Millennials are determining the conduct of business the world over. In Africa, they form 37% of the population. This bulge in youth population makes Africa the continent with the youngest population on earth.
They are more amenable to new ways of businesses. Due to their ability to fit into emerging structures, they are becoming more and more preferred as employees. Their employability and limited responsibility mean that they have disposable incomes. Much of this income goes to technological gadgets. This, therefore, is a market tech companies must leverage. African millennials are also as innovative as workers as millennials elsewhere. When utilized well, they are best-placed employees to help companies adapt to the African markets.
The following strategies can help tech companies leverage millennials in Africa:
Put employees at the center of decision-making
Like elsewhere in the world, African millennials are not satisfied with handed down instructions. When they are involved in decision making, they come up with intelligent proposals. This is especially the case in tech companies. Tech savvy African youths are best placed to design products for themselves since they are also the consumers. In general, collaborative strategies are in the workplace are the way to go.
Hands on Management Style by Top Leadership
It has often been said that millennials are disloyal. This is normally the take of people who do not understand them. Millennials can be fiercely loyal. Their loyalty comes when they feel valued. One of the best ways to show them that they are valued is by allowing them to engage with top leadership. When the top leadership is worth it, they may end up forming a cult-like loyalty to the company.
Have a Strategy for Off-Campus Work
Many employees nowadays work from anywhere. There is no demographic where this trend is as prevalent as among the millennials. Off-campus work allows them to work whenever inspiration strikes. This means that they are able to take advantage of their peak production times for the benefit of the company.
Build Diversity in the Workplace
Millennials in Africa are global citizens and they are aware of this fact. They seek out workplaces with a diversity of culture among the employees. To attract top millennial talent, therefore, tech companies should adopt diversity in the workplace. This strategy has been adopted to great effect by Google Africa. Although the company has staff in the different regions where it has offices in Africa, it posts employees from different places to all its stations. This diversity has promoted pride, loyalty, and innovation among employees.
Define the Purpose of their Work
Many millennials are not satisfied just making a living. They want their work to serve a higher purpose. They become restless if they feel they are only there to make money. A tech company should be careful to package the ideas they want to develop according to their impact on the society. Once they see how their work touches lives they get energized.
Provide them with Continued Education
Millennial talent works best in an environment that takes an interest in their growth. Such an environment has the feel of a family. When employee skills are improved, they are used for the benefits of the company and the trained employee becomes more loyal and productive.
Feedback from Superiors
To many millennials, being given a false sense of achievement won’t work. They also like to be appreciated for the work they do. This means that their superiors should give them feedback on a regular basis. Whether positive or negative, they prefer the feedback, to be honest. Honest feedback makes them feel in control which helps motivate them.
Use Social Media
Social media is one of the most effective ways for millennials to interact. Leveraging its power enables them to interact among themselves and with professionals elsewhere. It also enables the millennial employees to engage and get useful feedback from customers.
Leveraging millennials as customers are in many ways the same as leveraging them as employees. They want a brand they can be loyal to because it serves a greater purpose. The brand that millennials want to be associated with needs to be diverse in its innovation. Tech companies should use the social media to understand their customers and provide what they need. Analysis of customer lifestyles on social media may help app developers see a gap in the market and move towards filling it.
This article was written by Kagai Macharia. Kagai is the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at at Legibra Solutions, a creative studio dedicated to design, development, branding, printing and outsourcing of infrastructure.