The most recent Cpl Resources Employment Market Monitor (Q3 2017) found that 82% of employers believe that Millennials (the generation born between 1980 and 2000) expect more than previous generations, namely: good wages, a sense of purpose in their role, clear communication and the option of flexibility.
Millennials are now a workforce majority and by 2025 will make up 75% of the world's manpower. While they are similar to the other generations in many aspects, they also differ significantly from their older colleagues. As a manager, you need to understand how to adapt your management style to get the best from your millennial employees.
To do that make sure you avoid these mistakes:
Not providing opportunities for learning and development
Millennials think about jobs as opportunities to learn and grow. They expect help from their managers with their own personal development. Coaching management style is more effective with millennial workers than old-fashioned command-control.
Be proactive and initiate conversations about their growth and development to help them understand that they have a place in your company, not only now, but also in the future.
Not offering frequent feedback
Feedback is a hallmark of solid management for any generation. However, multiple studies confirm that millennials are used to getting feedback and want it on an at least monthly basis. Make sure that you provide plenty of timely feedback, both positive and negative, to manage your millennial employees adequately.
Expecting heavy-handed authority to work
Millennials don't respond well to traditional structures of authority, rigorous protocols and managerial displays of power. They expect their leaders to be encouraging and approachable. Don't expect an authoritarian style of leadership to yield results. You will better earn their respect through your professional prestige and consistency of your actions.
Be an inspiring leader, provide a vision, enhance relationships, drive results, and serve as a principled role model.
There's a lack of purpose and passion
Millennials engage with causes that help people, as opposed to corporations lacking a clear vision. They are attracted to companies with strong, consistent company culture and values which are in line with their own. Being part of something important that positively affects their environment motivates them. They need to feel that what they do is worthwhile and has a meaning beyond making money.
Pay without purpose won't cut it for this generation.The team and the mission are more compelling motivators than 'working on the department goals'. Provide purpose and promote passion. Paint the big picture and make it clear how an employee's role fits into the broader whole and why it matters.
There's no work-life balance
Our research found that only 15% of employers had experience of wage levels for new positions being a deal breaker. Instead, they find that new hires are much more interested in establishing work/life balance in their new role.
Millennials are expert multitaskers, their after work schedule is filled with activities, so don't expect them to be willingly tied to an eight-hour office schedule. They don't share the view that the only place that work should be done is an office space and won't allow excessive overtime to eat into their free time. They expect flexibility and autonomy in their work.
Boring them with repetitive tasks
Millennial employees are multitaskers like no other generation. They are up for a change and challenge, so don't bore them giving them same, repetitive tasks to work on. Young employees are drawn to the 'anything is possible' entrepreneurship spirit. Embrace risk and promote learning and experimentation around innovation to let millennials thrive.
Not motivating them
One of this group's most distinctive features is the need for approval. They expect recognition, not only from their superiors, but also (and especially) from their peers. Make sure you notice your employee's efforts, comment on it at a team meeting or in private. Tell your millennial staff how they are progressing towards their goals. This will motivate and inspire them.
Make your millennial employees content in a fun, purposeful, yet structured setting, and you will build the foundation for the productive, engaged and motivated workforce you're looking for.