Best Strategies for Managing Millennials

By Sep Barkhodaee, May 28, 2014
Managing millennials

Management is certainly not one-size-fits-all – and the methods that have worked for previous generations don’t always work with millennials. Generation Y workers have unique desires, strengths, vulnerabilities and demands that should be considered if companies want them to thrive. According to CIO, Deloitte Consulting has estimated that these individuals will comprise three-quarters of the workforce by 2025, so it’s crucial for firms to fine-tune their practices and adapt to milennials’ needs.

As enterprises look to gain a competitive edge, Gen Y workers will play a critical role in fueling their innovation and overall success. Here are some tactics that can be particularly effective with this generation.


Plenty of feedback
One thing that members of Gen Y have in common is that they are accustomed to getting constant feedback. CIO reported that Daniel Pink, a well-known author on workplace trends, has argued that a typical 20-something has seen a response from all of his or her actions, from pushing a button and sending a text message to playing a video game. Whether it’s a sound or the scoring of a point, something happens. So if that individual enters an office where feedback is lacking, it can be jarring – or worse – demotivating. That’s why it’s important for managers to make sure they’re offering up some kind of recognition for good quality work, as well as providing feedback on why a millennial staff member may not be succeeding. CIO noted that the majority of firms only set aside 2 percent of payroll for recognition programs, but these initiatives are a great way to boost employee morale. It’s also helpful to schedule frequent and regular check-ins – even if they’re less formal than a performance review – to make sure an employee feels they’re not only on track, but also valued.


Specific, realistic goals
Another aspect to keep in mind is the fact that Gen Y individuals on the whole don’t want to be placed in a position where it’s not clear what they’re striving toward. TinderBox explained that millennials want to feel as though they have a defined path, and moreover, that there is a greater purpose to what they are working on. In fact, the source revealed that many surveys have shown that attainable goals are one of the top desires for Gen Y employees, and in some studies, it’s an even higher priority than compensation. Not only do millennials seek a specific objective, but they also want a detailed plan of how they will achieve it. A goal that is unrealistic can frustrate these individuals, as can one that they aren’t sure how to go about reaching. Make sure that any objectives management sets for these staff members are aligned with their capabilities and additionally, that any resources they need to successfully achieve them are easily accessible.


Engaging training
The fact is, Gen Y workers demand a different kind of training than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers. This is because as eLearning Mind pointed out, millennials are used to having an audience for nearly everything they do, from posting a workout photo on Instagram to tweeting a restaurant check-in. Because of this, the source advised implementing a social aspect to training through competitions, or partner/group activities. Another way to appease Gen Y workers is with online training software. ELearning Mind noted that these individuals always have their smartphones on them, so offering them content for these devices is a good idea. You can even create online courses and quizzes for them to participate in on the go.

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