Managing Millennials

By on July 10, 2009
Managing Millennials

The Millennials – those employees who entered the workforce since the year 2000 – are going to change the workplace. Their impact has already been felt as the workplace moves from a linear thinking, policy driven environment to a menu driven, life balanced, multitasked environment. Millennials walk the walk when it comes to respect for diversity, telling the truth and adaptability to change.

Millennials tend to be impatient with the pace of things in today’s workplace. They are capable of managing several ideas or projects simultaneously, and are pragmatic about doing what’s necessary to achieve desired outcomes. If there are rules, they want to know the reasons behind them. Be prepared for lots of “Why.”

Managing Millennials means mentoring them individually and closely. This doesn’t mean micromanaging their work – they’ll hate you for that. What it does mean is that you need to be consistent in your expectations, which should be presented in both written and oral form. Be sure to include the “why” in your presentations. Other mentoring suggestions (thanks to Dr. Ginny Barnes) include:

  • Discuss and reinforce logical consequences.
  • Model and teach character development.
  • Create opportunities for feedback – the more immediate the better.
  • Accommodate their personal needs for work/life balance.
  • Coach them in how to become effective leaders.
  • Offer a working environment that provides for their relational or networking needs.
  • Allow creativity in work styles, technology and scheduling.

Finally, according to Dr. Barnes, current leaders are going to have to provide active training and orientation for new employees, and be prepared to change the environment, policies, team development and goals of the workplace.

About Barry Schapiro

Barry is the Workforce Solutions Group Practice Leader for Leadership and Professional Development. His experience includes delivery and management of business training in a variety of industries, with specialties in leadership, team development, generational diversity, and customer service. Twitter

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