Three-fourths of workers are going to be millennials by 2025. Now that is not a distant future. That means all of us would need to learn how to manage millennials in the workplace at some point.
Hence before we start, let’s chuck away all our negative assumptions on millennials characteristics. It’s time to change our mindset instead, to harness their fullest potential.
#1 Provided Learning Opportunities
The millennials are native users of technology. While they’re tech-savvy, the downside is that they can be easily bored. Hence, a job with limited learning opportunities would kill their interest and send them off running.
To solve this, design a career path that is perpetually challenging by stages. A video-game cohort, they understand what it means to level up. Hence, provide clear goals and expectations to clear the stage. And by definition, you can decide what that means. Just make it a S. M. A. R. T. goal. You’ll be surprised by how well many will receive this concept.
Make sure they are challenged beyond their targets or ambitions. For example, if they want to double their salary in five years, make it three years. The key is to increase their perception of self-value. How much can they contribute to earning that from the company?
Also, provide the opportunity for them to grow their talent or interest. To give you an idea, for example, Google encourages the employees to use 20% of their time on side projects. Who knows? These projects may short-circuit your system and make work more effective.
#2 Coached to be Self-motivated
The millennial generation may grow up to be praise junkies due to the coddling of Baby Boomers parents. Just look at the games today. Every bit of success is rewarded with a “Good job!” or “You are doing great!”
While many experts agree to enable such habit, I believe this only hinders their maturity. People succeed not because of a cheering crowd but perseverance despite a jeering one. We can’t always have a cheerleader on our worse days.
Hence, coach your millennial to identify and use his or her innate strengths, talents and passions to motivate oneself. Once found, they can become an independent dynamic force instead of depending on the external stimulus.
Of course, for balance, you also do need to set aside time at least once a month (or even once a week) to do a feedback review with them. They thrive best in feedback, in addition to a close and open relationship with their manager. Be careful though that you don’t become friends. This can be done by maintaining a coaching time period.
#3 Guided to Find Purpose and Meaning
Does your company have strong values? And are they apparent in your daily operations? If your millennial could see that and they’re in sync with their personal compass, then he or she will naturally personalise and internalise them. They find purpose and meaning at work.
Congratulations if that happens! You got yourself someone passionate about work – willing to spend her time and energy in furthering the cause.
That is why it is important to have an equally strong branding voice to attract the right millennial into your company. Beyond just pay, millennials are shown to value more a good working environment with strong values.
With these ways, the millennial generation can truly mature to their fullest potential. Not only you earn their respect and loyalty, but they will also run your company like their own. Get ready to be amazed by them.