In a previous Blog Post, we talked about Millennials and how they are the future workforce. The new generation have special skill sets that would benefit any company that wish to stay relevant for years to come. There are many technological changes and advancements that millennials are known to adapt quickly to and understand (ex. Social Media, mobile device capabilities). Millennials are a generation that many will have to understand and adjust management structures to better optimize their skills and talents. Sure, this sounds like they have to be babied a bit and that companies need to bend and change to them, but it’s more of a give and take relationship of equality. Millennials look to make an impact and meaningful contribution, with not much experience (for the most part) that is what an experienced manager and even company can offer. Millennials are now the innovators and instigators of technological advancements so who better to bring in to your company to help keep you around and relevant?
If you are a manager of a millennial (or a few), it is key to understand them and offer an environment for them to thrive in. This way you can leverage their abilities and skills to benefit and accomplish the company’s goals. So now this leads to the question, how can someone motivate and encourage millennials to work for your company? We narrowed a list down to four ways that one can accomplish this.
The first thing to do is the most important, you should approach your employee and have a discussion with them. Find out what they think of the company and where they think it is going. Express or explain the goals you believe the company needs/wants to achieve and proactively work with employees to figure out a path to achieve them. Take everyone’s opinions and suggestions honestly and coordinate accordingly. This step is key in that you are learning what your millennial employee(s) think of the company and its goals and you are also involving them in action plans to achieve those goals. If you don’t involve millennials and make them feel like they are involved and committed to accomplishing these goals, they will just move on to somewhere else where they feel like they are more valued and more importantly, useful. Without this first step, all other steps of motivation are irrelevant.
Second step is to challenge and nurture them. Like I mentioned earlier, many millennials don’t have much experience applying all the skills they learned in their education and various other activities. It’s up to the manager to nurture them and hone those skills and abilities so they can fully apply them, it’s like refining a diamond. The best way to help refine their skillset and abilities is too challenge them, rather than just letting them learn via Trial By Fire it is best to help them along the way and be a guide, after all their success is your success! Encourage and reinforce them positively to do better if they do something wrong and show appreciation and give credit when they succeed! A little “Good Job” or “Keep up the good work!” is sufficient enough to let them know that they are in the right direction, a little appreciation goes a long way.
Third thing is to make them feel like they are a “Family” member in the company. It’s key to have a form of open communication between employees. This really builds a community within the company and it offers up an open forum for employees to ask questions, learn and interact with others. Millennials are known to be a social generation, if you can influence and nurture positive communication and relationships internally, millennials on the outside will take notice and be more enticed to come work for your company!
Finally, don’t be a Micro-Manager. Give millennials space to create and grow their own ideas, let them innovate, take some risks learn from their mistakes; be there to help them along the way but give them space to grow as an individual as well as a professional. Be their guide when needed, Millennials can provide great insight and advice for companies to move forward which can be very beneficial in a world that is more connected and more technologically advanced. All millennials want to do is to succeed and most importantly, make a meaningful impact!
So get millennials involved, give them freedom to grow, guide them through their journey and show them some appreciation and acknowledgment for their achievements. If you can accomplish these things, you should see your company thrive as you prepare for the future and what it holds!