Today you’ll find out how to work with millennials.
Entitled, overstimulated, and missing in work ethic are the stereotypical terms used to define Millennials. But what does the research in fact say about this generation and their work habits? While some of these accusations may reflect the reality, a more accurate description of this generation might be entrepreneurial, ethically minded, and resourceful.
For the first time, four unique generations are represented in the modern workplace. It’s important to have conversations about intergenerational dynamics, communication preferences, values, and career aspirations amongst your team. Generation Y is the biggest and most diversified generation to date and recruiting young talent is critical to the survival of your organization.
Driving growth, rethinking your pattern and building intergenerational community will help retain current employees and attract Millennials. When you understand some of the trends and statistics about Millennials, you will have the ability to create training programs, adapt company culture, and motivate innovation. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or another Millennial trying to gain credibility in the workplace, it is crucial that you learn to work well with Millennials.
How to Work With Millennials:
1. Take advantage of their Creativity
You do not need to have an arcade or a bedroom to be creative (even though, working at Google would not be bad). From idea-generating field trips to Pixar “personal project days” where employees are given time to work on whatever they want, there are numerous ways to encourage originality in the workplace. Studies show that, by virtue of their age and unique experience, Millennials tend to display more out-of-the-box thinking and are more prone to challenging norms that can lead to some big breakthroughs for your office.
2. Radiate Passion
If you’re a leader, it’s your responsibility and your privilege to invite your team into your vision. Bill Hybels, author of Courageous Leadership and founding father of the Global Leadership Summit, says, “Your job is to keep your passion burning. Do whatever you have to do, read whatever you have to read, go wherever you have to go to keep your spirits up.” That kind of passion is contagious. As a leader, you can set the tone for your company. As Michael Jordan said, “Earn your lead every day”.
3. Provide Flexibility
Millennials value flexibility in hours, communications, and kinds of assignments. Remote working is becoming more common with every generation and the majority of Millennials want to have the ability to set their own working hours. They also balance work and life more smoothly than Baby Boomers who prefer a clear separation between personal and experienced.
The use of technological tools has impacted communication and developed the ability to multitask in life and work on projects concurrently. Several studies have shown that the trend towards more accommodative work schedules spans generations. Allowing flexibility appeals to candidates of all ages and can lead to higher job satisfaction. As long as the job is finished well, a more relaxed work schedule can be considered.
4. Get Perspective
Everyone operates from a different worldview and these differences seem even more significant when multiplied across generations. Millennials have been criticized for not sharing the same opinions about time, company loyalty, or work ethic as their older coworkers. However, they simply see and define success at work differently. Learning to inspire and connect with Millennials in your workplace can help provide long-term sustainability.
5. Educate Them
For a number of reasons, “real life” looks different to Millennials than older generations did when they were the same age. 1 in 10 Millennials will buy a home before the age of 30. 1 in 5 is married and only 12% have kids. They married and began a family later than their predecessors.
This may be a reflection of soaring divorce rates or the increasing average amount of student debt that makes marriage and parenthood seem unattractive or impossible. There is also a greater focus, specially for girls, on developing younger careers. Regardless, Millennials can use guidance from their parents in navigating the real world as they mature as employees, spouses, parents, and adults in general.
6. Explore New Opportunities
Millennials work well in teams—take advantage of their willingness to join! Have you thought about creating a summer spirit week to boost company morale or starting a volleyball team to build community? Look to Millennials for ideas and enthusiasm for these projects.
7. Get to know the work ethic
Some studies have found that Generation Y has a higher work ethic than their older counterparts, some say Millennials are lazy and most agree that there’s comparatively no difference in work ethic between generations. The stereotype is that the younger generation does not work hard and does not really care about their jobs. But in reality work ethic is influenced by education level, life stage, work status (full or part time), employee engagement, income level and marital status.
Regardless of generational group, those with lower incomes or those who are married tend to report a stronger work ethic. Perceived work ethic also depends on how work is defined. Baby Boomers are more process-oriented and value long hours, while younger generations tend to adopt a “work smarter” mentality.
They are more focused on achieving great results and fewer interested in the process. Millennials can even be more contented and productive if they’re able to work flexibly according to schedule. If you emphasize your standards and expectations and ensure all deadlines are adhered to, Millennials will do well.
8. Develop a Corporate Responsibility Strategy
57% of Millennials volunteer regularly and 75% donate to nonprofits. They aren’t as egocentric as one might think and want to work for organizations that make a significant impact on their community. Companies that develop a corporate social responsibility mission, match donations, focus on their values, and encourage employees to serve will be highly desirable.
9. Discuss the dress code
79% of Millennials believe jeans are acceptable work wear compared to 60% of Baby Boomers. The older generation tends to place a higher value on standards of professionalism and Baby Boomers believe respecting rules and codes of ethics is extremely important. However, Millennials are finding the fun and stimulation at work to be more significant.
One study found that Boomers who were more compliant had fewer layoffs than Millennials which may be related to views on obeying the rules. Not all Millennials wear baggy t-shirts and canvas shoes to work. But if you do, maybe it is a good time to clarify your dress code.
10. Understanding Culture
Millennials are so connected. On average, they will check their phone 43 times per day and this “always on” mentality can come in useful. Their job is with maintaining brand awareness, communicating with customers and building relationships with potential clients.
11. Foster Intergenerational Teamwork
Open communication is extremely important in a work environment. Adopting mutual support, understanding and intergenerational dialogue will build greater trust, deeper relationships and higher job satisfaction. Baby Boomers are very concerned with building cohesion and positive social interactions in the workplace. Likewise, Millennials thrive in a team environment and have a tendency to enjoy collaborative work.
12. Guide Them
A study by Bellevue University found that mentors and mentees have more than 20% higher retention rates, saving an estimated $6.7 million in human resource costs. Creating mentoring opportunities can benefit everybody involved while building a larger community and better communication.
Statistics confirm that all generations tend to view a robust relationship between supervisor and employee as a very important indicator of overall job well-being and training satisfaction. But Millennials specifically depend on these relationships to provide guidance.
13. Value a Values Driven Mentality
12% of Baby Boomers say significant work is important to them compared to 30% of Millennials. Millennials tend to pursue personal growth, fulfillment, and the ability to make a significant contribution. Several studies have found that a desire for authenticity is critical because Millennials want to work for companies that align with their personal values. Value-based organizations will be more attractive.
Ask good questions. Each Millennial has a special personality, communication style, skills and motivations. Before assuming what they want or need, ask how they feel about their job, what tasks they dislike, and whether or not they believe their skills are being put to good use. Also ask them to reflect on their career aspirations, what they bring to the team and which work routines are the most productive. Identifying and developing these strengths and habits will benefit everybody involved.
15. Expand the Conversation
Most Millennials are highly involved and highly value teamwork. Adopting a culture of communication that’s more open and allows for all levels of employee input will help Millennials find meaning in their work. Often, businesses are made up of silos and departments. But successful companies recognize the importance of fostering interdepartmental (and intergenerational) conversations because it leads to greater community and innovation. Encouraging conversation can even stop conflict and misunderstandings.
16. Create Structure
In 2017, the youngest generation of Millennials has just entered adulthood. On top of normal “adult stuff” like moving away from microwave meals and applying for a car loan, they may learn appropriate behavior in the office. You can help by clearly defining expectations. Studies show that Millennials want to be part of the decision-making process, want clear expectations for fulfillment, and value organized work settings.
It’s not groundbreaking science and is pretty standard amongst generations. However, if these preferences are absent at work, it can result in higher levels of dissatisfaction and turnover.
17. Identify Multitaskers
Multitasking is the way of the 21st century and this work style can create both opportunities and drawbacks. This work style is natural and customary to Millennials who may often juggle multiple projects concurrently over several different devices. Remind them to slow down and focus on quality.
18. Provide Feedback
Author and former presidential speechwriter, James Humes, said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” Millennials want to be deeply involved and the majority want constant feedback, so having approachable relationships with colleagues and supervisors is critical. 80% want constant feedback from their manager. This expectation of prompt evaluation may be uncomfortable for the older generation who view unhindered communication as acquired by age and experience.
19. Challenge Perceptions of Authority
Unlike Baby Boomers who view managers as experts, Millennials grew up with accessible information at their fingertips. They view managers as coaches and are accustomed to open communication, collaborative work environments and egalitarian structures. Neither Xers nor Millennials are impressed or intimidated by titles and feel that respect from superiors needs to be earned.
They have been taught to ask questions and be critical of information. This comfort with authority can be construed as entitlement or disrespect; however, other scholars argue that generations don’t hold very different views of “formal authority”. Depending on your company culture, you may need to work on this perception of authority.
20. Value of Inclusion
Identified as tolerant and democratic, Millennials desire equality in the workplace. 9 They may struggle with traditional leadership structures and advocate for intergenerational inclusion irrespective of rank. Millennials are the most diversified generation to date and, thanks to technology, they’re the first “global generation.” Some scholars rate variety as one of the top motivating factors in Millennial job searches.
21. Focus on Your Culture
Corporate culture is becoming a more common discussion amongst high performing businesses. As the concept of work develops, employees want a lovely workspace. Millennials value “play” at work more than previous generations and associate fun positively with happiness and high performance. How can your organization incorporate fun into everyday work?
22. Reassessing Career as Identity
“Career” is a very important characterization for Baby Boomers who are known to work 50-60 hour weeks. But for Millennials in general, work is less significant to their identity and they’ve a better work-life balance.
Over generations, the primary importance of work decreased while the desire for more leisure time to pursue hobbies or personal relationships increased. Xers and Millennials do not believe job performance is tied to individual value. If a Millennial wins the lottery, they will likely quit their job while a Boomer will feel obligated to continue working.
23. Acknowledge Humanity
Millennials are parents, pilots, students, travelers, veterans, artists, unemployed, congressmen, and billionaires. They are human beings — men and women, introverts and extroverts, rich and poor — with hopes, fears and goals. Like their parents and grandparents, they balance work, life and relationships. Always remember that irrespective of age, everyone seems to be valuable and worthy of respect.
24. Deal With Problems Immediately
If there are disagreements, miscommunication, or negative vibes at work, address the issues head-on. Regardless of age, some employees are difficult to work with and thrive on drama. Some may even have negative intentions. If a Millennial is really entitled, defiant, or disloyal, take action before the situation gets exponentially worse. Negative team members can quickly lead to a breakdown in morale, loss of valuable staff and decreased productivity. Confrontation should be kind, personal, direct and clear.
25. Inspire Excellence
Millennials are familiar with fascinating content and want influential leaders to instill passion into their daily work. These young creatives are ready to be inspired! You can add 5 minutes to your team meeting dedicated to sharing inspiration that will encourage a healthy perspective, refocus on your mission, and drive excellence.
26. Develop an Entrepreneurial Spirit
59% of Millennials want or have started their own business. They value significant assignments with intrinsic rewards and are willing to work in unconventional ways. This can be an awesome opportunity to invite creative ideas, generate innovative projects, and supply Millennials with a chance to develop leadership skills while engaging their entrepreneurial tendencies.
27. Consider the Similarities
While there are numerous generational differences, there are also many similarities that help form the basis of a common understanding. Studies show that all generations value job stability, competitive compensation, challenging work and good working conditions. Employees want to make a difference in their company. Like other generations, most Millennials value a robust work ethic, having career goals and coping with the challenges of everyday life. Finding and emphasizing similarities can help bridge relational gaps.
28. Imagine Potential
Generation Y is more familiar with group projects and open office spaces than the traditional cream-walled “cube land”. Be open to trying new things for your space. Young companies are choosing less traditional office layouts and moving towards more collaborative and artistic spaces.
29. Forge Meaningful Relationships
Transitioning from a world continuously exposed to technology and social media to navigating everyday work interactions can lead to culture shock. However, Millennials want genuine relationships and they, like older colleagues, value traditional face-to-face communication.
In general, face-to-face physical forms of communication decline with increasing technological choices in each generation. So it is even more important to focus on building working relationships and driving employee engagement to help acquire and retain valuable employees.
30. Cultivate Patience
In the world of Google, Siri, and Amazon Prime, exercising patience is an art. Millennials have been trained to expect instant gratification while the older generation values ranking and getting their promotion. Like every generation before it, the new kids on the block need to be taught patience and a work ethic. Research shows that mastering a job can take up to 10,000 hours or 5 years so patience is key.
31. Set Example
Do you feel your co-workers or employees are acting in an entitled way? Are they inseparable from their phones? Show them a different way. Sending memos or posting rules next to the fridge won’t be as effective as modeling appropriate behavior in person.
32. Allow Errors
Design an inspiring environment that encourages curiosity. Younger employees need experience, guidance and opportunities to contribute. If the environment is too critical and uncomfortable, Millennials can look for work elsewhere.
Thank you for reading this article on how to work with millennials and I actually hope you take my advice to heart. I wish you good luck and that I hope that its content has been a good help to you.