Managing Millennials

3 Realities in Managing Millennials

The Millennials...they’re sociable, talented, well-educated, and collaborative. They’re open-minded, influential, and achievement-oriented. They’ve always felt sought after and perhaps indispensable. They’ve been arriving in our workplaces with high expectations for both themselves and their managers.

Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?!

Why do today’s managers struggle with these new up and comers?

There are three realities all business leaders should and must face in today’s multi-generational workplace:

Reality #1 - Millennials are growing in numbers and influence.

Currently Millennials make up about 35% of today’s U.S. workforce. Born between 1982 and 2001, Millennials are fast approaching 30 and beginning to swamp our workplaces. And their influence on our work cultures is increasing with their deeply rooted technology skill set.

Reality #2 - Talented employees need great managers!

Talented young employees may join your company because of its creative, flexible culture or commitment to career development, but how long the young and talented stay and how productive they are, is determined by their relationship with their manager.

 In Next Generation’s research among 20-40 year-olds, when asked, “Why did you leave your last job,” the most common responses all fall into one category: bad management.

Reality #3 - The next generation may - and likely does - see the world differently than their managers.

Too often managers quickly chalk up difficulties among teams in the workplace to different levels of experience. Although levels of experience can cause hiccups in the workplace, sometimes the issues occurring are more related to generational differences than experience.

The fact is most Millennials are simply looking for a different style of management. What they seek in a manager is different from what their managers sought in a boss.

Millennials value coaching and feedback. They want to know what the expected outcome is and the best way to achieve it from past experience. They are team oriented. They want to be invited into the conversation and given the opportunity to provide input. They value structure AND flexibility (I know, right?!).

The realities are that Millennials will continue to invade our workplaces and managers need to provide them opportunities to succeed and grow - they need to get back to some basics and manage!

By Molly Foley, Next Generation Consulting
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