To lead and manage this millennial generation requires change especially the “old school” managers who believe that employees should come to work every day for 20 years, do the same mundane task over and over again without complaint, agree with everything the manager tell them to do, retire, get their pension, go home and live happily ever after.
Well according to Les Brown, that train has passed. Millennials are changing the face of work, and many employers are embracing the social connectivity millennial bring to their organization as well their unique view of the world and the workplace. The concept of a job for life has disappeared drastically. Millennials are coming into the workforce speaking an increasingly digital language and with different expectations than the generation before them.
According to Susan M. Heathfield, by Internet research counts alone 75,000,000 millennials are preparing to join or joining the workforce. Millennial's arrival in the workforce is a challenge for some, but also it can be an opportunity. Managers from previous generations stand to learn more about the world we live in and to make better decisions accordingly because of this millennial generation.
To manage and engage this generation effectively, consider the following tips:
leadership and Guidance
Millennials want to look up to you, learn from you, and receive daily feedback from you. Gone are the days where you normally have to wait six months or in some instances a year to received feedback from your manager or supervisor via your performance appraisal. As a matter of fact, Accenture is getting rid of their annual performance review.
Pierre Nanterme the CEO of Accenture, indicated that maintaining the status quo, drives him "nuts" and "reasonably mad," and he describes his own generation as "quite boring and simple" compared to today's new hires. Six percent of Fortune 500 companies have gotten rid of rankings, according to management research firm CEB. Millennials want “in” on the whole picture and to know the scoop. Leaders should spend a lot of time teaching and coaching and be aware of this commitment to millennials when you hire them. They deserve and want your very best investment of time in their success.
Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace
Millennials want to enjoy their work. They want to enjoy their place of work. They want to make friends in their workplace. I can remember when I started to work fresh out of school at a cleaning company, emptying all the bins at a popular mall in Trinidad and Tobago, cleaning all the toilets, etc. My manager told me in a staff meeting, “this is work, we did not come here looking for friends” and there are some managers and self-confess leaders who still have that type of thinking today.
If your millennial employees aren't laughing or at least going out with workplace friends for lunch, you may have a problem; boring is bad, and millennials seek ever-changing tasks within their work.
Take advantage of your millennial employee’s computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy
This generation is technologically savvy. Heck, this generation live on their cell phones. Are you a Boomer or even an early Gen-Xer? The electronic capabilities of these employees are amazing. Take advantage of their knowledge. Communication is instantaneous, if you have a salesman in China, have your millennial text message him to find out about their product or service for an immediate response. The world is wide and open for your millennial employees.
Provide a balanced work-life workplace
This is imperative to this generation. Millennials love their lives outside of work, and they did not believe in spending 18 hours of their day working. Southwest Airlines, well known for disrupting the airline industry, comes out on top of the Indeed survey recently that rated the top 25 companies for work-life balance. At Southwest, employees stated that “Management gives constant feedback and is always thinking of its employee’s work/life balance” and that it “feels like a family.”
You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to provide employees with work-life balance, Be Flexible, create an environment of ease. As a manager or leader, you must recognize that many millennials play on sports teams, walk for multiple causes, and spend a lot of time with family and friends.
Create a strong company culture
This one is critical; millennial employees are attracted to companies with a strong culture and values that are in line with their own ideals and lifestyle. They need to feel that what they do is worthwhile and has a meaning beyond making money. They are motivated by being part of something important that positively affects their environment.
If the company culture is not consistent, they will quickly notice and seriously reconsider whether they will stay with the organization. Consider your leadership and management style, is it adaptable to this generation, are you inspiring this generation to be the best they can be, are you willing to admit that times have changed and as such your management and leadership style should also change. This generation is not going anyway and to get the best from this group of employees, your leadership and management approach should reflect the changes in our environment.
About Gifford Thomas
I am the founder of Leadership First and the author of The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible. At Leadership First, we are committed to publishing the very best inspirational leadership quotes and articles to inspire our 136,000+ community of leaders to believe in the impossible, while creating an environment free from toxic, fearful and intimidating leadership. We believe everyone can and should enjoy their work, but it must start with the leadership leading by example. Follow our community of leaders HERE, and let's change the leadership status quo to help inspire and motivate our leaders to make a difference and create an organization their people will love.
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