Generation Y, also known as the Millennials, describes those individuals born between 1980 and 1995. This generation possesses an intuitive sense in understanding technology due and brings a much more creative and innovative approach to solving problems than any previous generation before them. This is the generation which cannot imagine life without a cell phone, fast internet, tablets and everything fast.
Millennials are individualistic, innovative, creative, celebrators of diversity, multi-taskers, and write their own rules. They appreciate a structured, supportive work environment with personalized assignments and interactive relationships with their supervisors. Millennials work well in a team environment and prefer to have close relationships with their supervisors to help them feel more confident and supported.
Well, like the majority of those seeking employment in this day and age, millennials are also looking for those well-paying jobs in the corporate field where they have multiple benefits like health insurance, flexi hours, paid holidays and leave days. They want flexible benefits that give them more spending power and the ability to decide what meets their individual needs. It also goes without saying the millennials demand creative work benefits something many of us would recognize as a work-life balance. It is also important to note that millennials are the first generation to embrace benefits technology and at that have revolutionized the organizations the work for. They are happy to use mobile apps.
In this light, every company in this day and age has had the pleasure of working with these millennials not knowing how to manage them at the workforce. Contrary to popular myths that include the notion that millennials have no work ethic, we still need their expertise daily.
You’ve hired Millennials. Now how can you keep them around?
Here are a few tips to manage the Generation Y workforce
- Provide structure. Reports have monthly due dates. Jobs have fairly regular hours. Certain activities are scheduled every day. Meetings have agendas and minutes. Goals are clearly stated and progress is assessed. Define assignments and success factors.
- Provide leadership and guidance. Millennials want to look up to you, learn from you, and receive daily feedback from you. They want “in” on the whole picture and to know the scoop. Plan to spend a lot of time teaching and coaching and be aware of this commitment to millennials when you hire them. They deserve and want your very best investment of time in their success.
- Encourage the millennial’s self-assuredness, “can-do” attitude, and positive personal self-image. Millennials are ready to take on the world. Their parents told them they can do it – they can. Encourage – don’t squash them or contain them.
- Take advantage of the millennial’s comfort level with teams. Encourage them to join. They are used to working in groups and teams. In contrast to the lone ranger attitude of earlier generations, millennials actually believe a team can accomplish more and better. Not just related to age, watch who joins the volleyball match at the company picnic. Millennials gather in groups and play on teams; you can also mentor, coach, and train your millennials as a team.
- Listen to the millennial employee. Your millennial employees are used to loving parents who have scheduled their lives around the activities and events of their children. These young adults have ideas and opinions, and don’t take kindly to having their thoughts ignored. After all, they had the best listening, most child-centric audience in history.
- Millennial employees are up for a challenge and change. Boring is bad. They seek ever-changing tasks within their work. What’s happening next is their mantra. Don’t bore them, ignore them, or trivialize their contribution.
- Millennial employees are multi-taskers on a scale you’ve never seen before. Multiple tasks don’t faze them. Talk on the phone while doing email and answering multiple instant messages – yes! This is a way of life. In fact, without many different tasks and goals to pursue within the week, the millennials will likely experience boredom.
- Take advantage of your millennial employee’s computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy Are you a Boomer or even an early Gen-Xer? The electronic capabilities of these employees are amazing. You have a salesman in China? How’s the trip going? Old timers call and leave a message in his hotel room. Or, you can have your millennial text message him in his meeting for an immediate response. The world is wide, if not yet deep, for your millennial employees.
- Capitalize on the millenial’s affinity for networking. Not just comfortable with teams and group activities, your millennial employee likes to network around the world electronically. Keep this in mind because they are able to post their resume electronically as well on Web job boards viewed by millions of employers. Sought after employees, they are loyal, but they keep their options open – always.
- Provide a life-work balanced workplace. Your millennials are used to cramming their lives with multiple activities. They may play on sports teams, walk for multiple causes, spend time as fans at company sports leagues, and spend lots of time with family and friends.
- Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace. Millennials want to enjoy their work. They want to enjoy their workplace. They want to make friends in their workplace. Worry if your millennial employees aren’t laughing, going out with workplace friends for lunch, and helping plan the next company event or committee. Help your long-term employees make room for the millennials.