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Nisha Singhania’s mantra to retain Infectious’ millennials

The Co-founder and Director of Infectious Advertising shares her learnings about the biggest challenge in front of agencies today

Nisha Singhania

‘Millennials’ or Gen Y is the generation of people born between 1981 and 1996—the 24-40 year olds in our offices. They make up approximately 75% of the office strength and hence it is impossible to ignore them. So let’s see what makes them tick?

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Given below are the 10 mantras that we use at Infectious to help retain them:

Mantra #1: Flexibility

Millennials like working when they want, where they want, how they want. They value flexibility, autonomy, and the ability to lead a better life overall. Today everything they do is flexible, be it how they watch movies, to socialising, to ordering dinner. Millennials view work in the same way; not to be measured by hours at a location, but by the output of what they do.

They are used to doing things their way and we need to give them that freedom. The more rules you have, the more you are turning them away. So time to lose those punch-in machines folks and start saying yes to flexi timings. Do not question their holidays or vacations. Once they are back, they will be recharged and far more productive. Offer work-from-home days. They will appreciate the independence and love you for it.

Mantra #2: Transparency

Workplace transparency is critical for the millennials. Transparency produces trust, and trust impedes corruption and politics. When employees see management trusts them with information, they are motivated, as they feel valued. 

We need to build a culture of transparency that gives them visibility into the decision-making processes, and opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways. Openly share critical information with the team, let them in on the companies’ performance, growth and plans. Make them a part of the decisions and plans.

Mantra #3: Making a difference

Millennials are a lot that care. They care about the environment, and want to protect it. They believe in diversity and equality. Causes and purpose matter to them the most. They have a point of view on current affairs and leaders. They care about the ethics of the company they work for and what it stands for.

Organisations need to follow suit. Embrace diversity — include people of varying gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, languages, education, abilities, etc. Have a purpose and share it. Millennials like to feel their work has a purpose that goes beyond their own self-development. Explain how each project contributes to the company or society as a whole.

Mantra #4: Tech working

Millennials grew up with technology, mobile apps, and innovative platforms. They're the first ones we call when we have computer and internet problems. They’d rather text than talk; they openly tweet at meetings; they live on social media. Employers need to change the way they worked. No more blocking Facebook or surfing. Make tech a way of life. WhatsApp groups, con-calls, video calls versus in in-person meetings.

Mantra #5: Personal growth & development

Both personal and career growth are essential for millennials in the workforce. Millennials believe in acquiring the skills and knowledge they need to grow both personally and professionally. They want frequent and clear feedback. When they do something well, they want to have it pointed out. When they do something poorly, they want that to be pointed out as well, along with instruction on how to do it better.

Employers need to invest in training, both personal and professional. Give on-the-job feedback rather than once-a-year assessment. Share relevant content with them — that brilliant article you found on the future of AI, share it with them. Trust them with extra duties. If someone is ready to try something new, give them a small project and let them try their hand. Allow failure.

Mantra #6: Be accessible & approachable 

The model of the unreachable manager is no longer valid. Neither can a manager just sit on the pedestal and judge. Managers need to have a genuine interest in helping the team improve.

Have regular 1:1 time with each of your team members. Have an open-door-policy or better still a no-door, cabin-less office so you can give them freedom to discuss anything — ideas, thoughts, complaints and aspirations. Be open to being persuaded by a good line of reasoning, even if you’re the final decision-maker and this feedback comes from people who report to you

Mantra #7: Collaboration generation

Millennials are great team workers. They are used to working together, sharing knowledge and collaborating. Without knowing it, this generation was already highly skilled in collaboration, because they experienced life as a “living meeting.” They are accustomed to constant connectivity — everywhere, all the time and on every device.

Open office layouts enable frequent interactions and sharing of ideas. Brainstorms can help different groups work together and come up with innovative solutions.

Mantra #8: Workplace culture

It’s not just about the type of work millennials are doing, it’s about where they work as well. You may provide good work/life balance and plenty of perks, but if the environment they work in is stifling and uninspiring, they’ll likely react negatively.

An open, welcoming atmosphere that encourages teamwork and collaboration will let them flourish. Productivity and creativity can improve in response. Incorporate team-building practices, off-sites and get-togethers. If your employees are able to enjoy their time during work hours, they’ll find value in their job outside of just their pay-check.

Mantra #9: Money matters  

This is a smart lot. They know their worth and are willing to fight tooth and nail for it. Gone are the days they will wait indefinitely for their next increment. They need to be paid well. Money for them is a clear indication of their worth in the organisation.

Offer competitive salaries, else someone else will get them.

Mantra #10: Little things    

Of course job security and salaries are important but the game changer can be the little things you can do to make their lives better.

Small office perks like food on the house, paid vacation leave, a well-stocked pantry they can dig into anytime. Cosy huddle or nap areas, games and books they can indulge in. Regular rewards and recognition. These things can go a long way into creating a loyal employee base.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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