How to master the tricky task of managing ‘millennials’ in the digital age

Author

Telegraph Staff

April 28, 2015

Do your employees seem to be getting ever younger? Here’s how you can keep pace with their expectations

In the digital age, a multigenerational workforce brings opportunities and challenges. Millennials — people born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s — have high expectations of themselves, their leaders and the companies they work for. They seek constant feedback and recognition, they question authority and hierarchy, and want to be promoted — fast.

The line they walk between work and play is blurred and they are never far from a piece of technology. It’s obvious why so many leaders find managing them a tricky task.

Loubna Laroussi, a leadership consultant at Cirrus, offers these tips when dealing with millennials to make the job much easier.

1.The Big Why

Some of us can just get on with work without understanding why. Millennials can’t and won’t. Making a direct connection between what they do and how it helps the business is crucial

2. Give feedback

Regularly giving people constructive feedback on their performance, whether good or bad, will keep them to stay focused and motivated

3. Recognition

Explicitly recognising contribution made is an important contributor to millennials’ motivation levels and used at the right moment can have immediate benefits

4. Praise

Praising Millennials publicly and privately helps raise their profile, builds confidence and encourages greater discretionary effort

5. Project work

Putting millennials on a range of projects stretches and develops them. They are natural multitaskers. Buddy them up with more experienced colleagues so they get depth as well as breadth of experience

6. Resilience

Most leaders know it’s not the end of the world if the project they have been working on for months gets canned at the last minute, but millennials might not. Explain that the learning is in the process and that being resilient is a leadership quality

7. Flexibility

Request and offer it in everything you do. Explain office start and finish times, benefits and working from home. Don’t underestimate the impact this has. Millennials view the scope for flexibility as one of the most important aspects of choosing an employer.

8. Reward

Sometimes a salary increase just doesn’t cut it. When in doubt, the simplest thing is to ask. Find out what “reward” means to them. An extra few days off? A development programme? Gym membership? Airline reward points? You may be surprised by what they come up with.

9. Think CV

Millennials are mobile and will move jobs to learn more if they feel they’re not developing. Provide opportunities that will add to their CV and you’ll get a loyal lifelong advocate.

This article was written by Telegraph Staff from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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