Millennials have recently started transforming the work culture. When it comes to work they are significantly different from their previous generations, since they’re the ones who have grown up in the Internet era, and are both tech-savvy and knowledgeable. However, they are also the generation who are known to be governed by their own whims and fancies and are often difficult to manage and even to retain.
Undoubtedly, millennials need to be managed differently and we’ve tried to make things easier for you as a manager. Here’s a list of a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to managing millennials.
1. Be Flexible
Since millennials have grown up in the Internet era, they have a different way of doing things. They are both tech-savvy and result-oriented and can do things far more easily than the previous generations. It’s because of these traits millennials usually demand the option of working remotely. They believe that the location shouldn’t matter as long as they get the work done. Be flexible when it comes to such requests. It should be noted that organizations with flexible work from home policies have greater success in attracting and retaining millennials as compared to those that don’t encourage such requests.
2. Give them the freedom to innovate
Millennials are full of ideas and they tend to see the world differently. It doesn’t make sense to hire them and then train them to think differently. As a boss you should gauge their potential and find ways to help them implement their ideas. Involve them in different activities and take their advice from time-to-time. You’d be surprised how their innovative ideas can even solve some of the most complex business issues.
3. Transform organizational goals into their personal goals
Millennials are hungry for growth. So to get the most out of them make them feel that their contributions are not only benefiting the company but are also adding to their personal growth. Millennials work harder for themselves than the company. It’s a given that when employees feel a sense of personal purpose, they end up performing exceptionally well. And they also enjoy themselves while doing it. While dealing with millennials, as a boss you need to know them well enough to tap their personal, and not just their professional side.
4. Let them make their own decisions
The best person to make decisions isn’t always the boss, but the employee closest to the issue. Millennials are highly-independent and the right to make decisions means a lot to them. To be a good boss to millennials you need to be decisive but in a different way. You need to decide who the right people are for making the necessary decisions.
5. Provide support
Millennials are emotion-driven and support means a lot to them. Give them the freedom to innovate and let them know that you have their back if things go wrong. Allow them to learn their own lessons, because in reality the only lessons we tend to remember are the ones we learn on our own. If at all things go wrong, then don’t scold or dictate; instead work together with them to figure out what happened and what to do to correct that mistake. Focus on finding a better way, not a disciplinary way.
6. Forgive quickly
While it’s easy to view an employee through the perspective of a mistake he makes, it is important to understand that one mistake, or one shortcoming, is just one part of the whole person. If you want to be a good boss to a team of millennials then step back, set aside the mistake, and think about them as individuals. Try forgetting the mistake as quickly as possible, because viewing an employee through the lens of one incident may impact how you treat them forever and this certainly doesn’t help when you’re dealing with millennials.
If you follow the above-mentioned pointers, then you’re sure to get better at dealing with your team of millennials. Leadership isn’t the least bit easy and there are times when things will be far more challenging, especially when you’re handling a team of millennials. We understand that as a leader, you have many things to worry about- employees, customers, finances, growth, etc. But in the middle of all this you must remember to treat your employees with sensitivity and empathy. After all, the success of your organization depends largely on your workforce.
We at Challenging Horizons provide specialized training programs to help managers to empower their team of millennials. We create customized solutions to cater to the most specific issues and take full responsibility for transformation.