The millennial generation has been entering the workplace and is not interested in the status quo. Gone are the days where flexible schedules, work mobility and challenging projects were earned over time rather than requested in the interview. Many people would say that this is because the millennial generation has the expectation that the perfect job, and career opportunities, will be handed over with little required effort.
But were previous generations that different when they entered the work force? Each generation has its aspirations and as a result, challenges for the established work force. Millennials are no different and you can use these five principles to lead millennials with success:
- Management isn’t enough: No one, in any generation, likes to be managed. Millennials are particularly distasteful of this. Teaching and coaching your millennial employees is crucial, they want to be “in the know”.
- Purpose Empowers: Passion and purpose are at the core of the millennial generation. They don’t just want to work for a paycheck, they want to love and enjoy what they do. As a leader, it is important to identify what your millennial employees are passionate about and use it. You will get their best work by harnessing their passion.
- Encouragement is King: Some consider this generation coddled. That does not mean that you need to baby your employees but you do need to find ways to encourage them. Build a positive environment, built on trust and honest feedback and millennials will take it from there.
- Blurred Lines: The work-life balance is a myth to the millennial generation. There is no “work time”. There is no “life time”. Each piece of this is interconnected but the millennial generation does still value a balance. This is where the requests for flexible scheduling, work mobility, remote offices, etc. come into play. Rather than force an 8-5 (plus overtime) office bound job, embrace some flexibility. It will benefit you in the end.
- Teamwork is back stronger than ever: Millennials enjoy and benefit from working on a team. They enjoy collaboration and desire the opportunity to be heard. Use this skills by assigning millennial employees multiple, and differing, project types.
Leading millennials is not an oxymoron, but how you lead them will likely require making some adjustments in how you think and what you do. And remember, regardless of the generation we are a part of, we all appreciate someone who believes in us and helps us succeed in the workplace.