Millennials are a force to be reckoned with. Their wants and needs are creating a seismic shift in the workplace. And if you’re not ready to adjust your workplace and management style, then there’s no way you’re going to keep this well-educated workforce around at your organization.
Here are seven tips for managing millennials the right way:
Experiment with responsibilities: Millennials dream big—they just don’t know how they’ll get there or what they’re best at. So let them take a shot at different responsibilities so they can find out where they true passion lies. Who knows, someone who wanted to do graphic designing might be better off as a production artist.
Try “reverse mentoring”: Sure, as a manager you have many more years of experience than a Gen Y-er. But they have plenty to teach you. Leverage their knowledge of technology and have them assist you with social media or online collaboration.
Give purpose, not perks: Free this, free that—companies are using trendy perks to reel people in. But really, millennials want a sense of purpose at their job. Give them opportunities to volunteer and develop within your organization so they know they’re doing more than just pounding the keyboard.
Communicate everything: This generation grew up in a very supportive and reassuring environment. And as a result, they need to know about everything—right away. Have regular one-on-one meetings, provide feedback, and give them recognition. Make sure you’re transparent with information.
Be patient: Remember, this young crowd is new to the professional world. They might now have all of the soft skills down, but they’re ready and willing to learn. Give them time and guidance to absorb the new information, and soon they’ll thrive at your workplace.
Focus on results, not hours: Millennials don’t see a point in being forced to stay at the office from 9 to 5. So let them go home after they’re done with their daily tasks. There are no financial or real benefits for the organization if their brain is fried from a day’s work, and they’re only sticking around to kill hours.
Give them a “why”: Want to make company changes? Or maybe you want to reinforce certain behaviors? Give them a reason, and of course, that reason should be tied to your organization’s values.
Managing millennials in the workplace might be intimidating because of all the rumors you’ve heard about them. But they’re actually an easy bunch to please. Just give them some guidance, help them grow, and communicate to keep them satisfied on the job.