Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Be brave and let go

Published in Nov-Dec 2016
To engage the Millennials companies will have to fundamentally change their SOPs, writes Sarah K. Yaldram.
Illustration by Creative Unit.
Illustration by Creative Unit.

The Millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000 now accounts for most of the current workforce. Attracting this generation is critical for businesses and employers need to learn and understand how this generation is reshaping the workplace culture in order to engage and retain them.

The Millennial generation has the same characteristics everywhere in the world and Pakistani Millennials are no different. In the past, employees had to adapt to company policies but those times are gone and this generation is dictating how employers must adapt to them.

This is a generation that has been exposed to technology in the shape of the internet, smartphones, tablets, social media and instant access to information. They are quick to adapt and learn and patience is no longer a virtue – and they are not apologetic about it.

They have high aspirations for their future and are more action-oriented. They create opportunities for themselves, even where few exist. They are ready to relocate, travel, work long hours and change careers to achieve their goals. Because of their aggressive, go-getter attitude they expect to be rewarded financially as well as in terms of career advancement.

They have an entrepreneurial mindset and are risk takers. If things do not work out as planned, they are not discouraged; in fact they are fired up and go and set up their own businesses. Access to technology has boosted their confidence and they feel more empowered in undertaking a challenge.

Loyalty is not their strong suit – they are experimental and do not mind switching jobs or careers – and this is a challenge for employers. Organisational changes have to be made to attract and retain them – although this will not ensure retention, and companies need to prepare for the churn and devise HR strategies accordingly.

They have a different attitude towards work – for them, the environment and the balance between work and personal life matters more than financial rewards. They crave recognition and seek encouragement. They want to be empowered and trusted; they want an inclusive and flexible environment, preferably with no bureaucracy and if employers are unable to meet these expectations they will be quick to part ways.

This is a generation whose lives have been dominated by technology and they use it as a facilitator for their career advancement. They are optimistic – they have faith in their abilities and believe that they can achieve anything; they want the freedom to express themselves and challenge the management with their attitude and ideas.


They do not respect rules (and considering the day and age we are in, it’s not a bad thing); in fact they focus on productivity rather than rules. And they get the job done – how? It does not really matter.


The question is, how can employers engage with the Millennial generation? The truth, the absolute truth is that if they want to attract, retain and motivate them, they will need to change their style of their leadership.

Millennials are impatient and want quick progress through promotions – they need to be engaged, empowered and trusted, as this gives them a sense of belonging and they will then work for you with a purpose. To foster their goodwill you need to focus on their strengths, involve them in new projects and help in their development.

They do not respect rules (and considering the day and age we are in, it’s not a bad thing); in fact they focus on productivity rather than rules. And they get the job done – how? It does not really matter. Companies need to be flexible and provide an inclusive environment to enable them to explore their potential to the maximum – which is eventually beneficial to the organisation.

In our company, we do not have designations or departments – every new recruit is given the same importance as any senior resource. New recruits do not feel intimidated and they get to be part of the team from day one. They are encouraged to speak their minds, which is a confidence booster and in turn helps us foster good relations with the team.

They crave attention and you need to give them regular feedback on their performance and help them weed out their weaknesses and at the same time get their feedback. They want face time with the decision makers.


Employers and organisations need to take the plunge and shun the old rigid model of fixed working hours and allow autonomy over how, when and where they work. Reward them on their results rather than the number of hours clocked in. Set them free, don’t bind them with rules – set deadlines and let them get back to you with the results.


Engage with them outside of work. Millennials do not see work as a place they go to earn money only – they want it to be a place to interact, socialise, learn and have fun – and if they can do that, they feel engaged.

Money is important but it becomes secondary if they don’t feel part of the team. As long as they are enjoying their work they will be motivated. But if you lose that connection, you may lose them as well. You need to know about them personally, spend time with them outside of work – connect with them emotionally and create a bond – the more you connect, the more they will give of themselves.

They also crave new experiences, learning, training and development, and will compromise on the financials if you give them an environment that enables this growth and development. However, this does not mean that money is not important; employers need to create a pay and benefits balance for them. They want to feel valued and be given tasks that will stretch them to the full extent of their abilities; they know that by doing so they will develop their skills and learn new ones.

Employers and organisations need to take the plunge and shun the old rigid model of fixed working hours and allow autonomy over how, when and where they work. Reward them on their results rather than the number of hours clocked in. Set them free, don’t bind them with rules – set deadlines and let them get back to you with the results.

It may seem a bit overwhelming but companies need to reorganise and re-strategise. They need to move away from a centralised command-and control-style of leadership to a networked approach.

Sarah K. Yaldram is Creative Director, Firebolt63. sarah.yaldram@firebolt63.com

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ARFAN Jan 13, 2017 11:57am

employers are also of the same Millennial generation , the event understand how to control employees and get work done.