It’s 2020, and Millenials are one of the largest groups in the workforce. I have heard many misconceptions about this generation. I’ve heard this age group described as lazy, needy, and addicted to technology. In my time managing millennials, I’ve found them to be motivated, driven, and efficient when they are respected and managed well. Working with any generation has pros and cons. “To succeed as a manager, you must learn to understand what drives your team and appeal to their mindset.” — Eyal Gutentag
Regardless of the generation I’m managing, I have found that when you focus on an employee’s strengths, they perform better. In addition, if you examine the way they think, and ask what drives them, you will find more productive ways to utilize them. Millennials can be incredibly creative, quick, imaginative, and savvy.
When managing anyone, regardless of age, you should consider the individual at hand. Don’t assume or stereotype. Each employee is unique and will respond to direction in different ways. Here are some advantages of managing millennials I have found in my time leading them.
Millennials want to contribute in an efficient and significant way.
In general, millennials are a group that had very involved parents. This means that they do well with regular feedback and appreciate being acknowledged for their contributions. They want to understand how they are impacting the company and feel that their work is important. This attention helps talent feel recognized, but also drives them to further engage with the work at hand.
Some managers misunderstand the millennial desire for feedback to be “needy.” In my experience, this group is happiest when they feel that their job is significantly improving both the company and their career development. They also thrive when they feel they are being efficient and using their time wisely. They don’t want to waste their energy on the wrong tasks. These traits can only benefit your organization. On the other hand, not all feedback needs to be positive. Constructive negative feedback can still make millennial employees feel like their work matters, and drive them to perform at a higher level.
Millennials have strong social values.
Most millennials hope that their energy will have a greater impact. They can be very idealistic and often value work that improves the world around them in some way. A strong manager can tap into this feeling of social responsibility. Millennials tend to care about issues like diversity, community, politics, and sustainability. If you cultivate a work environment that shares these values, you can create a company that this generation wants to get behind. Work together for the greater good, and you will find your millennial employees going the extra mile.
Millennials respond well to clear direction
The biggest takeaway I have from managing this generation is that they appreciate clear direction. They expect direct communication and don’t respond well when expectations are vague. Millennials are very result-driven. They want clear goals and to understand the motivation behind them. When they truly understand the purpose of a task, they are further inspired to complete it. It makes it easier for them to feel successful at work, something all employees inherently crave.
This is one of the advantages of managing millennials — you can tell them exactly what you want them to achieve. Of course, be respectful, and don’t micromanage. But usually, the more specific you are with the result you are looking for, the better they will perform. Ideally, you should let the employee know the outcome you are expecting, but allow them autonomy in how they get there. This allows them to utilize their creativity while delivering results in a productive way.
With this mindset, you can help your team feel appreciated and valued as they get the job done. Use the right approach, and you can experience the advantages of managing millennials and grow your company in an effective way. — Eyal Gutentag
Originally published at https://www.eyalgutentag.com on January 22, 2020.