Leading Millennial Generation towards Engagement in Organizations
The global situation has seen the cohorts of the older generations retiring while millennials swiftly take over the workforce. Subsequently, the rapid change in the demographics has altered the composition of the workforce. The millennial generation is expected to occupy three quarters of the workforce in the next decade. However, leaders today are not adequately prepared to nurture and mentor the millennials. The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on millennial generation, in relation to leadership and work engagement. The paper is therefore a review of literature on millennial generation, transformational leadership and organizational engagement. Several data bases were accessed and these included Emerald, Taylor and Francis, google scholar among others. The theoretical backing is the Generational Cohort Theory. The Generational Cohort Theory posits that people who are born during a specific period tend to share similar social events which ultimately shape their values, norms and opinion. The values and beliefs evolve across the continuum of the human life cycle while maintaining consistency in every generation. The findings of this literature review are that, millennials are a unique generation. They do not value work as an asset and therefore moving from one organization to another is a normal phenomenon. While millennials value autonomy, they also require mentorship and have a fragile ego. Millennials prefer to work in teams in a stable organizational structure. Millennials work best in organization that value work life balance. However, most leaders struggle in handling millennials at work and need to enhance millennial engagement. However, leaders who uniquely treat their followers as individuals rather than collective treatment are associated with developing engaged followers who have higher service orientation levels impacting the employee performance positively. Such leaders are transformational. Millennials are responsive to nurturing leaders, who have high levels of integrity and hence increasing the propensity of millennials staying longer in an organization. Creation of an environment where millennials can thrive, requires transformational leadership. This is because millennials have been brought up in stable and structured homes where they are supervised by their ‘helicopter parents’. The paper provides practical approaches on how organizations can identify factors that influence millennials engagement. This paper further provides significant inputs in millennial generation and gives opportunities to expand research on millennial engagement, leadership and work values. In conclusion, rather than developing leadership lifts created by generation gaps, leaders should work towards discovering the millennial strengths and utilize them appropriately.