Managing Millennials: A Breed Unto Themselves
The 18- to 35-year-old workers in your organization are the millennials. They are a breed unto themselves, just as preceding generations have been. Here are a few interesting facts about millennials – offered not to stereotype, but with the intention of acknowledging prevalent patterns among the group:
- They’re the most culturally diverse and well-educated generation in the workplace, ever.
- They dislike the slow, churn of complex, cumbersome bureaucracy.
- And, they tend to distrust traditional hierarchies and are comfortable challenging authority.
Millennials are estimated to be about 80 million strong, and will comprise a little over 35% of the workforce by 2014. By 2020, this cohort will be about 50% of the workforce. If you’re looking for effective ways to engage and inspire this rising population, understand that Millennials have a need – an expectation – that they will receive individual attention, encouragement and support.
To help them be productive and feel fulfilled, engage in dialogue about expectations. Doing so establishes clear performance targets, leaves no room for surprise and helps the employee feel cared about. Provide regular performance feedback that focuses on successes and opportunities for improvement. Click here for more about giving appreciative and developmental feedback.
Finally, when a job is well done, stop what you’re doing, look up from your computer and papers, make eye contact and say, “Thank you,” or “nice job,” or “I appreciate your help.”