It’s a different working world for people in the Millennial generation than it was for their parents and grandparents. While older generations made a career with one company, today’s workers may work with several organizations during their career or even simultaneously as part of the gig economy. Millennial workers accept this, yet they long to feel engaged on the job. Here are four ways you can meet this basic need and keep workers from their late teens to their mid-30s happy with your organization:
Be a coach and not a boss:
It’s not that Millennials don’t respect authority, it’s just that they prefer a different style of working. Instead of giving orders, consider having your younger workers form a collaborative team. This helps them to feel the engagement that they so crave, which naturally leads to feeling empowered. Provide constructive feedback to Millennials privately, ask for their input on significant issues, and support them in their career endeavors.
Make meaningful connections:
Companies that encourage friendships among employees tend to be more successful than those than demand all business, all the time. No generation before this one has been so hyper-connected, a fact that spills over into work life. Millennials want to meet with you regularly to know how they’re doing and to offer their input on how you’re doing as a manger. Be open to receiving it and you will have a happy worker on your hands. Showing that you care for your workers and even displaying vulnerability at times goes a long way with the younger set.
Help millennials pursue growth:
More than any workers before them, Millennials are highly committed to personal growth and see their work life as an essential part of that. They tend to demand faster on-the-job growth, rejecting traditional rules of promotion. Rather than feel frustrated with this as a manager, try to get your younger workers involved in projects that allow them to grow and learn at an accelerated rate. When millennials feel stuck in a rut at work or impatient with the typical promotion process, they’re likely to look elsewhere for the fulfillment they seek.
Allow them to make a difference:
Meaningful work brings a sense of purpose to people of any age group, but this need is particularly strong among millennials. As a manager, you’re likely focused on profit and efficiency. Millennials take an entirely different mindset as they look towards their jobs for a sense of meaning. You can help them find it by focusing on their strengths and helping them develop further. Get to know them and their values and then assign work projects that relate to their sense of purpose as often as possible.
We understand that every employee is an individual and may not fit these characteristics exactly despite his or her age. However, we do believe this is a great place to start in creating a more satisfying working relationship for your millennial employees and yourself.
At Business Partner Alliance, we provide targeted coaching, consulting and business advisory services to help small and medium sized business owners achieve new heights. We put our passion and experience to work to help business people achieve their goals. Let’s meet for coffee to see how we can work together.