Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, make up the largest group of those in the workforce- over 53 million people, and are considered one of the most educated generations of our times.
While attitudes and behaviors appear to be uniquely different from those of earlier generations, its important to work along side, and not against this generation of workers. As millennials enter into the workforce, the success and work habits of baby boomers are coming across to them as outdated and ineffective.
Millennials thrive on opportunities to learn, grow and move up professionally and a lack of connectivity makes them feel isolated and vulnerable. Boomers thrive on quiet introspection, millennials from constant stimulation. Boomers put in the time, work hard and then reward themselves with leisure activities outside of work. Millennials seek an integration of work and life.
For boomers, a pat on the back is a formal process tied to promotions, monetary or otherwise, conducted at specific times while millennials need constant feedback throughout the day, which can be tiring for those outside of the millennial influence. Following a chain of command is an important process of corporate employment for baby boomers while millennials give preference to relationships at any level and expect ready access to those in positions of influence.
With all of these different philosophies, it can be hard to work in harmony- but it is possible with these 5 tips on how managers can effectively millennials in a corporate environment.
1. Let Them In
Millennials thrive on connection, make sure they understand your vision and what inspires you.
2. Share Purpose
If you share with them the reason that something must be done, they will surprise you with the how to achieve it. They are purpose driven- not task oriented. If they lack a connection with the purpose, they will move on.
3. Provide Feedback
They thrive on feedback and expect encouragement. The absence of feedback could be interpreted to mean that you do not value them.
4. Be Empathetic
Try to understand their needs through their perspective. This will provide you with a clear path on how to motivate them. Engage them with stimulating projects and liven up the mundane by disrupting routines.
5. Tech Is Your Friend
Millennials love networked environments where simultaneous communications exist. Millennials find this form of communication much more efficient than long board-room style meetings. Millennials see technology as essential and feeds their natural enthusiasm for collaboration.