Managing millennials in the workplace

Managing millennials in the workplaceIt goes without saying, millennials tend to operate from a different mindset than other employees. They tend to be more digitally savvy, with the younger cohort of millennials not knowing anything other than a digital world.

Millennials have been told to “pursue their passion” by their teachers and parents, making them eager to take on the world at a young age. Whether fair or not, they have been labeled “narcissistic”, “entitled” and the “me-generation.”

Therefore, management, employee communications, and engagement with these workers will be very different than working with others. Whether working in a retail store, restaurant or corporate office, old models just won’t do the trick.

Managing and retaining these budding professionals? Here are five tips to help you better manage and engage with millennials.

1. Increase employee communication by providing a host of different channels

Millennials behavior, more than any other generation, is to communicate through a variety of communication channels. In order to engage with them, you will have to connect with your employees digitally in order to get your messages across. (Fortunately: Red e App can help bridge the employee communication gap, whether it’s staff to staff or management to staff). Of course, when you have to critique an employee, or worse, fire them, do that face-to-face. If not, you end up in the news for less than flattering reasons.

2. Support their ambitions

Perhaps the millennial is in the job of their dreams. But more than likely, your company and role for them is a stepping-stone to something else. Make sure to show that you care about the millennial’s hopes and dreams, perhaps by putting them in a learning situation that focuses on the task at hand. For instance, if a college business student is working as a sales staffer at your retail store, give them the opportunity to go over the P&Ls and to get involved in the hiring process (if possible and within reason).

3. Make the employee feel a sense of purpose

The millennial generation, more than any other, works for more than a paycheck. They want to work for a company that shares their values, makes a difference in other’s lives, and allows them feel like a valuable part of the puzzle. Find ways to show them they’re not a dime a dozen, and be sure to praise them when they do a good job.

4. Transparency is paramount

Also key to feeling a sense of purpose is involving millennials in the company’s big picture goals and sharing with them the logic driving the goals. Don’t keep them out of the loop just because they are at the bottom of the totem pole. Give them as much information as you can about the inner-workings of the company. By doing so, you build up a trust with your employees, who will in turn show more loyalty and dedication to their job.

5. Forget the hierarchy talk

Millennials, like anyone at the beginning of their career, bounce more frequently from job-to-job compared to older employees. If you want to retain young talent, get out of the rigid hierarchy mindset and give millennials as much responsibility as they’re ready to handle. Employees will show more loyalty and productivity if they can develop their skillset and take on substantive tasks.

Have more questions on employee communication and management concerning millennials? Drop us a note in the comments below.

Jonathan Erwin
Founder and CEO

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