Millennials are becoming increasingly more present in the workforce. The American economy is not seen anything like this since the Baby Boomers, and the new workers are challenging management theories. Managers will have to find ways to lead these young people and try to get as much productivity out of them as possible.
The Main Millennial Traits
Millennials are very sociable and enjoy fast pace work environment. They were born and raised along with social media and are expert in the use of the various platforms. One obvious benefit is that they can multitask better than a lot of other age demographics. Millennials enjoy being around optimistic people, but their enthusiasm can sometimes cause them to take on more work than they can do effectively. One danger is boredom; they do not like it at all. Another is a challenge of attention. Millennials have proven to show difficulty in staying focused on meeting deadlines.
Effectively leading millennials is not an impossible chore. A manager or supervisor has to be able to adapt to this demographic and consider various strategies. The intent is to guarantee that a millennial is going to be very productive, meet deadlines, and achieve objectives. Here are some ideas.
- Adapt the Schedule to Fit the Needs
A millennial is very much in tune with his or her hobbies and outside interests. These may conflict with the standard eight-hour day; five-day work week. Also, commuting in the main metropolitan areas can be a two-hour affair. Management can make things easier by allowing for ten-hour day; four-day work weeks. Telecommuting from home is something that many millennial workers find appealing. It’s easy enough to do, especially with mobile apps like Evernote.
- Promote Job Enrichment and Learning
The notion that millennial employees are slackers is not right. These are very career minded people and do not want to spend their life punching a time clock and filling out forms. A learning environment can include mentoring a new employee, and allow for training possibilities to increase their knowledge and build up their skills toolbox. This could be a problem in the past with assigning people to seminars or out of office training. These are still good motivators, but a leader can use current technology to provide for training. Webinars were particularly suitable to train people while they are still in their cubicles. All that is necessary is to be able to provide needed time
- Listen and Then Act
Everyone has an opinion and appreciates having it acted upon. Millennials want to have input into the goal setting and operations. It does not hurt any manager to listen to the younger employees. It needs to be kept in mind that they are the future, and listening and then acting on their suggestions encourages engagement. It also creates better loyalty to the organization.
- Take Advantage of Their Electronic Literacy
Unlike baby boomers, the millennial workforce is connected to social media and mobile devices. They have a better understanding than most about how to take advantage of a cell phone or tablet. A leader is going to find the team more productive if he takes suggestions on how to best use mobile devices or other electronic technology. The millennial knows the Internet and social media like the back of his or her hand. Capitalize on that knowledge
- Do Not Worry about Multitasking Assignments.
This demographic is used to doing several things during the day. Their experience and expertise with social media and mobile devices allow them to do more than one activity comfortably. It is important, however, to be able to gauge just how much a single millennial can handle. You can challenge these people with the assignments, but be careful not to overwhelm them.
- Keep the Workplace Pleasant.
It does not have to be a playground or circus, but the work area ought to be a space where work can be intermixed with extracurricular fun activity. A millennial enjoys networking, and a leader can facilitate that by having employee lunches outside the building or other activities. In fact, the employee activities coordinator is going to be a very important person when it comes to working with millennial employees.
- Balance Is Essential
The Ying and Yang of the office is one that balances work with life. A leader should do it they can to make it easy for millennials to have the best of both worlds. Nobody needs to work 60 hour weeks anymore, thanks to technology. Consequently, a leader can allow for employees to have some time for family affairs.
Supervising and guiding millennial employees will require different tactics. They are not their parents nor are they traditional employees. On the positive side, they happen to be highly intelligent and can be very productive in a competitive marketplace. The leader should know the unique qualities of this demographic and how to best direct activity. The benefit is high-quality goods and services.