Study Shows How Millennials Have Changed Project Management
Millennials are no longer simply the newcomers to the business world. It might be hard to believe, but as of 2015, those born between 1980 and 2000 now make up the largest generation in the workforce. As it has been with past generations, Millennials are forcing businesses to reevaluate their policies and priorities in order to attract and retain the top talent in their respective industries.
The Generational Divide
Within the workplace, Baby Boomers and Millennials often struggle to understand and cooperate with each other. According to the 2015 State of Enterprise Work Report conducted by Workfront Project Management Software, Baby Boomers tend to rate Millennials poorly across the board and vice versa.
While the BB generation recognizes Millennials as tech savvy, they also identify the generation as complainers and unlikely to take responsibility. Millennials, on the other hand, identified Baby Boomers as uncooperative and uncreative. Millennials tend to be more comfortable with rapid change, while Baby Boomers prefer to take their time to examine the situation more thoroughly.
In order to maintain a healthy work environment, it’s important to keep the needs of both generations in mind as they share the workplace. When it comes to project management, it’s best to build a structure that provides clear deadlines and and lines of communication while creating room for creative problem solving.
The Role of Technology
Millennials grew up with changing technology. This gives them a unique advantage. Not only are they familiar with current programs and gadgets, they are exceptionally comfortable learning and adapting to new technology.
This knack for tech makes Millennials comfortable leaving old systems for new ones. In fact email may become all but obsolete. Instead of waiting a couple of hours for a colleague to answer an email, they’ll likely send them a quick question via an instant messaging service. Email serves as a tool to connect to other more efficient systems, like project management software, social media, and messaging services.
Due to their ability to multitask, Millennials are comfortable using several different programs to get their work done. They look for the best software for each task. This makes project management software that provides a place to coordinate everything essential.
The Ideal Millennial Workplace
Millennials have a different view on work-life balance than generations before them. While they are willing to put in extra time on a project when necessary, they expect it to be the norm. They look for jobs with flexible work hours, the ability to work remotely, and varied tasks throughout the day.
So how do companies manage projects when dealing with a generation that approaches work completely differently? First, it’s important to take advantage of the hours within the work day. Long presentations or trainings can be a big time waster when your employees will promptly leave at 5 o’clock. Cut out unnecessary meetings. Second, companies should also seek out technologies and tools that will accommodate the different work styles of all generations not just the millennials or baby boomers.
Second, take advantage of their skills. Millennials are very willing to take on new projects and look for faster, better solutions. They can adapt to new situations quickly. Don’t be afraid to listen to their ideas and incorporate them into your business. They’ll often give you their best work when they feel heard and valued.
Third, if possible, accommodate flexible schedules and locations. If Millennials feel like they have a good work-life balance, they’ll be more efficient during their time in the office.