Essential Things to Keep in Mind When Managing Millennials

Millennials comprise a substantial segment of the workforce. That means a person in a managerial role will probably find themselves leading employees who are part of that generation. Much is said about how millennials represent a stark contrast from older people. They have different values than their parents and grandparents, and they often expect a different work environment, too. Thus, understanding some key points about managing millennials is crucial for workplace leaders. 

They Appreciate Frequent Feedback

An annual, or even quarterly, performance review is likely not enough to keep millennials satisfied. One thing that makes them different from others is that millennials thrive on frequent feedback. Letting them know how they’re doing on a per-project basis or getting into a routine of checking in with them every two weeks gives them chances to make corrections often rather than potentially getting swamped by a poor performance review driven by mistakes they’d unknowingly made for months. 

Managers should consider the best ways to give feedback in less formal settings than the typical performance review. For example, offering improvement tips via email, or asking millennials to review a spreadsheet with comments about each project, are two excellent places to start. 

They’ll Likely Eagerly Take Part in a Mentorship Program

Mentorship is a big deal to millennials. If managers are seriously thinking about doing things to help millennials grow in the workforce, they should weigh the pros and cons of launching a mentor-based program for millennials. Getting ongoing advice from a peer in the company that’s in a more-senior position can help millennials feel inspired and help them imagine what’s in store for them if they keep working hard. 

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Moreover, a mentorship program gives millennials the tools they need to independently steer their career growth path. The people serving as mentors help point them in the right direction, but the overall goal is to show millennials they already have what it takes to keep getting better, month by month and year by year. 

The way many millennials love mentorship programs connects to another trait, which is that they often favor collaboration over competition. Decades ago, people spent their time climbing the workplace ladder and didn’t care who they might knockdown in the process. That’s different now as millennials frequently showcase the spirit of working together. 

They Love Taking Part in Efforts for the Greater Good

Many millennials agree it’s no longer appealing enough to find a job that pays them enough to live comfortably. Eyal Gutentag, the chief marketing officer for ZipRecruiter, likely understands that well since his company helps connect employers with well-qualified candidates. Attracting a millennial to a new job often means highlighting how the enterprise’s efforts help make the world a better place. 

Another characteristic that strongly suggests Gutentag understands what makes millennials tick is his use of hashtags. If you research the topic of millennial management and come across this executive’s LinkedIn profile, you’ll likely see some of these social media identifiers strategically inserted within the content. Millennials often embrace the hashtags associated with social movements that gain traction. They love associating themselves with broad efforts to cause positive changes.

The same holds true when millennials decide whether to take or stay at jobs. They gauge whether the company is obviously engaged in efforts to improve the world, one step at a time. All that said, motivating millennials means emphasizing how they are crucial parts of the company’s goal to stand out by giving back. 

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This overview shows that even the most seasoned managers cannot necessarily stick with tried-and-true philosophies and techniques as they engage with millennials at work. Some of those older methods may still prove fruitful, but it’s more likely that managers will need to adjust their mindsets and their approaches to best connect with people from the millennial generation.

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