Millennials are broadly classified as the generation that began entering education or the global workforce just around the turn of the millennium – those born between 1980 and 2000, to be exact.
Millennials are projected to be the biggest segment in employee demographics, even as the baby boomers (the generation before them) are nearing retirement in almost every industry. The legacy that they are leaving behind is expected to see a major transformation across industries as the millennials rise to leadership and synchronize their own culture, values and workplace ethics, not to mention new technology integration, progressive systems and processes and innovative management breakthroughs globally and across every industry sector.
The Middle East is perhaps one of the biggest playgrounds of the new age millennial workforce that is predominant in this region. However, given the current socio-economic circumstances of this region, political turmoil and the diminishing reliance on oil, the prime revenue bearing resource of the region, unemployment is also on the rise, especially among OPEC countries and developing nations in the Middle East – Qatar, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain and Kuwait, to be precise, according to publication major Gulf News[SV1] . For employers and CHROs, this translates into a major challenge because it involves a general succession plan without any potential successors. Not quite the best situation to be in. To overcome this hindrance, forward-thinking human resource chiefs are adopting a sequential process to identify, train and develop their millennial workforce into a formidable force of qualified and capable individuals, ready to take on the challenges of the corporate world. There are a few caveats, however, the most important ones among these being work culture and priorities. Here’s a quick look at the stats:
The Middle East, combined with the North African Region, has the highest numbers of educated, yet unemployed youth in the world, at roughly 25%.
The biggest causes for concern among the Middle East Millennials are: higher cost of living (59%), the lack of financial stability (57%) and the absence of an appropriate work-life balance (47%).
If it’s a workforce issue, the remedy, of course, needs to come from the CHRO community – and they have certainly not been complacent about it. Some of the key short and middle term strategies developed by them include the following pointers:
Communicating Organizational Culture and Employee Development Programs - Millennials want to know 'what’s in it for them?'. A suitable employer brand that addresses their concerns is the biggest draw.
Optimized Compensation and Benefits Mix – This is a major concern for millennials in the region and most of them are looking for an optimized benefits package along with their compensation – Annual bonuses (69%) Health and Medical Insurance for Family (61%) Housing (57%) and Medical Insurance coverage for self (42%).
Flexibility is the mantra of the millennial workforce, and those in the Middle East region are no different. In fact, flexibility of working from anywhere and at any time, integrated secure team communication and other such platforms are almost must-haves for CHROs looking to leverage the immense talent of the millennial workforce.
The millennials in the middle east are a talented generation whose full potential remains untapped by large corporations. When harnessed the right way, they have the capabilities to create new breakthroughs and innovations not only in technology but also in other facets of business management. Let the CHRO lead the way!
Source: Bayt, Deloitte, Entrepreneur Magazine.