The millennials joining your workforce now are employees born between 1980 and 2000, or 1981 and 1999, depending on the author. Unlike the Gen-Xers and the Baby Boomers, the Millennials have developed work characteristics and tendencies from doting parents, structured lives, and contact with diverse people. Millennials are used to working in teams and want to make friends with people at work. Millennials work well with diverse coworkers.
Millennials have a “can-do” attitude about tasks at work and look for feedback about how they are doing frequently – even daily. Millennials want a variety of tasks and expect that they will accomplish every one of them. Positive and confident, millennials are ready to take on the world.
They seek leadership, and even structure, from their older and managerial coworkers, but expect that you will draw out and respect their ideas. Millennials seek a challenge and do not want to experience boredom. Used to balancing many activities such as teams, friends, and philanthropic activities, millennials want flexibility in scheduling and a life away from work.
Millennials need to see where their career is going and they want to know exactly what they need to do to get there. Millennials await their next challenge – there better be a next challenge. Millennials are the most connected generation in history and will network right out of their current workplace if these needs are not met. Computer experts, millennials are connected all over the world by email, instant messages, text messages, and the Internet.
11 Tips for Millennial Management
- Provide structure. Reports have monthly due dates. Jobs have fairly regular hours. Certain activities are scheduled every day. Meetings have agendas and minutes. Goals are clearly stated and progress is assessed. Define assignments and success factors.
- Provide leadership and guidance. Millennials want to look up to you, learn from you, and receive daily feedback from you. They want “in” on the whole picture and to know the scoop. Plan to spend a lot of time teaching and coaching and be aware of this commitment to millennials when you hire them. They deserve and want your very best investment of time in their success.
- Encourage the millennial's self-assuredness, "can-do" attitude, and positive personal self-image. Millennials are ready to take on the world. Their parents told them they can do it - they can. Encourage - don't squash them or contain them.
- Take advantage of the millennial's comfort level with teams. Encourage them to join. They are used to working in groups and teams. In contrast to the lone ranger attitude of earlier generations, millennials actually believe a team can accomplish more and better - they've experienced team success. Not just related to age, watch who joins the volleyball match at the company picnic. Millennials gather in groups and play on teams; you can also mentor, coach, and train your millennials as a team.
Want seven more tips about managing millennials? Read more.