Millennial At Work


The millennial generation refers to the generation of children who are born between 1982 and 2002. They differ from generation X because of the reason that there behavioural traits have decreased over the last fifteen years which consist of drug use, teen pregnancy and youth violence (De Vernal, Van Nieuwenhove and Hillaire-Marcel, 2014). In the present study, researcher aims at evaluating different aspects about millennial's in which, they are different from generation X has been focused. Along with this, it also focuses on factors that motivates the millennial's and the justifications. Thereafter, with the help of studies made by Polanyi and Nonaka, investigator explains the terms tacit and explicit knowledge. Lastly, methods and approaches that managers of the firms during the period of 70s and 80s can undertake in order to release the tacit knowledge of millennial's are discussed. In this context, investigator evaluates how the contemporary working environment can motivate and retain the millennial's at work.

Millenial at work

What are Millennial and how they differ from generation X

Millennial's can be referred to the millennial generation or the generation Y. However, they are the demographic cohort following of Generation X (Abraham and Harrington, 2015). There are several authors and scholars that have proposed different dates for the period of millennial thus, it is difficult to determine the precise dates when the generation starts and ends but most of them are in the opinion of years ranging from early 1980s to the early 2000s. The origin of word Millennial is derived by the authors named as William Strauss and Neil Howe when they published Millennial's in Generation: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069. Both the authors are widely credited in order to name the Millennial (Phillips and Trainor, 2014).  On the other hand, Generation X is commonly abbreviated to Gen X which is the generation born after the western Post-World War II Baby Born. However, various demographers and commentators use birth dates ranging from early 1960s to the early 1980s. Furthermore, Gen X is often characterised by the high level of scepticism and they arguably are the best educated generation with 29% of them obtaining bachelor’s degree or higher. This helps them in bringing stability to their life and growing maturity.

There are several factors of Gen Y or millennial and Gen X which differentiate them from each other and helps the people to understand them appropriately and smartly (Larkin, 2014).

Generation Y or Millennial

  • This generation refers to the people born in 80s and 90s (Acar, 2014).
  • Millennial generation are known as Peter Pan generation because their childhood was so good that they have the tendency to delay adulthood.
  • In case of economic diversity or recession or climate change, Gen Y will not blame the past but they will focus on mitigating the issues by looking forward (Aad and, 2014).

Generation X

  • This generation refers to the people of the 60s and 70s.
  • As an individual, Gen X is known for being philosophical and misanthropical and it is because of the reason they came of the age just after experiencing the Cold War (Lederer and, 2014).
  • While Gen X focuses on fixing the mistakes that their ancestors made so that they can live a safe and secure life.

Difference in needs and expectations of Generation Millennial and Generation X at work can be illustrated with the help of studies made by different authors and scholars. Millennial have different concepts about their personal and professional life. However, their motive is work to live rather than live to work. Despite of this, they understand the fact that money and work are not all they want. But Millennial are more concern about the life style, good work, life balance, flexible working, feeling value and adding value to the workplace (Patrick, 2014). In comparison to Generation X, millennial's expected more from their employer and they are more demanding than the previous generation.

However, the trending needs and expectations of millennial's are challenging and interesting work, high salary, career development opportunities, job security, good work life balance etc. On the other hand, Generation X is more pragmatic and practical in nature as they want to experience the things by doing them personally at the workplace (Arnett and Wittmann, 2014). Along with this, they tend to pretend casual working nature, like friendly working environment, wants flexibility and freedom to work in an effective manner. Millennial experiment more new things, makes new rules and regulations, while Gen Y takes employability more seriously. Henceforth, these are few differing needs and wants of Gen X and Millennials.

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What Motivates Millennial

Motivation in general terms can be defined as the needs, desire, wants or drives within individual. However, it refers to the process of challenging the people to work and accomplish the objectives (Schoenherr, T., Griffith, D. A. Chandra, 2014). In context to business, motivation is one of the most significant aspects that have to be carried out in a suitable manner so that willingness amongst the employees to perform can be developed as well as they can be encouraged to enhance their skills and abilities to set different benchmark. According to Aboagye-Nimo and, (2015), motivation is the internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy within people at workplace to continually interested and committed towards the job, role or subject in order to attain desired goals and objectives. Similar to this Sheng and, (2015), defines different types of motivational theories that assist top level management of business enterprise to motivate or encourage subordinates and other people to work in effective and efficient manner and generate desired results and outcomes for the firm.

As per the view of Ayu (2015), it is essential for the management to remember that millennial's in their organisation can be incredible assets to the company, if managers take time to understand them and accordingly acts with them. In this context it is crucial for the companies to motivate the millennial employees within the firm so that they can be encouraged to carry out work in the best possible manner and generate desire results which they are capable of (Cousins and, 2014). Furthermore, in comparison to previous generation, millennial are highly educated, most technological advanced, possess different work values and want to learn new things and develop their skills.

In order to motivate the millennial employees at the workplace the most suitable motivational theory would be Maslow's hierarchy of need theory. This theory in psychology is proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” (Baltag, Renne and Smets, 2014). The main purpose behind this theory is to define different needs of different people at different level. However, according to Maslow's hierarchy need theory, desire and wants of Millennial individuals are categorized in five different segments such as: Self actualisation, esteem, belongingness, safety and physiological needs.

In context to self actualisation, Millennial's are especially eager to progress in their career and less willing to wait three to five years for the promotion. Thus, in order to motivate the millennial employee it is important for the management of firm to develop suitable growth opportunities so that they can be self encouraged to work loyally towards the functioning and generate the best possible results (Giang, 2015).

In context to esteem, millennial generation are good at responding to the encouragement and immediate feedback. They are the employees who are liked to be noticed. Therefore, it important for the managerial level people to provide constant respond to them as well as a simple thank you, congratulations, honest and supportive feedback are more than enough for the millennial's to fuelling their esteem needs to produce valiant results. Along with this, increase their responsibility as they like to take big challenges and get recognised (Dill, 2014). By the means of this, millennial can be motivated by fulfilling their esteem needs and wants.

In context to belongingness, management of the firm need to focus on developing suitable working schedule so that millennial personal and professional life can be balanced. Offering them flexibility to work adequately as well as spare time for their friends and family. However, work life balance is one of the most significant drivers of employee retention among the millennials. This tech-savvy generation is essentially able to work anytime from anywhere with an internet connection. Thus, encouraging them to work flexibly will help in meeting their belongingness needs and which leads to motivate them to generate desired results for the firm (Thielfoldt and Scheef, 2004).

In context to safety, Millennial always focused on taking risks and experimenting new things so that they can generate desired results and outcomes. But not like the previous generation, still millennials are also concern about the work safety and job security. Hence, it is important for the managerial level people to provide them better working environment as well as assurance to job security so that they can constantly take risk by promoting innovation and creativity within the approach of business enterprise to generate desired results and outcomes (Halsall, 2012).

Lastly, physiological needs, according to the survey, roughly 33% of millennials will place mobile flexibility over salary when considering a job offer. As they are the one who changes jobs more often than any other generation in order to satisfy their physiological needs. However, in context to corporate physiological needs, management should provide them better salary, timely hikes, bonuses and incentives so that they can be motivated to retain for the long term.

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Tacit Knowledge and how does it differ from Explicit knowledge

In general knowledge management can be defined as the understanding of different forms that knowledge can exist in and accordingly distinguishing between different types of knowledge. However, over the centuries, authors and scholars had made many attempts to classify the knowledge. In context to business and knowledge management, only two types of knowledge are usually defined such as: explicit and tacit (Schofield, 2014).

Tacit knowledge in general terms can be defined as the kind of knowledge that is difficult to transfer to another person by the means of writing it down or verbalizing it. In other words, it is integral to the consciousness of the person which is acquired largely through association with other people. The concept of tacit knowledge is introduced by Michael Polanyi in his 1966 book “The Tacit Dimension” which indeed is also known as informal knowledge. In the study of Wellman (2009), tacit knowledge is also regarded as being the most value source of knowledge and the most likely to overcome all the gaps and loopholes within the company. Supporting to this fact Gamble and Blackwell (2001) states that, lack of focusing on tacit knowledge can directly reduced the capabilities of the employees with regard to innovation and sustaining competitiveness (Goudreau, 2013). Furthermore, using the reference by Polanyi (1966), it is difficult to imagine the article that would accurately convey how one reads the facial expression. However, it would be rather near impossible to convey gestures and expressions. Further, author defines that tacit knowledge is found in the minds of human stakeholders which consist of cultural beliefs, values, attitudes, mental models etc. Along with this, depending upon the skills, capabilities and expertise is defined through tactic knowledge.

According to Nonaka, explicit knowledge can be defined as the formalized and codified knowledge that can be easy to understand. However, it is fairly easy to identify, store and retrieve. This is the type of knowledge that is easily managed by the knowledge management system which is effective at facilitating the storage, retrieval, and modification of documents and texts. In context managerial perspective, the biggest advantage with this type of knowledge is that it is similar to information which can be easily communicated and shared between the employees. Further, it is a formal and systematic knowledge. According to Botha (2008), explicit knowledge is found in database, memos, notes and documents etc (Lederer and, 2014).

According to Polanyi and Nonaka, there are certain differences between explicit and tacit knowledge that an individual possess. As per their views, tactic is the knowledge that people carry in their minds and it is difficult for the other people to access. At times, individual does not understand the importance of knowledge he/she might possess and the valuable it can be if they share with others. On the other hand of it, explicit knowledge is that which can be documented or codified and can be transferred easily to others (Arnett and Wittmann, 2014). Millennial always uses explicit way of sharing or acquiring the knowledge so that they can easily understand as well as easily make other what they are trying to say.
What methods could managers adopt that would release their millennial's tacit knowledge.

There are several methods that managers can adopt in order to release their millennials from tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge. Looking at the present corporate market, level of competition is increasing on the data to day basis. Thus, it becomes important for the managerial level people to motivate their employees so that they can work effectively and generate results and outcomes for the firm. In context to millennials there are three different ways through the means of which millennials needs at workplace can be satisfied and they can be motivated to retain within the corporation. Firstly, manager should provide them career advancement. However, it is the most significant reason behind which Gen Y employees leaves the job, is a lack of career opportunities (Baltag, Renne and Smets, 2014). It is the duty of senior managers to ensure that they are driven with wide range of growing opportunities so that they can be retained. As studied above, millennials are not the one who wants to waste several years to find out where their career is headed as they want to make the most of every opportunity available to them. In case, if management is unable to provide adequate amount of career development opportunity than millennial can be de-motivated and will not work effectively for the better functioning of the firm (Thielfoldt and Scheef, 2004). Along with this, it can lead to a situation where managerial people will be unable to retain them for future.

Secondly, Millennial Generation has the need to solve the problems of the and if companies want to retain the talent in their functioning than it is important to clearly communicate long term company goals with their hard working inspired workers. By the means of this, management can involve millennial employees within the decision making process as well as encourage them to carry out according to the needs and wants of current trends and environment. Apart from this, clearly defining goals and objectives helps millennial employees in understanding the significance behind the projects and assist them in generating desired results and outcomes.

Lastly, in order to motivate millennial employees and retain them for long periods it is essential for the managers to allow them to work on passion projects. In young people it has often been seen that, they quit their jobs because they doesn't get the opportunity to work on their own passionate projects. Therefore, company those employ a decent number of millennial employees should promote and support this approach and develop independent entrepreneurial program so that employees can be highly motivated and retained for good period of time (Goudreau, 2013).

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In conclusion to the above essay it has been observed that, millennials are the tech-savvy people who are highly depended upon the technological aspects to carry out different tasks and operations. By the means of this report, researcher is able to evaluate that Maslow's hierarchy need theory can help managers of the firm to motivate the employees from Millennial generation (Halsall, 2012). Thereafter, different between tacit and explicit knowledge has been focused and lastly various methods have been identified through the help of managers can easily motivate and retain millennial employees for long period.


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