With Millennials (people born after 1990) increasingly forming a significant part of the workforce, managers need to adjust their approach to leading their team. This generation has grown up in a world where technology and social media form an essential part of daily life, and this has affected their attitude towards learning and work. So if you are going to effectively manage your millennial workers, you need to understand them and how they think.
Millennials Have a different attitude
People belonging to this generation have an attitude towards work that’s quite different from that of their predecessors. Millennials aren’t prepared to sacrifice their personal lives for their job, but they won’t necessarily keep their personal lives separate either. So take an interest in what your team does outside work hours, and they’ll respond with greater commitment than if you were to demand that they go the extra mile. Millennials are far less likely to be willing to work long hours, except perhaps in a few professions where it is expected.
Millennials have high expectations
Another issue for millennials is that they have grown up with an awareness of the many opportunities open to them, and therefore have high expectations of what they can achieve. Perhaps more than anyone, they value work-life balance. So if you are able to offer flexibility and give them the opportunity for traveling, enjoying hobbies, and even working fewer hours, they won’t mind the reduced pay packet. The modern workplace is far more flexible than it used to be, and the standard 9-5 day is increasingly incompatible with the requirements of today’s young workers.
Millennials appreciate flexibility
You could also consider giving your millennials the opportunity to work remotely or stagger their hours so that they can avoid the stress of commuting at busy times. Working from home for part of the week means that they can still enjoy that all-important contact with others, but also benefit from freeing up hours of commuting time to spend on a more rewarding pastime. This age group has grown up using technology, so it will be no challenge at all to use the software that allows them to keep in touch with the office.
Millennials want a different work culture
Attention can also be paid to creating an office environment that your millennial employees will thrive in. They won’t appreciate the traditional office layout with cubicles or individual offices. Create a relaxed environment that people feel comfortable in. But it’s not just their physical surroundings that matter to millennials; they also value a culture in which they are listened to and made to feel that their opinions are important.
Millennials want recognition
As this age group is happy to move jobs frequently, you will be more likely to retain your younger employees if they feel valued. So give them opportunities to advance in the company and make them feel that they are doing something worthwhile. This generation wants to feel that they can make a difference, so look for ways in which your company and its staff can behave ethically and help improve society.
Millennials need nurturing
Feedback and challenges are important to millennials, so encourage your team to progress and do better. They like to have goals, and to know when they are doing well. Talk to them about their career and where they want to take it, and give them regular feedback. They need a lively workplace where sociability is encouraged, and they’re allowed to put forward their ideas. And make sure that they don’t get bored – that’s a sure way of leading your millennials to leave the job and move on to something more interesting. The best way to avoid this is to give them plenty of different tasks to do, and goals to meet – they’ll love the challenge of multitasking and meeting their goals.
Managing Millennials is a challenge but understanding them goes a long way in making them successful and valued employees.