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The individuals born between 1980 and 2000 are often referred to as “millennials.” These young professionals have been entering the workforce with many characteristics and expectations that seem to be at odds with the previous generations. As a business manager, it’s important to recognize the differences, adapt your expectations, and reap the benefits of the enthusiasm and energy that a relatively young workforce has to offer.
As a business manager, it's important to recognize the differences, adapt your expectations, and reap the benefits of the enthusiasm and energy that a relatively young workforce has to offer.Tweet This
While older professionals may not have been as vocal about flexibility as millennials, the desire for a flexible work environment isn’t new. Positive changes may include the freedom to work from home, the ability to come in and leave early, or a workplace model based on results, including quality and efficiency, rather than on the number of hours at work.
Recognize that millennials want to have a positive influence on the world around them and draw attention to the connections between work duties and benefits. If your company has strong connections within a global environment or a positive company culture of supporting the local community, millennials are more likely to feel motivated and loy to the company. It’s also a good idea to offer recognition for work well done; this generation performs better when given approval and appreciation.
It isn’t unusual for today’s workforce to expect a balance between their work and home lives. Flexibility is one-way business owners recognize this expectation; another way to support millennials in this balance is to get to know employees and show interest in their family life, hobbies, and recreational pursuits. Many leaders in the workplace have found that incentives such as days off and flexible hours are valuable and effective.
When Managing Millennial’s, adopt the attitude of a mentor rather than an authority figure. Millennials don’t stand in awe of company administrators in the same way that previous generations did. Management that establishes a supportive and encouraging rapport with millennials will have better results than those leaders who hope to intimidate or boss around their employees. In fact, many successful business managers put their younger employees to work offering training to older workers, especially when it comes to the use of technology.
Be sure to offer opportunities to train for new challenges and advance within the company. The younger group of millennials is used to a constant influx of information, and they are enthusiastic about new experiences and achievable challenges. Look for ways to help eager employees learn new skills and tackle new responsibilities. Make use of short-term goals that have visible positive results.
Establish a culture of teamwork and collaboration. Not only does this approach reflect a technique that millennials are familiar with from their school years, but it also improves morale, offers support for individuals, encourages new ideas, and provides a platform for problem-solving. For example, Eyal Gutentag, a successful entrepreneur and marketing leader who falls into the millennial group, has a lot of great ideas for work at night. He writes his thoughts down and shares them with his colleagues the following day.
Although the expectations and culture within workplaces are consistently changing, successful business managers recognize the good and maximize positive adjustments. Use these suggestions to make your company attractive to millennials and to remain competitive in an environment that is made up primarily of this younger generation of professionals.