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“Where is Charles? Has anyone seen Charles?” Tony asked everyone at the meeting. Being one of the youngest in the room, I knew our CEO was not too fond of managing millennials, substantiated by his next question to me, “What is it with you millennials?”
This wasn't the first time I was asked. And to my superior's credit – he had a point. There's an evident generation gap in the workforce affecting every single business, including yours.
According to Gallup, only 29% of millennials are engaged in their jobs. With a projected 75% making up the workforce by 2025, managing millennials should be high on everyone's task list. If you haven't asked yourself, "So how exactly do you manage millennials?" now is the time.
Consider implementing these three management strategies right away and set your company on a stronger path.
1) Get New Perspective
I have been with companies that flourished due to championing millennials and their perspective. I have also seen companies miss vital insights from the younger demographic due to their narrow views of millennials. So, if you have written off most millennials as lazy, unable to focus, and downright ineffective – throw that perspective away. Whether you believe it or not, perception is a powerful influencer.
A negative perception of millennials leaves untapped potential on the table. Especially when the perception may not accurately portray the millennials that work for you. According to Inc.com, many of the perceptions believed about millennials are inaccurate – from what they want from work, to what makes them successful, and more.
Try to stay open-minded when working with your younger colleague. Develop an accurate picture of who they are by getting to know them.
2) Get Personal
“I'm so sorry. What was your name again?” I cringe just thinking about it. As honest as my mistake was in forgetting my volunteer's name, I learned a tremendous lesson that day: Making one person feel known and special on your team will build culture. Failing to do so will tear down culture – there's no in-between.
By getting to know everyone's name, you see individuals with their own dreams, families, and lives, instead of just another body working for you. I am as guilty as the next leader focusing on tasks, goals, and vision. All the while, I forget the people who make the mission come to fruition. We mustn't forget that people are our most precious resource.
So how do you manage millennials? Ask the simple questions like...
- What's your name?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your dreams and goals?
You may find what Gallup found – when millennials connect their purpose with their job and become engaged, money is less of a motivational driver. In other words, millennials prioritize their purpose over a paycheck. So let's get personal with millennials and help them see their purpose in your company.
3) Get Coaching
While we're at it, let's go ahead and dispel one more myth about millennials. Many believe millennials despise accountability - if there's a way to dodge it, they'll try! This isn't quite the case. According to a recent Gallup article, millennials want to be held accountable for their work. 56% of millennials who are held accountable at work are engaged. Simply put, if you want engagement from Millennials - hold them accountable.
Millennials, at least the majority, do not expect advancement or have a sense of entitlement. Millennials want coaches that hold them to high standards. They want to do their best and grow as employees and people. So, help them see their strengths and weaknesses. Point out where they have room for improvement and encourage them.
How do you manage millennials? Simple. Get New Perspective. Get Personal. Get Coaching. As the famous adage by Theodore Roosevelt says: “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Not sure if your millennials enjoy coming to work each day? Find out using our FREE Culture Assessment. In less than two weeks you’ll have the pulse on your culture.