How To Make Managing Millennials Look Easy

c0369d18a3112fe5c93cbb03f1567204-originaWhat the Smartest Companies Are Doing
 
Photo courtesy of ITU Pictures.

By Manvi Pant. Millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce by 2025. And yet, they’re so hard to pin down.
 
Curious, cautious, optimistic, brave, creative, laid-back, driven, well-educated, socially and politically aware. If you spotted a contradiction or two, that’s the point.
 
That’s what makes them Millennials. And with the class of 2016 graduating this month, you better be ready to manage them.
 
How hard is it to manage millennials?
It’s a tough road. They’re a peculiar bunch. But you need them. They bring fresh perspectives, technical know-how, and a knack for finding shortcuts at every step.
 
They key is in knowing what they want.
 
According to a study by Austin State University, “Leadership and salary, along with interesting work and atmosphere, appear to hold the greatest influence in the work arena.” The researchers go on to note: “They seem to want a perfect work-life balance with flexibility to define who they are in their job.”
 
Clearly, expectations are high. You might have do things differently than you have in the past. But their curious predilections boil down to this: Millennials want to be treated and acknowledged as individuals.
 
How do we manage generational gaps in our workforce? 
The generational gap tends to aggravate certain problem areas, such as resistance to changes like technological advancement, orthodox approaches that are at odds with a fast-paced environment, and a lack of flexibility in taking on new roles.
 
Here are two ways to head those problems off:
 
Training and Employee Engagement Programs. Train those less well-versed in the ways of social media. Help them be more connected. Cross-generational programs can be useful.
 
Mentoring. It’s the easiest way to get folks working together across a generational divide. Mentoring is a two-way street that promotes out-of-the-box thinking, generates realistic approaches to problems, and helps fresh ideas rise to the surface.
 
Creating the right environment. “The emerging workforce is not interested in command-and-control leadership,” says Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Mondelez International. She’s right. Consistency and stability have their place, but set up too many barriers and you’re likely to stymie company creativity.   
 
Build on your strengths
That said, don’t go making any sudden and impulsive changes to your corporate culture. That could be catastrophic. For everyone’s sake, be adaptable and work on your team’s strengths, as well as your weaknesses. Here’s how:
 
Encourage discussions on career development. Breaking the communication barrier enables a relationship to form between generations. Creating that sense of forward motion among Millennials leads to increased productivity and motivation. A culture that values personal development and career progression sees the results of its investment in an engaged, happy, and productive workforce.
 
Keep your tech up-to-date. Brought up in the age of the iPad, Millennials have a low tolerance for outdated tech. The internet is more than a pastime; it’s a beacon of hope for building a brighter future. They won’t embrace company culture unless the software ecosystem is sound.
 
Flexibility at work. It’s a matter of respect. That’s how it’s often interpreted, anyway. Thus, it can make all the difference in whether employees decide to stick around – or head for greener, more accommodating pastures. Additionally, work just feels less rigid and less burdensome.

Constructive feedback and performance reviews. Be as constructive as possible when giving feedback or reviews. Connect Millennials’ efforts to the mission and purpose of the organization. Help them understand how their efforts contribute to overall success.
 

d8a11676c36532306c60e9bc9abf8387-huge-10Manvi Pant is a CRM professional at A.T. Kearney, a guest contributor at ‘Women to Watch,’ an avid writer, a voracious reader, high on creativity and involves herself in pursuits like photography and DIY decorations. Most of her pictures throw light on abstract subjects, people and nature. She appreciates art and follows Frida Kahlo’s paintings and writings a lot.

Posted by Jared Cline on May 19, 2016 11:32 AM America/New_York

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