Managing millennials

As millennials slowly become the main demographic of theworkforce, it is important for managers and employers to recognise the culturalchanges that they will bring to the workplace. The millennial generation hasbeen labelled many things in the last decade, most of it uncomplimentary, butthey have a wide range of abilities that businesses need for the future.Bringing the best out of millennials will mean updating management views andengaging more closely with this generation.

Provide flexibility

As digital natives, millennials see technology as providinginfinite opportunities for disrupting the way people work. The idea of timelogged at a desk as an indicator of productivity is antiquated and doesn’t fitwith the millennial imperative of working to live, rather than living to work.Smart businesses experiment with work-based models, rather than simply thenumber of hours chained to a desk. Allowing employees to choose when and wherethey work may yield greater results, both in terms of the projects and employeehappiness.

Create a teamenvironment

No one likes their job to feel like they’re back in school. Businessesfunction best with the free flow of ideas and knowledge, regardless of thesource. The traditional business hierarchy, with KPIs and politics, often meansthat there is more concern about fighting for their patc of territory as amanager or older team member, rather than finding the best solution. Creatingan open atmosphere where the oldest team member can learn from the youngest,and vice versa, will help everyone feel valued and teach people new skills. Asa manager, the simplest way to create this type of team is to forget thestereotypes. Ultimately, each person is an individual, regardless of their age,and any input should be assessed solely on its merits, not the source.

Provide a path

Having grown up in a world of corporate spin and pushymarketing, millennials are less inclined to be impressed by trendy perks. Sure,a table tennis set might make for a fun lunchtime diversion, but if that’s alla role has going for it then your millennial employee will soon be looking forsomething more satisfying. They want to feel that their work has purpose and isleading them onto something bigger and better as they grow into their role.This is why millennials are attracted to the start-up environment and thechance to see just how their work fits into the big picture. Allowing youremployees to help drive the direction of the company and see where their workleads is a powerful motivator for employee happiness and retention, andbuilding a positive environment.

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