Working Around Millennials

by Marijoe Antoinette C. Banzon

They’re who we have now. It’s the truth companies face in today’s economy. Millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y/Gen Y), born roughly around the early 1980’s to mid-1990’s, comprise a vital percentage of today’s driving economic force including the Philippines. Companies try to revolutionize the way employees are treated, and tailor it to meet the needs of today’s workforce. Attractive compensation packages, healthy work-life balance, and even acknowledgement of social responsibilities are some of the key aspects that make up Gen Y’s idea of a “good job”. They also like the idea of finding meaning and fulfillment in the workplace. For some, opportunities for development and skills training is on the top of their list.

For what it’s worth, some companies have the revenue to dedicate spaces where their employees could unwind: gaming consoles, bean bags, napping pods – you name it; but these may seem a bit far-fetched in the general setup of today’s BPO stature in the country. More important things need to be focused on, but of course how else could results be improved if workers are not well and happy? Perhaps employee satisfaction matters just as much as the other major components of a successful company. Wellness and fulfillment need not only be found in unwinding – we are talking about the workplace anyway. If one looks forward to much relaxation, the comfort of home hopefully has all of that. Happy employees are growing employees; their skills sets are constantly challenged and developed, and perhaps updates and mindful training could keep them on their toes.

While office politics can never be absent, it could be unanimously agreed that equal opportunities are given out; but of course only the brightest and most brilliant would be capable of grabbing the top spot. Sometimes people tend to sour grape and make it look like some kind of favoritism was implemented, but really it’s because the promoted person possesses the skills to win over accolades and turn the odds in their favor. Another indisputable trait of a person like this is the ability to lead, to make sound decisions even when faced under pressure. Having the ability to lead bears the prerequisite of being able to work autonomously. Sometimes, too much freedom could lead to complacency, so the right balance between an open or considerate management and strict adherence to the rules could be the secret formula.

One would not expect to find all of these commonly in every applicant, it may be rare even. So one should not have the idea that every millennial is entitled to a spot in the company. The perks that they provide are not only advantages, but also reasons for employees to work hard; and above all, show that they are qualified for the job. A very important idea is that no one is ever indispensable. Each must fight for their spot, lest five equally competent applicants are ready to take their place any time they lose their grip.

All in all, even though millennials make up the majority of the workforce, it doesn’t mean that almost all of them have the right qualifications. This statement is not made to be disheartening, but instead a wake-up call that not everything is handed to us. The social stigma that millennials are self-entitled should be eradicated as we are indeed aware that we won’t always have it easy. If anything, this social prejudice even poses as an obstacle towards opportunities. Nevertheless, it is evident that companies are fighting hard to change their perspectives, and instead be proactive about dealing with Gen Y; and these are the companies which lay a bright path in front of them.

Aptus currently houses a majority of millennial employees, and it could really be felt that the company cares as much about its employees as they do for clients. A reasonable rather than an overly-strict approach to managing employees is being implemented wherein the management makes it a point to mindfully listen to the views and concerns of the workers. A comfortable and friendly atmosphere prevails within and among employees from various departments, which signifies healthy rivalry if any. Being aware of any concerns, the management is quick to resolve or take steps in improving the conditions in the workplace. Last but not the least, the management does its best to be transparent with its employees — including them in the know regarding issues which affect them, instead of keeping them in the dark.

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