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Challenges facing millennials in a large South African financial services organisation.

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The workforce is a constantly changing environment and encompasses several generational demographic cohorts including Baby Boomers, Generation X’s, Millennials and Generation Z employees. Millennials have entered the workforce and are expected to be the most successful of all working generations. They are often the most educated, driven and motivated employees; however, they face many challenges from other generational demographic cohorts which negatively affect their productivity. The aim of this study was to identify the challenges faced by Millennials in a large South African Financial Services Organisation. The research methodology selected for this research study was of a qualitative nature which allowed for an explanatory approach which helped obtain a comprehensive understanding of the Millennials and the challenges they faced within the organisation. Data was obtained using semi-structured interviews which was conducted on 15 non-managerial Millennials and 5 non-Millennial Senior Managers. All respondents worked for a large South African Financial Services Organisation and were based at its regional office in Kingsmead, Durban. A thematic analysis approach was utilised and some of the key themes that arose from the interviews with Millennials was minimal mentoring and coaching, lack of recognition or a reward system, little support in learning and development opportunities, non-existent work-life balance, unheeded thoughts and ideas and false expectations of the workplace. Themes that arose from the interviews with the Senior Managers was that Millennials were often impatient and disrespectful and certain workplace and management expectations that could not be met. This break and disconnect between Millennials and their non-Millennial counterparts further confirmed a need for the study. Some of the following key recommendations were identified to best deal with this disconnect: the creation of platforms to drive ideas and opinions, an onboarding programme in line with the Millennial’s current workplace, frequent engaging with Millennials by Senior Managers and the creation of a conducive working environment through work-life balance, tailored rewards and recognition, and idea implementation.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.