Becoming the Manager Millenials Want

Joe Weinlick
Posted by in Management & Business

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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  • Paula A.
    Paula A.

    Fantastic insights and knowledge

  • Mireya Ribas
    Mireya Ribas

    Yes, they are different because they have parents that really cared about them. That is why millenials care about how well they are treated on the job and how well others are treated. They believe in justice, in general and will work for it online. I have two millenial adult children and I think that they are wonderful people. Their generation is very interesting and gives me hope for the future of the USA and the world.

  • Judith C.
    Judith C.

    Great points to lead by.

  • Christopher W.
    Christopher W.

    These are good points, but I have to confess that they were also true decades ago. Nothing has really changed from an employee perspective. Employees, not just Millennials, have always needed to feel appreciated at both the professional and personal level -- and smart managers and companies did this. About the only different from what I expected when I started my career in the 80's is the opportunity for flextime and remote working (though folks like Marissa Mayer of Yahoo are trying to eliminate those things now).

  • Meghan F.
    Meghan F.

    I'm a GenX and I want most of those things from my Manager.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Robert thanks for the comment and glad that this article can help you out. Best of luck in your new business.

  • Robert C.
    Robert C.

    I'm a Mellinial in the process of starting my own business, and I could tell you this article is what every business owner needs to read. It will provide you with the info to establish an extremely positive work environment and show your employees they are important and not some item to be thrown away or replaced. In turn you'll see an upside in production and service not to mention a dedicated employee that will go above and beyond your companies policies and procedures. Thanks for the great insight.

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