Millennials are streaming into the workplace and quickly transforming company cultures. They are highly creative, social, technologically savvy, environmentally conscious and ambitious. On the other hand, they’re also impatient with ‘old-fashioned’ nine to five work days and hierarchical management structures. Millennials are challenging the status quo, and some organisations may find them tricky to manage so following on from Emma’s article explaining what Millennials want, here are my top ten tips for managing millennials:
Millennials want to work in a way that suits their lifestyle. This means being able to travel more should they want to, or working from home more often if they have a family. To keep your employees happy, giving them the flexibility to work remotely will assist. Give them the freedom to move around, converse and collaborate.
This generation is ambitious and impatient to progress. They don’t want to be micro-managed in a role with no future, they want to be mentored and to grow. A good performance management system that offers them a clear personal development path and review process is critical. Millennials want to be fulfilled by their work – and the happier they are in their jobs, the better they’ll work.
Recognise their need for recognition
Provide feedback daily. Millennials are far more fearless of failure than past generations and thrive to get better and seek and give feedback. Involve them and coach them to get better results.
Provide leadership and guidance
Whilst they are independent, they can also see the value in having mentors. Millennials want to look up to you and learn from you. Plan to spend a lot of time teaching and coaching and be aware of this commitment to millennials when you hire them.
Like any group, not all millennials are the same. Therefore, it's important to not implement a "one size fits all" approach to managing them. One millennial might like constant direction while another prefers to do it all by themselves. The rule of thumb is millennials want to believe that you understand them and expect materials and communication to be relevant to them and not generic.
Allow as much ownership as possible
The best way to handle a millennial's feelings of entitlement is to provide them with a lot of responsibility. This doesn't necessarily mean handing them an entire project, but clearly defining areas that they can own so they can flex their knowledge, expertise and decision-making ability. When doing so, you will find them embracing not only the work, but you as a manager and the company overall.
Culture is critical
Millennials want to enjoy their work and their workplace. Worry if your millennial employees aren’t laughing, going out with workplace friends for lunch, and helping plan the next company event or committee. Millennials place a high value on the culture they find at work. They want a sense of transparency, celebrated individuality, a freedom to provide input and be heard, and an openness to diversity.
Money isn’t everything
While most millennials still find the “traditional” benefits extremely important when choosing a job, the extra benefits will help retain them. What millennials value most is the attractiveness of the work itself, mobility, the opportunity to meet people and network, and a relaxed atmosphere. They love being able to "customise" their compensation packages with things like additional days off, flexible hours or discounts.
Millennials have grown up with constant access to technology and are much more tech savvy than previous generations. The organisations they are associated with must, therefore, be technologically and digitally progressive. Millennials mould their personal and professional lives around the communication tools, information and networking enabled by the latest technology. It is essential to build a workplace where millennials can connect, share, learn and grow via the platform of their choosing.
Highly loyal, millennials will want to place their trust in and be inspired by their employers, looking to them for encouragement and instruction. Properly managed millennials will be dedicated to their employer and do the task at hand to the best of their ability. If you are aware of how millennials work and what motivates them, the sky really is the limit in terms of expectations.
If you need help and advice with managing your millennial employees, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide. Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.