Millennials are the newest members of the work force. Also known as Gen Y, this generation of enterprising and tech savvy individuals born anytime between 1980 and 1998 is challenging the standards of traditional office set-ups. They are also perceived as overly confident, stubborn and entitled brats—and having these traits may make them very difficult to manage.
Managing Millennials in the workplace requires a diverse approach; their character is completely different from that of Baby Boomers and of their immediate predecessors, Generation X. Managing Millennials and the future of work may seem to be difficult to deal with but it must be done; they are after all, our future leaders and achievers.
There are several factors that a manager should consider when it comes to dealing with Millennials. Here are a few to get you started.
Millennials want their voice to be heard.
Millennials are often either creative or innovative. They were raised by their parents to believe that they are entitled to their own opinions and that they have every right to express them. Channel this into something positive and listen to what they have to say. They might just come up with the next big bright idea for your current project.
Millennials love to collaborate.
Instead of merely being told what to do and how to do it, Millennials are more comfortable with devising easy and innovative ways on how to accomplish their own tasks.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they just want to do it their way; they enjoy generating ideas that would help the rest of the team and value collaboration and team work.
Millennials value compassion and positive reinforcement.
In the eyes of a Millennial, the good manager is the one with the good heart. Millennials were raised by loving parents who nurtured them and showered them with attention. Consequently, they feel more comfortable working for bosses who are equally as concerned about their welfare. If they fall short on a certain task, Millennials prefer encouragement and guidance over strict reprimand.
Millennials want to make a difference and give back.
Millennials also value the opportunity to give back to society. They feel the need to serve a greater purpose and make a difference with the work they do.
Millennials want work-life balance.
Having a life outside of work is very important to Millennials. Although driven to succeed, they do not live to work.
They like to engage in hobbies and recreational activities for personal growth and plenty of them love to travel. They value team-building activities that allow them to relax and recharge.
Millennials need flexibility and defy conformity.
Do not expect Millennials to be happy with conforming to standards just for the sake of it. It is inherent for Millennials to challenge the status quo and ask questions, and they will probably ask why. If they see that there is a more efficient, convenient ad better way of doing things, they will probably bring it up and try to convince you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Millennials are technologically-driven.
Millennials grew up in an era where the Internet and mobile technology are part of daily life. They are highly advanced when it comes to using computers, mobile technology and social media. Traditional media is slowly taking the back seat and new media has become the norm. Allow Millennials in your workplace to share their tech knowledge and learn how technology, the Internet and social media can help you grow your business.
Millennials crave for structure and leadership.
Contrary to the belief that Millennials are entitled ‘kids’ who slack their way through work, Millennials want to get the job done—they just don’t always apply methods that are similar to everyone else’s.
They are immensely concerned about producing the desired output, which means that they will do what it takes –multitasking included—to get the job done in the fastest, most efficient way possible. Millennials, however, seek leadership and structure like every diligent worker out there. They need role models who can guide them on best practices and to set goals and deadlines. Millennials value mentors who will encourage them to soar high with their accomplishments.
Figuring out what Millennials want is easy if you’re willing to listen and let them be themselves. Flexible work schedules, output-based deliverables and work from home opportunities are attractive to this generation of young, spirited individuals.
Embracing remote work is easy for them, as it allows them to be flexible and to work their schedules around their many endeavours. Trust Millennials to apply new and innovative methods to their work and provide them a venue for freedom and self-expression. Their fresh new take on how to get work done may just lead to the makeover your company needs.