If you haven’t read the first part of this 2-part article series, quickly catch up here!
Now we may begin to conceptualize the plans of managing this bunch of talented millennials effectively.
By 2025, it is projected that Millennials (Generation Y which is born between 1980 and 2000) will make up 75% of the world’s working population. While it’s important not to generalize too much, millennials as a whole do possess certain characteristics and motivations that differ significantly from earlier generations at the workplace.
To get the best from the millennial employees, managers must understand this and adapt their management style accordingly.
Guidelines to adapt your organization’s management policies to this millennial generation
Here are 3 quick guidelines to consider adapting to your company’s policies to best cater to your millennial employees.
- Provide Opportunities For Learning & Development
Millennials, especially “junior millennials” (those born in the nineties), have grown up in a culture of immediacy, surrounded by stimuli. They are generally impatient, eager for new experiences, and thrive on achieving short-term goals with visible results.
Here are some possible areas which millennials may struggle in, and require further training to fill up these gaps:
Face-to-face Communication Skills: The Millennials are the generation who are extremely savvy with phones and computers from a young age, which pre-empted their need to learn face-to-face communication Meetings, calls, interviews and sales pitches all require sharp communication and interpersonal skills. Therefore, it may be good to look into further equipping your millennial employees with proper face-to-face communication skills.
Lack of Confidence: Self-esteem is vital in the workplace. Employees need to be comfortable speaking up during meetings, presenting ideas to their bosses, addressing unfamiliar people, and working under stressful conditions. However, Millennials, particularly those who may have “helicopter parents”, may not be used to accomplishing things on their own. Therefore, they may suffer from poor self-esteem and it’ll be good to look into this area to equip them with the confidence they need to speak up.
Key Tip: Managers must help them identify opportunities to develop new skills. For example, managers can maintain millennials’ attention by frequently assigning new and different projects or temporary positions within the same company. Most importantly, millennials want to be able to “level up”: this is, after all, the videogame generation.
- Money is NOT their Primary Motivation
It is not that millennials do not understand the value of money; it’s just not their primary motivation. What they value most is the attractiveness of the work itself, mobility (both geographical and between assignments), the opportunity to meet people and network, and a relaxed atmosphere.
Key Tip 1: They love being able to “customize” their compensation packages with things like additional days off, flexible working hours, or telecommuting.
Although their professional motivations and objectives differ from those of their predecessors, millennials are also ambitious. They may not aspire to have many direct reports or a particular job title, but they are interested in reaching executive positions where they can have an impact on the world.
Millennials are especially motivated by dynamic, cross-functional positions. They also seek jobs that allow them to be in contact with and learn from interesting people, interacting with other professionals and teams.
Key Tip 2: For this reason, their career paths should offer a wide range of experiences and not just vertical promotions up the totem pole. Millennials greatly appreciate opportunities to demonstrate their potential and capabilities to their bosses — for example, invitations to join a management committee or to attend an informal event with top executives.
- Be mentors, not bosses.
Millennials infamously lack respect for traditional structures of authority. Their upbringing has been much more lax and permissive, so they do not respond well to rigid protocols or displays of power. Rather, they need their leaders to be approachable, to encourage and guide them.
Key Tip: Be mindful in how you delegate tasks and deliver feedback, and be sure to view your millennial employees as an ever-evolving asset, rather than a cog in the machine.