When it comes to the workplace, millennials tend to get a bad rap. Dubbed the Peter Pan generation, millennials are characterized as overindulged, materialistic and prone to jump from job to job. However, like it or not, managers cannot take this group for granted. In 2015, Millennials surpassed Generation X and the baby boomers to become the largest share of the American workforce (Pew Research Center, 2015). And by 2020, nearly half of all U.S. employees will be millennials.
And don’t forget, millennials bring plenty of admirable traits to the table. They are confident, open-minded, upbeat, receptive to new ideas and, of course, tech savvy. So, how can a manager accentuate the positives and downplay the negatives?
Here are some suggestions to maximize the performance of millennial employees.
Millennials want to make a difference. It is important that managers clarify not only the organization’s goals, but also the greater good. As Simon Sinek wrote in his book, Start with Why, “Average companies give their people something to work on. In contrast, the most innovative organizations give their people something to work toward.”
Express Clear Expectations
As millennials are more free-spirited as a group, bosses may find it helpful to set boundaries. This should not be a long list of strict and rigorous rules, rather it should be clarification. What are the exact job duties? What is the dress code? What events are mandatory?
Outline Career Paths
Growing up in a fast-paced society, millennials are accused of being easily bored. To counteract unnecessary turnover, perceptive leaders should emphasize career paths through mentoring programs and ongoing training. This type of work environment will help keep all employees challenged and engaged.
The sons and daughters of doting parents, millennials like to be heard and feel valued. This is a great opportunity for managers as well. Millennial workers are digital natives and great social media networkers. Those in leadership positions should seek out their fresh perspectives and put these groundbreaking ideas into practice.
Sometimes millennials are referred to as “Trophy Kids” because of their reputation for being rewarded for minimal accomplishments, and they are used to more feedback than previous generations. Annual reviews may need to turn into biannually or quarterly reviews. Although this may be more work for bosses, the extra investment will keep these employees reassured and more productive.
Many millennials grew up participating in multiple activities. They are willing to put in their time on the job, but work-life balance is important. Their families, children and additional interests are high priorities too. In response, many companies are rethinking traditional office spaces and work hours. Bosses may need to consider remote work and flextime options (Inc. Magazine, 2017) to stay competitive.
Are you looking for the most talented workers from any generation? The Employment Specialists at Aventure Staffing understand that people are a company’s greatest asset. Contact us to find the right candidates today!