They are known as Millennials, Gen Y, Internet Generation, Gen Next, Echo Boomers and the Facebook Generation, to name just a few. Whatever you choose to call them, they are the largest age group, born between 1980 and 1999, to emerge since the baby boom generation. The millennials have already joined the workforce about 10 years ago but the largest group is yet to enter our labor market.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics of Aruba, in 2010 the Aruban workforce consisted of only 19% millennials and 81% older generations. Currently 31% of the Aruban workforce is comprised of the millennial generation, by 2020 it is projected to be 44% and by 2030 it is projected to rise up to 46% of the total Aruban workforce.
The rising volume of millennials, combined with the increasing retirement of Baby Boomers means that employers are already facing (middle management) leadership gaps and that they will be looking to millennials to fill those gaps.
Although millennials may be worldwide the most studied generation to date, we cannot simply copy paste the impact studies, developments and experiences from the USA or Europe to our local situation. For this reason it is important to understand the common characteristics of this generation in Aruba and how this relates to our specific labor market and workplace cultures.
The millennials have been raised within a time period with constant access to technology. Computers, mobile phones and the internet were all accessible and part of their youth. Millennials therefore are creating a change in how work gets done.
What we have noticed of the millennials within the Aruban market is a high level of individualism. This generation stresses on personal achievement and individual rights. They are also much less loyal than previous generations, employers cannot count anymore on long time employment. Young workers are therefore more likely to hold many more jobs in their lifetime than baby boomers did. They are asking themselves often if the work they are doing is meaningful and challenging, and does it fit in with their life. If the answer is no, they may move on.
Easier decision to start business on their own.
The millennials are much more focused on salary and benefits
and have a high desire for professional recognition. They will certainly not accept to wait ten years before getting a promotion.
It is also clear that a large great part of the millennials is no longer focused on joining the bigger organizations (such as the utility companies or banks) or government. Many have chosen for smaller, less bureaucratic and more entrepreneurial organizations with more variety of challenges and more opportunity to prove themselves. Also, many who have gone abroad to study have remained there to pursue further career opportunities. Although emotional ties with Aruba will always be there, it is important to emphasize that millennials are more eager to spread their wings internationally. Aruba is no longer seen as the ideal place to build their resume.
So, how do you work on hiring, retaining and motivating the employees within this generation? Here ADVANCE provides you with some tips:
- Prepare yourself for cultural changes within your company
- Be informed of the generational differences
- Do not assume that this generation will join your company for the long term. It is more realistic to expect these employees to stay with your company for 2 to 3 years
- Provide them with a development program. They need to know upfront their growth possibilities within your company
- Create an environment that rewards and recognizes the achievements
- Provide them with professional training
- In managing this generation, focus on the end results. Give them freedom to be creative and choose their own route to success
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