How to Manage Millennial Employees
Updated: Feb 5, 2020
Tips on rolling out your best game plan for managing the fast-growing millennial workplace.
Millennials have been rapidly transforming work culture. Experts predict that by 2025, three-fourths of workers are going to be millennials. This means that in the near future, millennials will overtake baby boomers in the workplace. By now, businesses and managers should have rolled out their best game plan on how to manage millennials at work.
How to Manage Millennials: 8 Ways to Do it Right
Generally, millennials exhibit characteristics and habits that significantly differ from the previous generation.
Generally, millennials exhibit characteristics and habits that significantly differ from the previous generation. As the age group that experienced life with and without the internet, they are innovative and tech-savvy. On the other hand, they are stereotyped as an entitled generation who are used to getting what they want and doing whatever they please. As managers, how should you deal with millennial employees? Here’s how.
1. Create a Strong Company Culture
Millennials want their work to have meaning and purpose beyond money. They want to hone their talents and skills – and eventually, make a difference in the world. This generation was brought up with the highest ideals of achieving great things so long as they are willing to learn and work hard for what they want.
Gone are the days when workers clock in and clock out by just doing the bare minimum. Millennials will go above and beyond so long as there’s a strong work culture and value in their organization that are aligned with their own motivations.
They are passionate about their craft. Make them love their work and they will dedicate their blood, sweat, and tears to help the company grow.
2. Offer a Work-Life Balanced Environment
Millennials want to achieve a lot of things – they don’t want opportunities to just pass them by. They want to travel, see the world, and experience a wide variety of things. This is most likely why millennials prefer a workplace that allows them to balance their professional and personal lives.
A study by Fidelity Investment confirmed that a large percentage of millennials claimed that they are willing to accept a lower salary if it means that they will have better work-life balance.
As the first generation to enter the workplace that’s equipped with cloud technology, connected devices, and mobile gadgets, they know that they can seamlessly work remotely. They don’t believe in being cooped up inside an office to earn an income like their parents did.
3. Provide Leadership and Guidance
Millennials are results-oriented, but they want to maintain control over how and when they work. They are infamous for their lack of respect towards traditional authority structures. As such, they don’t need their bosses to micromanage them and tell them what to do and what not to do. Provide leadership and guidance and let them figure things out on their own.
They crave mentorship and tutelage. They want regular feedback to know whether they’re on the right track. Take advantage of this.
Rather than giving them a long list of daily tasks and asserting your position over theirs, give them a goal they need to meet. Then, get back to them on a regular basis to see how they’re doing and whether they need help.
4. Take Advantage of Their Tech Savviness
Admit it – as of late, millennials are the driving force behind many technological and digital innovations. Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, Theranos, Instagram, Dropbox, Airbnb, Tumblr, Quora, and a lot more companies have been founded and developed by millennials.
Millennials are not afraid of the changes that are brought about by AI, machine learning, automation, chatbots, and other technological innovations that can help them become more productive and efficient.
So, take advantage of their tech-savviness. Instead of prohibiting them to use their smartphones and personal devices at work, let them use it for work. Not only will it help boost their performance, but it will also show them that you trust them.
5. Recognize Their Work
Millennials crave recognition. No, they don’t want meaningless awards – they want to be shone that what they do is important. They want to get credit for their talents, skills, and hard work. A simple “thank you” or “great job today” will go a long way for millennials. This shows them that you appreciate their hard work and commitment to the job.
As the generation that’s constantly seeking the approval of their peers through social media, it’s important to let them know when they’re doing well at work. They don’t want trophies – they want validation, recognition, and reinforcement. Complement them on their strengths and encourage them to harness their talents further.
6. Craft a Future That Gets Them Excited
With millennials, it’s not enough that you’re giving them a job. Generally, millennials work while thinking of a higher position they can get soon, so they have to know that there’s a career path for them that will lead them to greater and bigger things.
Schedule regular career path discussions – once a year won’t do, as millennials crave more frequent feedback. Otherwise, they will seek opportunities elsewhere.
Show them what they can potentially achieve in your company and get them excited for a future within your organization. But, make sure not to give them empty promises. Be transparent.
7. Encourage Collaboration
Ever wonder why workplaces nowadays sport an open space that encourages collaboration? Well, it’s because millennials are changing the workforce landscape with their collaborative attitude.
One of Deloitte’s surveys revealed that one of the top things millennials look for in an employer is a culture of collaboration. This is the age group that is used to working in groups and teams.
Despite how some people regard millennials as an arrogant generation, these young workers will not hesitate to seek guidance or help from their peers to get better results. They know that working as a team will result in bigger things and greater achievements.
Hold weekly team meetings or brainstorming sessions to encourage collaboration. You can even mentor and coach millennials as a team.
8. Allow Them to be Leaders
Millennials have a positive, can-do attitude. They are self-assured. Their parents raised them to believe that they can achieve bigger things – and they can!
So, make sure not to squash their passion, hold them back, or belittle their efforts. Demonstrate that you trust their abilities and allow them to be leaders.
Give them bigger, more meaningful projects, while showing them your support. Let them know that you believe in them, and they will do everything in their power to live up to your expectations.
Millennials respond to positive reinforcement better, so they will surely be up for the challenge and will perform at a higher level.
Do it Right!
People often misunderstand the motivations of millennials, but once you learn to take the good from the bad, you’ll find that millennials in the workplace will help take your business to the next level.
They are hard-working, over-achievers who are passionate about their work. Lead them right and they will surely perform beyond your expectations.
Consider millennial management training for your employees to ensure that your organization can handle the surge of millennials in the coming years.