The millennial generation has an undeservedly bad reputation in the workforce thanks to people who have little experience with this group nevertheless calling out the entire generation as lazy, entitled, and unwilling to pay their dues.
This supposition is just a blatant misrepresentation when the truth is simply that they work differently than the generation before them. The secret to successfully managing millennials is really no secret at all.
It simply involves having a mind that’s open to new ideas and a willingness to listen to new, young employees.
Let Them Ask Questions
One thing that sets millennials apart from other generations, especially Gen X, is their unquenchable thirst for answers. That sounds like hyperbole but think of the millennials in your life as well as your work environment. This is a group that always asks “Why?”
They do not blindly follow orders; they are not yes-people.
Although this need to question the whys and wherefores of their directives may come across as arrogant, disrespectful, or even antagonistic, that’s not the driving force behind the trait. Rather, millennials simply want to understand what they’re doing and why. The previous generation raised millennials to become curious, inquisitive individuals. Let that work for your workplace.
Provide Constructive Feedback
Millennials do not crave praise. They do, however, appreciate feedback on their work and performances. They want to know how they’re doing not because they want their egos stroked, but because they genuinely care about doing a good job. Yes, they absolutely want acknowledgment for their hard work, but they also want to make sure they’re doing things
correctly. They don’t fear evaluations and they don’t get angry when they receive constructive criticism. They get better.
This is why it’s so essential to understand the causes behind millennial behavior in the workforce. It pays to look beyond the surface. To run a successful business and to get a return on your investment in your millennial employees, you have to understand this generation.
Maintain the Work/Life Balance
The work/life balance is of utmost importance to millennials. They’ve learned from previous generations that life sustained only by work is no life at all. They know the risk of burning out and becoming demotivated.
Although this might seem counter-intuitive to a manager, understand that helping your employees balance their lives will ultimately improve their productivity and motivate them to work harder because they have the energy to do so.
Always Be Transparent
Millennials respect transparency. If something’s going wrong in the company, they want to know. If something needs improvement, they want to know. If layoffs are afoot, they want to know. Sneaky practices and subterfuge will not cut it with this generation.
Although there are certain things you cannot tell your employees, try to keep things as clear, honest, and open as possible. The payoff is worth it.
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Ryan Tyson | CopyPress Writers
Image Sources: Seedcamp Photos
Great post Tom, and additionally two thoughts about millennials. First, if we label a group of people as being something, we have diminished individual values – the cornerstone to our humanity. We have learned how unfair it is to label people and then try to mange labels, is unjust. Secondly, I believe the #1 job of leadership is to build trust. Trust starts with empathy. If we assume positive intent in others, regardless of society’s labels, we get to know, learn and engage individuals to then build better teams and families!
Thanks for the post Ryan,
I agree with Jim with the fact that it can be dangerous to label any group based on unrealistic stereotypes. I think your ideas really come down to communication. If we break through those difficult communication channels, we can better understand each other on an individual level.