Much has been written in
recent times regarding working with millennials. Questions arise lately as to what
do you feel to be the one or two primary challenges with managing millennials?
Or what tips do you have for managing them? Do you think that millennials make
a good fit for our industry? The question is not only the challenges with
managing millennials; the challenge is managing in a multi-generational
workplace inclusive of Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y millennials, and the few Veterans, Silent, Traditionalists that are still in the
work force. Millennials do play and important role that affects our overall
Knowing their ethic, values and
workplace characteristics gives us valuable insights into what our management
style should address. Rieva Lesonsky breaks them down for us in “How to Manage
Employees from every generation” as;
(born between 1946
and 1964) are extremely job-focused. They
value security and stability, and appreciate clearly stated goals and tasks.
They prefer to communicate through in-person meetings and emails.
Gen X (born roughly between 1965 and
1981) values work-life balance and independence, they are adaptable and
resourceful, and most have learned to use digital technology and communicate
with the latest tech tools.
Gen Y/Millennials (born roughly between 1982
and 2001) are described by one expert in ZDNet’s article as “Gen X on steroids.”
They value work-life balance and flexibility even more than Gen X. They also
seek freedom and want to be treated as equals from their first day on the job.
This generation doesn’t fear authority, and seeks challenging and meaningful
work. And they’re the most tech-savvy of the three groups, preferring to
communicate quickly via texting and IM.”
find that with my staff in general needs to be lead rather than managed. There
needs to be a sense of purpose and importance to what they are doing. Long gone
are the days of saying, “Do it because I told you too.” Those of the Veterans,
Silent, Traditionalists generation (1922-1945) may have accepted that kind of
managing (if you can call it managing).
“Don’t even try to manage Millennials, the largest generation
in the workforce. Lead them. Yes Virginia, those born just before the turn of
this last century are different. They cannot be managed the way other
generations have been managed. They must be inspired and enabled through BRAVE
leadership”, writes George Bradt Forbes Leadership 5/27/14.
Bradt goes on to say, “Millennials, born after 1980 and
before 2000, are children of baby boomers. Their parents doted on them, heaping
them with praise and building up their own sense of self-worth. Their childhoods
were filled with structured activities. While that has certainly happened to
some children before, this is the first Internet generation with all that
My team and I have found
if things are explained, if there’s an understanding as to the importance of
why there is less resistance to change. Staff wants to know where in the “big
picture” what they do fits in. How does what they do effect the overall patient
Susan M. Heathfield Human
Resources Expert explains,
are used to working in teams and want to make friends with people at work.
Millennial employees work well with diverse coworkers.” We over the past
several years have employed the team concept and have found it to be a success.
It is especially effective when teaming up season workers with new staff. All
teams have been trained and are interchangeable.
outlined that millennials will need to be provided
structured assignments and success factors that
are defined. Millennials will need to be provided leadership and guidance and they deserve and want your
very best investment of time in their success. Encourage the millennial’s self-assuredness, “can-do” attitude,
and positive personal self-image. Millennials are ready to take on the
world. Their parents told them they can do it – they can. Encourage – don’t
squash them or contain them. Take
advantage of the millennial’s comfort level with teams. Encourage them to join.”
People from 5 GenerationsRebecca Knight
Rebecca Knight in the Harvard Review outlines principles to remember when
dealing with generational issues;
Experiment with mixed-age teams and reverse
mentoring programs that enable older, experienced workers to interact with and
learn from younger hires
Develop incentive plans that reflect where
your employees are in their lives
Conduct regular human resources surveys to get
a pulse on your employees’ demographics and needs
Bother with generation-based employee affinity
groups — they generally reinforce stereotypes
Act like a top-down manager — forge
partnerships with employees of different ages and encourage them to share their
Assume you already know how to motivate
employees who are older or younger — ask them what they want out of their
Ours is unquestionably has become a multi-generational
workplace, there are more obvious differences between the generations today
than ever before. Being aware of these differences will help managers adapt
their management style for maximum effect, regardless of the task. To work
effectively and efficiently, to increase productivity and quality, one needs to
comprehend generational differences and learn how to use them effectively in
dealing with each individual.