Millennials are commonly defined as those who were born between the years 1980 and 2001. The personalities of these unique individuals are believed to have been influenced greatly by the personal technology era plus the very nurturing guidance style of most parents. These two factors have led to the development of a workforce that is said to be very difficult to understand. Compared to the Baby Boomers or the Gen X workers, millennial workers have a need to feel empowered and involved in important decision-making processes. This can be a real challenge for senior managers, especially if they want to stick with traditional employee development approaches. If you want to effectively manage your millennial employees, it is important that you have a clear understanding of who they really are and what they are capable of doing. The tips below will help you manage them better so that they can be more engaged in what your company does.
1. Keep reinforcing the positives.
One of the most important things about millennial employees that you should understand is that they have a need for affirmation and positive reinforcement. This is one way of making them feel they are doing a good job. So for managers, it’s important to regularly tell their millennial staff how they appreciate what they’re doing for the company. By making millennial workers feel valued and needed, they become more motivated to do their best at work.
2. Acknowledge the individuality of each person.
It is wrong to think that all millennials are the same. This means that managers should never use a “one size fits all” management approach. As a manager, you should learn to recognize the differences amongst your millennial workers. Remember that your staff wants to feel that you understand them. While it could mean more work on your part, you have to pay attention to their individual traits if you want to maximize their potential.
3. Don’t hesitate to be flexible.
You should accept the fact that millennials are not big fans of rules. They were raised by parents who would always welcome their opinions. They were also given the right to make decisions for themselves, and they were not forced into something they didn’t like.
In the workplace, millennial workers expect the same kind of freedom. They are not likely to feel comfortable in strict workplaces. If you force them to follow company rules on attire, for instance, you may eventually end up losing some good employees.
4. Let them have a sense of entitlement.
One way of motivating millennial employees is to give them as many important responsibilities as possible. Don’t worry that they may feel overworked, because the truth is that it makes them feel needed and valued. You don’t have to give a millennial worker an entire project, though. What’s important is that you clearly define which areas they should work on, where they can apply their expertise and abilities.
5. Be clear about everything.
Millennial workers are not so good at reading between the lines. This means that when you give out instructions, they have to be very clear and specific. You can’t just let them have their own interpretation of what you said, as this could cause a lot of confusion on their part. The best thing you can do is to give them clear instructions and flexibility when it comes to how they can get the work done.
Managing millennials is without a doubt a very challenging task even for executive coaching professionals, especially if it’s your first time to handle these unique individuals. But when you find the right management formula, you will see a lot of great benefits because millennial workers are very intelligent, creative, resourceful and tech-savvy individuals.