Millennials are taking the world by storm, and people often weigh in about how they make up a large segment of the workforce, plus have substantial buying power in the retail world, among other things. Since millennials have different priorities and views than older generations, some managers who are used to doing things in the traditional ways may feel overwhelmed as they work with this younger but prominent sector of society. However, it’s easier than many people think to get better results when leading millennials.
Offer Flexibility When Possible
Whereas their parents and grandparents typically preferred rigid rules at work, millennials usually like more flexibility. Managers should find it easier to connect with millennials and urge them to deliver the best results if they keep flexibility in mind. For example, remote working is an increasingly popular option, and it’s arguably more accessible than ever due to the growing assortment of tools, platforms, and apps to facilitate the desire to work from anywhere.
If it is not feasible for your workforce to offer wholly remote work, explore other possibilities. Could people have the option of a flexible start time as long as they work the required number of hours per week? Might you consider letting them work from home one day a week for six months, then reevaluate things after that? Such solutions could appeal to millennials and make them especially eager to keep contributing to the workforce.
Give Frequent Feedback
Millennials are highly likely to focus on their results, while other generations often put more attention into the process or path they take to reach such outcomes. Since the millennial generation is so results-oriented, managers should strongly consider offering lots of feedback about what millennials achieve.
Doing a formal check-in once or twice a year likely won’t suffice. A better idea is to meet with millennials every two weeks or so. Be sure to give them a mixture of praise and suggestions for improvement. Millennials like hearing from their superiors regularly so that they have ongoing chances to make corrections.
A related tip to be aware of as you engage with millennials during a managerial role is that they love opportunities to learn and grow. Thus, instead of looking at the room for improvement in negative ways, frame it as chances for people to take control of their improvement in the workforce.
Although in-person meetings for feedback are great, don’t forget that you can touch base with millennials through teleconferencing apps, too. Millennials are unlike most members of older generations in that they grew up with technology. That means there is usually not a large learning curve if you need them to get connected with you via a new app or method.
Understand When You Might Need Expert Advice
Maybe you’re at a place where you’ve researched how to manage millennials and applied all the tips you’ve come across, but feel like you’re hitting a wall. In that case, hiring a professional to help you could give a welcome payoff. For example, Eyal Gutentag is a consultant who’s an experienced mentor and manager. He particularly focuses on millennials and doesn’t shy away from the challenges when companies come to him for help solving hard problems.
Gutentag’s work relates to managing millennials, too, especially if you consider he’s the chief marketing officer for ZipRecruiter. That’s a platform to connect people who are ready to hire and high-quality candidates who are eager to work. The technological platform often factors into the search for individuals within the job market, and many of the users are likely millennials.
Being an excellent manager of millennials may not come easily if it’s something new to you. That’s okay, though. Your willingness to change your approach to better cater to this younger generation is a necessary characteristic that should help you thrive. Before long, you’ll likely be able to look back and wonder why managing millennials ever felt so foreign to you. Getting better at it takes practice and determination, and the tips here will get you off to a good start.