A lot has been written about the differences in managing millennials. Here are some practical changes you can make as a leader, to manage the younger members of your workforce. First, remember that millennials are also known as generation Y. And Millennials are least likely to like being called a Millennial because there is so much negativity about their work ethic.
If we were able to bring back your great grandparents and ask them to comment on your work ethic versus theirs — they likely wouldn’t be impressed. “Back in my day we used to walk to school uphill in snow with no shoes.”
Think about what the children of today will say when they are older, “Back in my day we only had the iPhone 7 with Retina display — we had to actually type messages to one another, and not beam our thoughts directly into the mind of another person.”
Basically, every generation expects more and puts up with less than the previous generation. That said, we are seeing an acceleration of these trends.
Here are three tips for engaging the younger millennials in your workforce:
#1 Involve them
Unlike previous generations where the understanding was you had to earn your stripes and gain some experience before your manager would ask your opinion, today’s younger employees feel that they have something to contribute and want to be asked their opinion.
# 2 Help them grow
As organizations get flatter there can be fewer opportunities for promotion. To create a sense of progress, consider creating a mastery matrix of all the job duties in your department and then encourage your team members to master all the jobs. Remember that mastery doesn’t mean doing the job once — the person needs to prove their proficiency.
#3 Provide continuous feedback
When you grow up playing video games you are used to getting immediate feedback. Younger employees are willing to hear corrective feedback, they just want to hear it immediately so they can change and improve. Providing a steady stream of feedback, both positive and corrective will be appreciated by the younger members of your team.
As the Boomers retire in greater numbers, the Millennials will make up the bulk of your workforce and if you don’t adapt to their needs, you will find it more and more difficult to attract and retain employees. Employers who adapt will be seen as an employer of choice.
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