Many analysts predict that by the year 2020 the 50% of the workforce will comprise of Millennials and Gen Z. That’s a significant number of the workforce and smart companies are gearing up strategies to cater to their needs. The question of what drives this group of young and energetic workforce and how do you leverage their strengths? Why is it so important to figure this out?

Who are the Millennials and Gen Z?

Aside from the year of birth that can help you figure out what generation individuals are categorized into, Millennials and Gen Z’s are a group of technology savvy, social media frenzied, impatient and fast-paced individuals who generally have shorter attention spans, are more likely to switch employers and usually have agitated personalities (in a good way!). Now it may seem like I’m describing someone’s young child, but I say all this in the most positive way possible.

Generally speaking, Millennials and Gen Z’s, thanks to technology and exposure to so much information, are an eager and high achieving group of individuals who want success faster than previous generations. A while back I wrote about why you should be focusing on Millennials and Gen Z’s and how you can retain them. While we keep hiring more talented individuals from this generation, we’re still learning how to keep them “interested”. Because what interests them is rapidly changing. Technology, consumer trends and personal needs are all changing so much faster today than they did just 5 years ago. Similarly keeping up with Millennials and Gen Z is quite challenging for companies.

Doing Things Differently

Transparency holds a lot of meaning and weightage for Millennials and Gen Z’s. They want their contributions to be recognized often and their presence visible by the leadership. And that’s why companies need to rid themselves off tall hierarchies and levels that obstruct the leadership’s view of what’s happening at the grassroots. With fewer layers communication can be enhanced and more frequent so that Millennials and Gen Z can benefit from understanding and being aware of corporate mission, vision and values. You can then expect them to be more aligned to the company’s goals and contributing more towards it because they’ll be able to define their purpose around the ideologies that are conveyed to them.

Another benefit from working closer to the leadership is building a stronger succession plan. A great number of Millennials and Gen Z are highly interested in being their own bosses. Instead of losing talented individuals who are looking to start their own business, companies can capitalize on this “need” by creating an environment which provides them more ownership, accountability and responsibility. The idea is to fuel their desire of being their own bosses, however, channeling their energy towards a positive that the company can benefit from. Otherwise, you’ll be experiencing high turnovers of Millennials and Gen Z’s.

Millennials and Gen Z’s are without a doubt the future of any workforce and any industry. The current workforce of Boomers and Gen X’s may have experience under their belts and plenty of grey hair, however, they’ll be scratching their heads if they don’t start thinking of how to do things differently to attract, retain and motivate the new breed of talent.