How to work with Millennials
The term “Millennial” refers to those young individuals that aged to legal age in the new millennium, or any person born between the year 1981 to 1995. Many researchers, including Genevieve Diesing agree that in order for employers to work more effectively with Millennials, superiors must do everything they can to get on the same page with their Millennial employees. This generation, unlike many others, has the increased need to feel they are part of something greater than just their daily duties and responsibilities. The “dictator” type of supervision does not really work with this generation; therefore, employers must implement process changes in order to have improved working relationships with Millennial employees.
Because Millennials are the generation that just can’t sit still, having a Millennial in a cubicle from 9 to 5 every day can many times prove to be counterproductive to organizations. These young individuals like (and will if given the opportunity) to work from anywhere and at any time that best suits their lifestyles. It is important for employers to recognize this and give them the opportunity to work remotely from home and/or share an office space with other team members, Implement this and you will see an increase in your organizational creativity and productivity.
Millennials often relate thoroughly with members of other generations. These youngsters are not usually only drawn to people from their same generation. They usually tend to respect older individuals, especially if there are co-workers with increased knowledge and experience within their organization. If your organization has team members that work well in this type of environment, employers must ensure that they take full advantage of this and have them work together. It can generate an increased alliance between them and encourage teamwork throughout the organization.
Millennials like to feel that they have achieved their goals and, in addition, get bored easily. This is why participating in long-term projects can make them less motivated. A good solution to this problem would be to adopt Agile type processes, where larger projects can be divided into several sub-projects. Millennials also like to have constant feedback in everything they do. Therefore, it is extremely important that employers’ check-in and meet with them every so often, in order to evaluate processes and results. Frequently changing the dynamics of the team can also be very motivating to Millennials.
Consider their feedback
In general, Millennials are very critical and open to offering suggestions that sometimes can go against the currently established processes and procedures. Although Millennials will most likely give their opinions without being asked, it is advisable that employers create an open communication system in which they are able to easily and effectively generate and express their ideas. Remember, the most important part is to just listen to what they have to say. Even if what they are suggesting is not entirely possible to implement.
Make technology readily available
Something that could discourage a Millennial is to find themselves working in an organization where the technology is outdated and/or prohibited; in fact, they could consider this company as being archaic and not very innovative. Therefore, employers should consider allowing employees to be able to access social networking and other technological systems in order for Millennials to be more effective and use these as work tools to enhance their jobs. If employers decide to offer these incentives, their Millennial employees will most likely become the greatest ambassadors of the company’s brand. It is also important to offer flexible work environments, where employees can enjoy working remotely.
Create an encouraging work environment
The impression these employees have of their current workplace will have a very important impact on Millennial's perception of their organizations. If at all possible, employers must focus heavily on how their office spaces are organized in their current locations. Small things, such as decorating the office with relaxing artwork and creating open areas for alternative workspaces can pay huge dividends. One option could be to eliminate traditional cubicles all together and replace them with long tables, without divisions and barriers. This will foster a culture of collaboration and can even save your company a lot of money.
Along with the physical space modifications, it is important to promote Millennial's creativity through the development of projects. For example, many companies allow their employees to spend part of their work daytime relaxing; Google is known for its policy in which for 20 percent of working time, employees can develop their own projects. Facebook does the same, giving their employees an opportunity to learn, develop and achieve the goals of the company in an unconventional way.
And let’s not forget Millennial's pay: Although salary is important, it is not the most significant factor in attracting and retaining them. Millennials pay special attention to business culture and seek to work in a place where they can learn and develop, both professionally and personally.