Last week we talked about how to close the generation gap in your office. Now, we want to show you how to understand and work with Millennials.
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, were born between the 1980s and the early 2000s. The generation everyone is talking about lately started entering the workforce almost 15 years ago. By 2020, they’re going to represent more than 46% of the labor force as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.
Understanding their needs, interests and values is the first step in learning how to work with Millennials. It’s important also to learn how to motivate them to give their best and how to integrate this generation of workers into your team.
While some see Millennials as spoiled kids who received everything they wanted from their parents, the reality is they are not.
What managers fail to understand is that times are changing and people look for something different than previous generations. Work is not all Millennials want to do in their life.
They like to work hard but they also like to enjoy life outside work.
Here are a few things you need to know about the Millennials on your team:
Millennials Value Opportunities, Not Money
Millennials are not driven by the size of their paycheck. They value a healthy, balanced life. This includes Millennials’ desire to make a difference in the world and to learn new skills.
They also have an entrepreneurial spirit, love to work in teams and value career advancement opportunities. Of course, each individual is different, so it’s your job as a leader to have one-on-one conversations.
These conversations can help you learn about him or her, what they want and what motivates them. Work out a development plan to help Millennials achieve their career goals and keep those one-on-one meetings regular.
Your employees will understand you care for them – that their welfare is important to you – and will give their best for your company.
Millennials Speak Their Mind
The days when employees sat sitting quietly in their offices doing what they were told are long gone and don’t fit with Millennials’ DNA. Millennials have been raised to speak their minds and say what they think loudly and clearly.
They expect to be a partner in your company – not a subordinate. Millennials might tell you what they think things should be done without fearing your disapproval – and sometimes without respecting the hierarchy.
Help Millennials learn what the company – and you as a leader – expects from them and show them how to deliver feedback. But, also understand that Millennials are driven by the desire to help and to make things better.
Millennials Love Entrepreneurship
Some Millennials want to be their own boss someday, but what they all value is the chance to:
- Make their own decisions
- Have a greater responsibility in their roles
- Help more and to do more
Did you know that Google allows their employees to work on their own projects one day per week? Or, that Disney gives funding to their work team to develop their own ideas as part of the blue sky process?
Maybe you don’t have Google’s or Disney’s resources, but you can find a way to meet your employees’ needs and entrepreneurial skills to help them grow.
Millennials are driven by the burning desire to make a difference in the world. Their whole system of values revolves around helping out and making a difference.
Work to get to know them, learn what moves them and help them make that difference. Promote empathy in your department and work to combine meaningful work with daily tasks.
Over to you – what procedures do you have in place to accommodate Millennials?