• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Forum advocates understanding, engagement of ‘millennials’ in workplace for optimal performance

Creating atmosphere of success in workplace

Many organisations are today struggling with changing culture in workplace since the millennial generation – individuals born about mid 1980s to 2000s –started entering the workforce, but a forum on Employee Innovation and Workplace Millennial strongly advised organisations for proper engagement and understanding of the millennial to achieve productivity.

Today, some of the millennial generation don’t want to be employees but partners in the business while some are not constrained by the 30 days working attitude of Generation X who are too invested in the system.

The forum which stimulated conversation on the millennial who appreciate self-management, self-determination and work-life balanced environment was how to get the best out of them in the workplace.

The forum which held in Lagos recently under the aegis of the Employee Marketplace Initiative was a gathering of top corporate leaders. The convener, Nduneche Ezurike, a Marketing Communication Specialist and Head of Brand Communication in one of Nigeria’s commercial banks  presented his research on Workplace Millennials and Enterprise Innovation.

At the forum, the business leaders noted that proper understanding and engagement of the millennials and taking advantage of their digital knowledge in the workplace will engender innovation and impact on business growth.

Participants at the forum noted the existing inter-generational gap in the workplace and believed that proper integration of Generation X with the millennials will equally ensure productivity.

To build a deeper relationship and much more harmonious environment in a workplace, Nduneche in his presentation strongly advocated for mentoring which is critical in the workplace.

He said for organisations to mediate and moderate the inter-generational gap, there should be reverse mentoring module. “Reverse mentoring speaks about the younger ones that are digitally savvy supporting the older ones and at the same time learning from them”.

On further steps to enable workplace innovation and business growth, he suggested for ‘innovation tournaments’ which brings teams together. “Employees are formed into teams according to their level of interest and they challenge themselves  to produce things of interest and when they do that they are celebrated”.

There should also be fun and gaming models into the workplace. People want to be rewarded on the spot and when this happens they lay less emphasis on promotion . “This grows skill and brings value in terms of motivation and enables the employees to earn while they work”.

Nduneche who underscored the importance of engagement in the workplace  said “The fundamental of his research is to ensure how organisations can maximise their productivity through employee engagement. It is recognised that hard work brings productivity but engagement brings innovativeness”.

He said employee engagement has been a trend in most organisations since the 90s, a model which seeks to harness employee self-interest to promote the organisations benefit of innovation and business growth.

According to him, workplace has become a place for win-win. “It is a place for self-discovery for the employee and at the same time it is a place for innovative growth for the employer”. It is against the old model where the employee is just the workforce and manpower.

With the expectation that Human Resources Department is central to the workforce engagement and understanding of the millennials, Nduneche  said that the millennial conversation is not strictly a HR function. “It borders on organisational strategy because if people create wealth then the organisation must focus on the people and try to understand who they are beyond gender and age but their strengths, weaknesses, passion and affiliation”.

It is significant to deploy more comprehensive employment analytics module that will seek to interpret who the employee is and harness his/her skill to promote the general objective of the company, he said.

“While HR can be foundational to the employee and employer engagement, trying to drive the process goes beyond human resources department”.

Seye Awojobi, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) commended Nduneche for the Employee Marketplace initiative especially for bringing up the millennial in the workplace issue. He stated that the older generations must brace up to the challenge of tolerance and harmonious work environment in the digital era. Both generations must learn to embrace each other to be more productive, he stated.

In his comment, Ikem Okuhu, a media practitioner commended the conversation Nduneche raised which focuses on maximising the potentials of the millennials but said evolving what will work will require interrogation of certain issues.

Okuhu said understanding the millennials and giving them the eco-system to operate for optimal performance is important because essentially the future of the workplace is theirs.

In his submission, Sobowale Timioluwa, of Intelligent Interactive Limited said the new workforce and the employees are the millennials and organisations have to take them for who they are. “They have very strong wills, talents and they have their weaknesses too but we have to make sure we get the best from them by giving them the environment they need to operate.

“Every generation has what worked for them and this particular generation, giving them freedom to express themselves is what works for them”, he said.

Also speaking, Nkechi Ali Balogun, public relations practitioner agreed that work environment may have changed but the goals and objectives have not changed. To achieve results, she said some organsations are integrating generation x with millennials for productivity.


Daniel Obi