While managers do not have to go out of their way to work with millennials, the fact is that younger employees’ priorities and work styles differ from older generations.
That means company leaders have to take a different approach to guide, lead, teach, and work with millennials. Catering to an employee’s style better ensures that the employee reaches her or his full professional potential.
Here are a few insights into working with workers born between 1980 and 2000.
Provide a Work-Life Balance
All employees like to have a proper balance between their professional life and their personal life, but this is especially true for millennials. Rather than think of this as giving younger workers more time off, what this balance looks like is allowing employees the opportunity to work from home and the chance to work according to their schedule.
After all, not everyone is at their most productive during traditional work hours.
Give Opportunities for Professional Development and Learning
Engage millennial employees’ minds to keep them interested in their work. This means changing up their job duties now and then, which can help them learn something new, even if the duties are only temporary.
Don’t hesitate to assign workers to different projects, or at least offer them the opportunity. Marketing leaders like Eyal Gutentag can tell you that proper mental stimulation not only benefits both the company and the employee, it also gives workers a reason to remain with their current company rather than seek out their desired stimulation elsewhere.
Focus on More Than Salary
Having a generous salary is great, but it’s not the only reason younger job candidates accept a job offer. Besides compensation, also focus job offers on your company culture, opportunities to advance, and the compensation package.
Millennial applicants may want to go back to school to earn a degree or certificate, which can benefit you just as much as them, so let them know if you offer tuition assistance. You could also provide other learning opportunities, such as paying for employees to attend conferences or networking events.
Be a Mentor, Not a Boss
You want to learn the finer points of managing millennial’s, but do not take the “manager” aspect too seriously. Rather than give younger workers orders and boss them around, look for opportunities to teach them something new.
Employees prefer to be mentored rather than given commands day in and day out. Note of employee potential and interest, and cater job duties and opportunities that serve as a natural match. Take steps to make yourself approachable, empathetic, and encouraging. Remember, you want to earn respect, not demand it.
Rather than go to great lengths to get younger employees off social networks, look for ways to benefit from their inclinations. For instance, rather than have older employees teach younger ones, have millennial employees teach older workers how to use new technology.
Ask millennial employees if they could recommend specific technological devices, apps, or software that could make your office more efficient and/or productive.
A slight tweak to your managing style could be all it takes to work with millennials. See how your company could benefit from the power of the younger workforce.