire to be entrepreneurial and to act with passion is structural. Indeed, 47% of 15-20-year-old people*** want to start their business and be their own boss. The freedom of entrepreneurship does not frighten them at a time of crisis and the increase in unemployment: restructuring companies or start-ups, the risk is finally the same for them.

Digital natives won't work without technology. At an even more advanced stage than Generation Y, ultra-connected, the Z want to reinvent work. Not lazy, but with a different approach to productivity, this generation is following in the footsteps of its big sister by relocating from the company. Teleworking, co-working space, all sources of creativity and mutual assistance are at the heart of their methods. Although often criticized, they are none the less effective and stimulating.

(see article Talentis — Teleworking)

for these young people looking for something new.

The Z's are open-minded. They seek to travel and to cultivate themselves. The “Do It Yourself” mode suits them very well. These “makers” fed up with Wikipedia and the tutorials have appropriated the web to enrich their knowledge and answer their questions.

Finally, Generation Z is also, if not more so, a generation of the moment and of change. Indeed, these young workers combine their professional career in the plural, where they will work in various jobs. With their personal life linked more than ever to their career, each job will be a real slice of life to savor the moment. Entrepreneurs yes, but entrepreneurs in their lives as well.

Management of Millenials: some tips

In their vision of the company, the Y and Z are not tender: “stressful”, “unknown”, “closed”, “complicated”, so many adjectives that reflect the distance that separates them from the corporate world. But how do you attract and manage these two generations? 6 levers to form their ideal business.

HUMANITY. In a search for personal and business improvement, young employees value managers and/or business leaders who have positioned human capital at the heart of their assets. Listening, equality and trust must be an integral part of managers' approach.

how : Cultivate feedback by engaging in discussion and answering questions from your young collaborators. In terms of tools, feedback can come through regular meetings or digitally by creating a forum or an intranet, more in line with the habits of Y and Z. Establish local management in order to support newcomers “one to one”. This process will allow them to have a referent, with whom to discuss peacefully about their work, their career or their expectations.

TEACHER. In a generation where studies and diplomas are valued less and less, the company will become a degree-earning company in a few years. A privileged place to learn, the new generations want to “learn to learn”.

how : Millennials see their job as a continuation of their academic career. Her desire to learn is highly developed and she needs to feel that she is continuing to learn at work. Perplexed with company codes and quite defying management, This generation enjoys being coached. Listening, questioning, and the ability to give feedback (positive and negative) are essential to engage and motivate these young talents.

Send your team to professional conferences or organize creative sessions (trainings, games) around new skills, to improve their expertise.

As part of the new training system (CPF), set up short courses, workshops, mentoring...

VARIETY. Few young employees are still considering a career based on the same criteria as their elders. Each job is an experience in its own right at the service of their professional development and personal. These populations are all the more difficult to retain as they want to try their hand at everything. Their desire for a multiple professional life is deeply rooted. Y's and Z's hate to be bored and love multitasking.

how : Allow them to work on several projects at the same time by specifying the expected results and deadlines. Develop remote working and let them organize their working day — focus on the WHY and leave the HOW autonomous.

INTERNATIONAL. Y and Z are globetrotters and are looking for companies that allow them to either be in contact with abroad or to travel.

how : To constantly challenge these individuals by offering specific international missions or projects with an international vocation. These tasks allow them to perceive the direction of the company in the short term, without restricting them in the possibility of leaving in the longer term.

FUN. Young people like conviviality and sharing. As their time in business is limited in light of their multiple desires, you might as well work in a good atmosphere.

how : Set up a digital tool (e.g. forum) to create a presentation sheet and thus exchange and discover our employees as soon as they arrive in the company.

Encourage your employees to form a club based on a theme that interests them, related to the company's job, and would lead to the writing of articles or simply discussion sessions for example. Since the spirit of belonging and community is highly developed among them, do not hesitate to create “Young Pro” events that develop the employer brand.

ETHICS. This generation is a bearer of values and is looking for meaning in their work. They are aware of social and environmental issues and are committed to future generations. A company's CSR policy is decisive for them and represents a fundamental example.

how : Unite your team around a common project for the company. Like Decathlon, allow your employees to get involved in a cause during their working time, or like Microsoft, unleash their creativity by allowing them to work on personal projects around 20% of their working time. These projects also allow the company to strengthen its employer brand and to retain young talent.

Deloitte barometer

NewGen Talent study

BNP Paribas study — The Boson Project

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