Millennials are defined as the children of baby boomers. By 2020 they
will make up 20% of the global workforce. Do they expect to be managed
differently? Yes, more engaged, more involved and more valued. They
may appear to welcome the demise of the traditional corporate culture
with its emphases on hierarchy and time served in favour of a more
sink or swim culture where its possible to rise very rapidly. But they
still want support and structure as many are concerned that the pace
of change can make their organisation feel confusing and appear chaotic.
To those who say youth was always impatient, favours the new over the
old, gets frustrated that they have something to say and no one is
listening and expects rewards to come more quickly I say harness the
energy and enthusiasm. Otherwise you may lose out.
Millennials as a generation are just following a well established
trend the difference is that as the pace of change has become so much
faster the rate at which the next generations expectations change is
also much faster.
What can we take from what we currently do that would be valued by
the millennials? Mentoring for all. Delegation when ever possible.
Communication to inform all. (not need to know).Responsibility as grow
not once promoted.
Millennials like the rest of us need support and guidance but even
more so in a sink or swim culture. Rather than look to the traditional
line manager as their predecessors would have, they need to be
provided with a mentor who may or may not work for the same
organisation. It does not have to be someone with a back ground in
their field of work , better if it isn’t, because this is not about
technical or professional advice but people skills, managing your
career and avoiding corporate potholes.
Millennials are confident sometimes over confident they demand more
responsibility and expect a culture of delegation, its sink or swim
after all so how can they prove themselves if not thrown in. Of course
there needs to be management over sight, no point in setting people up
to fail, but don’t hold the individual back just because the group has
yet to catch up.
Millennials don’t accept the need to know philosophy of management
info. If they have a question they expect an answer. So for instance
if informed of a decision they would expect to be told the thinking
behind this decision not simply told senior management have decided.
This of course is not about whether they agree with the rational but
to ensure they understand it.
Much of how you manage millennials is about existing best practise
but as HR know there is often a gap between theory and practice.
Blair Mcpherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk