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How firms can deal with aggressive millennials

By Lee Mwiti | July 13th 2016

The biggest challenge that companies are facing today is how to manage a new, tech-savvy group of employees called millennials. This is a group of employees who range from 18 to 34 years of age, and is quickly filling important positions in the corporate world.

This is according to Deloitte Chief Executive Sammy Onyango, who explained that these youthful employees don’t want to stay employed at one company for too long and are quick to change jobs at the earliest offer they get. They have no loyalty to one particular employer and are erratic in their behaviour at the workplace.

While concurring with Mr Onyango’s remarks, investment analyst Aly-Khan Satchu said, “These guys resign by text once they have been paid, and ask for their jobs back again by text when the money runs out.” However, the Deloitte CEO said companies must come up with strategies to harness the millennials’ abilities, including their excellence in utilising digital technologies, and make them more productive.

“In the past, companies talked of disruptive technology. And few were quick to embrace them, but now, with a youthful, tech-savvy generation that is growing to form 70 per cent of our workforce, investment in technology is the way to go to utilize it,” said Onyango.

Former Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Chief Executive Martin Oduor-Otieno, who is a current partner at Deloitte, urged companies to change their organisational culture. He said firms should become more flexible in their operations in order to contain more millennials within their ranks.

“I remember while as a youthful employee many years ago, we juniors could not even be allowed to sit on the same dining table with senior employees. Our ideas were never accepted as logical during decision making. But now, things will become easier when companies change their culture and become more accommodating,” said Mr Otieno.

The business leaders were speaking during the launch of this year’s Global Human Capital Trends Kenya Report at a Nairobi Hotel. The report, Onyango said, will be used as a basis to rank the best companies that an employee can work in this year by Deloitte. The list of the top ranked companies will be released on November 3.

“We will rank the companies according to what employees think of them. Not according to public opinion or management’s opinion. Also the issue of remuneration will not feature, instead, we will consider how best companies engage their employees,” said Onyango.

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