Amith Prabhu: New age problems of dealing with younger talent

15 Jun,2015

By Amith Prabhu


I was recently in an engrossing conversation with the HR team of a PR firm. They were asking me for solutions to deal with the millennial. Typical characteristics of this group include late-coming, indiscipline, arrogance clubbed with intellectual prowess, good writing skills and intelligence.


While it is not easy to sack these people because of the later, the former is becoming a cause of concern in many organisations. And this seems to be a pattern across the board and not just in Public Relations. I am not an expert on the subject but I shared a few suggestions that one could implement.


When I started my career in Public Relations consulting over a decade ago, we had no option but to be intelligent and disciplined. To be punctual and write well. And to be humble, simple yet smart and sharp.


In the last decade, an influx of several influences have changed the way talent has been transformed. One way to deal with the problem is with kid gloves. I told the HR team – Don’t make them like you, accept them as they are, but introduce rewards for those who are easier to handle.


One set of rewards is to have random weekly draws with really pricey gifts. Ensure the lucky draw is held at the start of business and only those physically present get to take home the price. And publicise the list of those who missed the prize because they were late to work.


Another method to deal with lack of punctuality is to offer good quality breakfast in the office from 8.30 am to 9.15 am. Those who don’t make it on time miss out. Some don’t care but over a period of time, everyone will care when they hear from others what was on offer.


The arrogant and indiscipline bit will change over a period of time but lack of punctuality can be cured. Another method is to link punctuality with salary raise. While everyone gets the regular raise, those who were super punctual get a special bonus.


These problems are bound to increase as more and more youngsters born in the 1990s flood the workplace in the next decade.  We can’t force them to be like us. To each his or her own but at least reward those who value time.

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