Within the next 10 years, millennials will make up 75% of the world’s working population. It’s fair to say that this generation as a whole possesses characteristics and motivations that differ significantly from earlier generations with regards to the workplace. In order to get the most out of their millennial employees, managers need to adapt their management styles to fit this up and coming generation. Here are a few tips to help managers adapt to the needs of the millennial generation.
- Provide opportunities for learning and development.
Millennials have grown up in a culture where they have immediate satisfaction, and they are constantly surrounded by stimuli. They are impatient and eager to seek new experiences and they thrive on short-term goals with visible results. Managers should focus on providing millennials with ample opportunities to learn new skills. They will get bored easily so managers can keep their attention by regularly assigning them new and different projects.
- Offer a flexible work schedule.
If there’s one thing the millennial generation can do well, it’s multitasking. These constantly connected young workers expect flexibility in their work schedules. They do not perform well in an office for 8 hours a day. Rather, this generation does their best work on their own schedule. They are not motivated by the 8-hour work day. They simply care about results. Millennials have expressed their interest in careers that offer a balance between personal and professional life.
- They aren’t motivated by money.
It’s not that millennials don’t care about making money; it’s just not their primary motivation. They value the job itself more than the monetary value. This means they want a job they enjoy, people they like, a relaxed environment, and a flexible schedule. All of these qualities are more attractive to millennials than a paycheck. They are drawn to jobs where they can customize the compensation package with things like extra vacation time, flex hours, discounts, or working from home.
- Give them room to grow.
Unlike the generations before them, millennials are not looking for the job that they work at for the rest of their lives. Generally, they work today thinking about where it will take them tomorrow. They won’t wait around for a promotion or new assignment. This generation doesn’t fear change and will take it upon themselves to go and find the next best thing. Therefore, if you want them to stick around you have to make it worth their while and provide opportunities for growth.
- Act as a mentor, not a boss.
The millennial generation grew up in a more permissive culture so they don’t respond well to traditional structures of authority. They are not keen to managers who follow rigid protocols or displays of power. Rather, they want a manager who acts a mentor and will be approachable and willing to guide them.
- Create a strong work culture.
Millennials are attracted to companies whose values are in line with their own. They want to feel like the work they are doing is making a difference and is worthwhile beyond the paycheck. They are motivated by being a part of something that has a positive impact on the world around them.
- Recognize their need for approval.
Perhaps the most distinct characteristic of this generation is their need for other’s approval. They want to know they are doing a good job and they expect recognition from their superiors and their peers. Their work is an important part of their daily life and they want to know they are doing it well.