With a new generation of workers comes a new set of challenges for managers and organizations. Millennials are different than their predecessors; successful supervisors should recognize this and adapt their management style to better suit what millennials want. Consider these six tips for managing millennials.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Millennials want managers that offer personal interaction. Being mindful means being aware of your employees' goals and being involved in their day-to-day activities. Many millennials crave a connection with supervisors who aren't just focused on company profits and personal gain. Practice a nonjudgmental approach with your employees, putting your own thoughts and feelings on hold to fully understand those of your subordinates.
2. Be a Mentor
Walk the line between being a manager and a mentor to your employees. Millennials want to feel comfortable to confide in their superiors, especially about their aspirations for future success. Rather than treating employees as though they need to be controlled, strike an appropriate balance by mentoring subordinates with a promising outlook.
3. Offer Flexibility
Rather than being swayed by pay rates and bonuses, millennials want flexibility in their work life. If you're looking for incentives or rewards to motivate hardworking employees, consider offering flextime or occasional telecommuting days.
4. Assign a Variety of Work
Millennials are more satisfied with their careers when they're given the opportunity to face new challenges. Members of Generation Y often feel bored by the same job duties every day, so provide a variety of work. Give your subordinate a new project, or let him work with a new team on occasion.
5. Provide Feedback
Millennials want to know how they're doing in their job roles and want to know that they're on the right track. As a manager, schedule performance reviews every six to 12 months to discuss your employees' duties and provide feedback. Feedback from peers is valuable as well; let co-workers provide informal evaluations after team projects are completed. Hold brief meetings with your employees every week to provide support and discuss the status of current projects.
6. Focus on the Future
Professional development is very important to millennials. Provide your employees with regular opportunities for career growth. Talk to your subordinates about their future career goals, and give them information about professional certifications, degrees or tuition-reimbursement programs offered by your organization. When a company or its managers show interest in the professional development of employees, it creates a more loyal workforce that's easier to retain.
With so many millennials entering the workforce, it's vital that organizations know what millennials want in order to retain these Generation Y employees. When managing millennials, be successful by acting as a mentor and providing valuable feedback to your employees. Millennials appreciate a future-focused supervisor that promotes new experiences.
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