The Millennial Problem

Colonel PK “ Royal” Mehrishi ( Retd )

Introduction

Managing Human Resource (HR) has and will always remain a challenge. Humans are complex creatures with varied nuances in their social backgrounds, schooling /training, parental up- bringing, peer learning & of course in their personal choices. Over the years, managing Human Resource in Institutions, Industry and Corporations has become
increasingly difficult due to multiple factors of rapid urbanization, vacuous education system, I – me – myself syndrome, reduced attention span of individuals, self absorption and advent of technology.

Factors
The following factors will always remain the sine –qua-non of all Cadet selection procedures :-

 Trainability Factor
 Potential for Learning
 Spark for Leadership
 Team Dynamics
 Reaction to Authority
 Critical Thinking
 Solution Provider

Present times have thrown different challenges with regard to the millennials  (generation born after 1990) and their growing obsession with themselves, today’s
youth is tough to manage. The challenges broadly arise from :-
 Parenting
 Technology
 Poor Self Esteem
 Sense of Impatience
 Environment.

Parenting
Present day parents seem to have forgotten the art of parenting. We easily cave in to the demands of our children. For every gadget /machine in the market there is a user manual but unfortunately a new born baby does not come with one. Parenting is about learning from elders in the family, devoting time, effort & energy in bringing up children, nurturing, learning anew & unlearning a few lessons of the past. Overall it’s going through the process of children growing up with the right values & training right before your very own eyes!!
Technology
It is a known fact, that today we all are slowly becoming slaves of technology. The time you text a message on WhatsApp there is anxiety to reach for the cell phone to see the response. Young people spend hours in front of the computer, busy on Facebook & Instagram. There is no time to actually engage in any meaningful conversation & learn social skills. Incidentally, receiving a positive response/ like on WhatsApp, releases a chemical called Dopamine ( as in smoking Cigarettes, consuming Alcohol &Gambling) which is highly addictive. Thus the results of prolonged sessions on Face book & trying to
wean away a teenager from this habit to sleep well & get up early, will lead to drug addict like withdrawal symptoms, like aggression, irritability, shouting & slanging matches & so on.

Poor Self Esteem
There is so much of information overload through the internet & social media that children with impressionable minds tend to get swayed & develop a false sense of “I know it all”. This superficial knowledge without the backing of practical learning & experience creates a feeling of over confidence & having figured out everything. When faced with real life situations they come a cropper, with little or no clue about the harsh
reality of existence. They also lack practical skills to cope with reality as a major part of their waking hours arebeing spent in virtual reality.
Sense of Impatience
We all are living in the times of instant gratification, pizza in 30 minutes, any content or movie released – instant booking of a theatre through Android phones or Netflix,
multiple channels for entertainment, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, WhatsApp, Internet. Food delivery through Zomato, Swiggy, on line shopping from Amazon, Flipkart, Ali Baba. There is an overall lack of patience & ease of living. Even relationships among young people are feeling this strain. Friends are not for keeps, as there is a much
lowered attention span, in this obsession with I-me-myself, long term relationships & feelings of love, respect & care are taking a beating.

Environment
Children are growing up in a fiercely competitive  environment. The seniors /elders have little or no time to groom & nurture the young generation. At the work place, immediately after on- boarding, a youngster is burdened with targets, appraisals, presentations & projects. The work place is slowly getting dehumanized with little or no social interaction, totally performance oriented, with little scope for mistakes or learning from them. This creates an environment of playing it safe, with zero scope for innovation or out of the box thinking. All of this creates stress thus the affinity & orientation to do drugs or imbibe alcohol. This generation does not have the social skill set to take the rough with the tumble as they have not been taught mechanisms to cope with stress.

The Way Forward
Suffice to say all is not lost, given the right training, nurturing, mentoring  good Leadership, this generation of millennials can achieve a lot & do wonders as they are tech savvy & generally more aware. What needs to be done by teachers , parents, bosses ,elders is to sensitize them & enforce certain rules :-

 Technology is here to serve us & not to enslave.

 No mobiles while eating/dining together.

 Restrict & lay down hours in front of the screen.

 Mandatory one hour of physical activity/sports/gym
every day.

 Sundays for social interaction with relatives, friends,
uncles, aunts, neighbours etc.

 Restrict time in front of TV, play indoor games like
chess, scrabble, pictionary etc with your children.

 Inculcate the reading habit in the younger
generation.

 Camping, trekking, life outdoors will make them
more aware & add depth to their social interactions.

 Allow them to make mistakes & learn.

 Ask for instant /junk food to be brought into the
house only once a week.

 Tell them about heartbreaks & requirement to move
on in Life.

 Ask them to take responsibility for their actions &
choices they make in Life.

Conclusion
We all are living in interesting times, if we are able to utilize, all that is available in a balanced way. A Lifestyle over dependent on technology will not only spell doom but destroy the fine fabric of human relations & be the cause of depression & ultimate destruction of young minds.

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