It is difficult to manage a group of Millennials if you don’t understand what inspires and drives them. Millennials are viewed in the media as often unmotivated and in constant need of accommodation/support. However, rather than looking at Millennials through a critical lens, we can discuss their many unique, positive qualities and figure out different managing techniques in order to build a strong workforce around the generational gap.
Through many studies examining Millennials, it has been concluded that some of the strongest traits present are having self-confidence, being highly educated, technologically savvy, and ambitious. They currently make up 50% of the workforce in 2020 and that number is on the rise. It is important for managers to take into account certain generational differences and embrace the change of pace.
Below are some different ways for managers to support and learn from Millennials:
- Provide Explanations: Many Millennials love and are willing to work. They enjoy projects and assignments, but they also like to know the purpose of what they are doing. It is more impactful to explain the purpose of a task or project, and sometimes it’s even helpful for managers to understand why they are assigning the project as well. By asking questions and providing explanations, it helps both parties set a clear focus and understand the company’s goals.
- Focus on Results, not Rules: Millennials tend to work in different ways than many prior generations. Technology has made it easier for them to work anywhere at any time, including on the weekends. It shows a greater level of trust when managers focus on the quality of work and service of their Millennial employees rather than tracking their every move.
- Embrace the Experience: Getting the largest paycheck is not what most Millennials are looking for in a job. They value the experience—it’s what helps them get out of bed in the morning. They look forward to team-based outings, projects, goals, and off-site work. It helps them to discover meaningful experiences and build their authentic self.
- Don’t Disconnect the Digital Natives: Millennials are very experienced and adept with technology since it’s part of their daily life. Rather than companies and managers hindering the use of social media they should be encouraging it and learning from their younger employees. Mentoring doesn’t always have to be one-sided, it should help build capabilities across the company.
Millennials’ entrance into the workforce can be challenging, but in the end will be rewarding and offer many opportunities. Let’s all learn from each other and build an environment where we feel open to voicing our thoughts together!