Over time, the needs and interests of social generations evolve. In order to succeed, companies need to adapt to the expectations of the workers of the future, which is why it is time to embrace the generational change.
If you are involved in any management or leadership role in your company you should have already heard about the particularities of the 21st century generation (people born around ’90 during the beginnings of the internet), known as the Y generation, often called Millennials.
Millennials will make up more than 70% of the software development task force in the next five years, and companies must strive to work better with them and understand what works best for them. It is also worth noting that besides considering what’s needed within your own company, you will need to pay special attention to the generational changes when looking to outsource your projects.
If you are willing to contract an offshore software development center and you want to integrate those developers into your enterprise (in order to effectively collaborate with your company’s employees), determining how well the outsourcing company is managing these generational differences may be a deal breaker.
But what are the key issues to pay attention to? The drivers that fully integrate new generations into a productive environment rely on what motivates the employee, and with the Millennials, it is directly proportional to the pursuit of their values.
Next, we will review some of these aspects that will help you embrace the generational change and also what things you should have in mind for your organization either with your own personnel or moving forward with offshore development.
1. Give a purpose
Baby Boomers (those born after World War II), and the X generation (born around ’60 and ’70), to a lesser extent, tend to not question the fundamentals of every task; they are focused on completing any assigned task on time.
Although we all expect our work to be a satisfying task that contributes in some way to the world or to our own interests, these generations won’t leave a job just because such expectations do not make them feel accomplished in their lives. In these situations, the work is considered just as a means to obtain a reward that will allow them to meet their life expectations.
Millennials instead are driven by well-defined purposes, not a paycheck. Working on something meaningful is part of their life goals. Each time you ask for a specific task, it must have a well-defined purpose. For Millennials, it is important that their workplace gives them a reason to commit to their work, which is why you need to engage them with the goals behind the task to be done.
Since a Millennial will no doubt leave a job that does not align with his/her life expectations, this is a game changer. Organizations that cannot adapt to this will end up with a high employee turnover that may ruin their business. It also has a greater impact on IT professionals, where the demand is always increasing and the acquired knowledge during a software development becomes an important asset for the company.
2. Career growth
The ultimate motivator for a Millennial is not money (they will always ask for more) but the permanent growth. If you cannot encompass this personal growth, chances are that you need to let them go. The growth is not necessarily linked to innovation and changes in the development of the project’s tasks but in the inspirational work of the managers, knowing the members of their teams well enough to identify their personal needs and career aspirations. It is also important to note that besides project management, the whole organization needs to be focused on the career plans of their employees.
Outsourcing to an offshore company that supports these kinds of policies and methodologies also implies that they will be able to provide high-performance teams as long as you can encompass the career growth of each team member. Therefore, asking for clear rules and procedures that allow you to measure and evaluate employee objectives becomes another important thing to take into account.
If your outsourced team performed well during the year, it is expected that such a team will grow in their career paths, and that growth should be able to be validated and confirmed by your company if you intend to continue working with the same people.
3. Flatten organizations
Millennials tend to work best in self-organized groups. If you set a goal for the team and empower them to accomplish it, you will get far better results than if you add extra layers of bureaucracy to supervise and monitor their work.
Although managing a flat and self-organized scheme can be a challenge for a big company whose organizational chart spans over several departments, this kind of management is especially appropriate for software development.
Within the IT department, the objectives may be broken down into projects that start and end during the year, and they will require reconfiguring team members with each beginning and end of each project. This permanent reconfiguration eases the implementation of self-organized teams and fosters delegation and autonomy.
Regarding offshoring, depending on the type of company you may choose, maintaining a truly self-organized team can be challenging. You need to keep in mind that trust and transparency will be become key values when seeking out an outsourcing development center.
Content related: How to manage virtual teams effectively in software projects
4. Foster innovation
Technological changes that continue accelerating and progressing with the generational change implies a need to keep adapting and evolving the current systems and policies of the organization.
A company that cannot cope with the changes will compromise its goals and lower its expectations as the time goes on. Millennials embrace change, and they work better when the organization and the majority of management embody innovation and change. Focusing on objectives and goals, working collaboratively, and truly fostering innovation is key to engaging Millennials, as it would benefit both employees and their organizations.
Do not miss this: 8 benefits of working with an offshore software development center
To Sum Up
There is a generational mix of X and Millennials in today’s workplace. The drivers that motivate the first are quite different from the latter, and their impact is so deep that no organization could ignore it without severe consequences.
In the past, having a job was seen as a means to reach our life goals, but today’s workers look at their jobs as an integral part of their life goals, one that will not be dismissed just for a fair paycheck. We are in times where personal growth is key and with it the need to adapt the policies and procedures of the organization to cope with these expectations.
The company must strive to permanently evaluate its objectives and goals by transmitting them to its employees and making them feel as part of their own objectives. Aligned to the organization’s objectives, it is important to count on a well-defined process for the development of the employee’s professional career.
Finally, none of these aspects will be enough if the company does not truly commit to work on a collaborative environment based on trust and transparency over a hierarchical chain of management.
Millennials present a challenge to organizations to improve and redefine their processes, but they can also become the strategy to really embrace innovation and the technological changes that will continue to increase drastically in the coming years.
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