By now, everyone’s heard of millennials. And there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the different ways to work with them. But at the end of the day, you probably feel like you’re the rope in a game of tug-of-war. Some are saying their priority is a high salary; others say they don’t care about the big bucks, so you’re getting pulled this way and that.
There’s no magic strategy that will work with every single millennial out there, but there are some golden rules that are pretty universal. Here are seven tricks you need to know about working with millennials:
Overcommunicate: No other generation puts transparency on a level as high as millennials do. The good, bad, and ugly — tell them what’s going on in your organization. They don’t want to be kept out of the loop because this will make them migrate towards an “us vs. them” mentality (“us” being millennials, and “them” being management).
Recognize and discipline frequently: Millennials hunger for praise; they want to know they’re doing great work. But just as you should recognize them whenever possible, don’t forget to discipline whenever you need to. Because they enter the workforce lacking great experience, you’ll need to let them know if they’re not doing something the ideal way.
Be clear with expectations: Does the task need to be complete by next Thursday? Do they need to contact a sales rep at another company? Make sure you’re clear with what you want your millennial employee to do. That way, they have know what and when exactly something needs to be accomplished.
Go all out with the whys: The thing about millennials is that they don’t want to do work to simply keep busy. They want to make sure what they’re doing is actually making an impact on the business and contributing to its success.
Use lightweight signals: Similar to the idea of frequent praise and discipline, lightweight signals are the ideal way to give feedback to millennials. Feedback should be very concise and short, whether it’s via email or a quick comment. This quickens an employee’s progress in that they’ll have the feedback needed to complete their work.
Support work-life integration: We’ve all heard of work-life balance. But how about work-life integration? Instead of putting up a hard barrier between work and personal life, millennials have a blurry line. They add their coworkers on Facebook; they check their social media while at work. And that’s perfectly okay. This generation is hyper-connected, so as long as they get their work done, let them send a tweet or two between tasks.
Let them take charge: Millennials are obsessed with entrepreneurism. They want to lead, but they’re not yet equipped with the skills to do so. Foster this desire by letting them take charge on projects or lead team meetings. These small starts will help them develop invaluable skills that will eventually benefit the organization.
Millennials in the workplace have their expectations. But so do employees from previous generations. If you really want to enhance your work environment, try leveraging these tips for your most veteran employees. They’ll appreciate it too.
- The Right Strategies to Recruit and Retain Millennials
- Millennials Tell Us What's on Their Workplace Wish List