Is managing millennials really any different to managing Baby Boomers or Gen-X?

Millennials are now said to account for 50% of the workforce, and that proportion will grow as more baby boomers retire.

Millennials have proven themselves as an entrepreneurial, principle-driven bunch – and that’s great news for any potential employer.

Their desire for flexible working and their reliance on technology can make them look flaky and work-shy, especially to managers who are used to dealing with industrious ‘Gen-X-ers’ and job-for-life ‘Boomers’.

But managers who ignore millennials’ preferences could be missing a trick and managing millennials doesn’t need to be a mystery

Strong principles and a desire for a work/life balance makes millennial job satisfaction a key measuring tool for company culture.

1. Recognise that purpose matters

As consumers, they want brands that demonstrate strong ethics, and it makes sense that they want their working lives to reflect this too.

Why are you running your business in the first place? Why does it even matter?

Clarify your “why?” and communicate it clearly and you’ll see the difference with improved employee engagement.

2. Give them the right technology

This love of tech isn’t about being spoilt or lazy, it’s just that they see it as a more efficient and effective way of doing things. Consider incorporating more tech into your business and you’ll benefit. From cloud-based accounting and HR systems to messaging apps, choosing the right technology will improve the way you do business and make you a more attractive employer to younger candidates.

3. Be flexible

As it happens, incorporating flexible working into your business does more than make millennials happy. It’s equally beneficial to your older employees and benefits your business too.

Flexible working has been shown to improve employee engagement, reduce stress and absenteeism, helps you attract a broader pool of talent and can help narrow your gender pay gap.

4. Show them you’re interested in their development

A strong training plan also means you can promote from within and improve your employees’ skill sets to improve your competitiveness.

Regular career conversations and subsequent support to achieve their goals will show them you’re genuinely interested in their progress and career in your company.

5. Give them a full onboarding

Millennials are famed for their love of instant gratification. A thorough onboarding process makes good business sense when you consider that research suggests it can take up to 2 years for an employee to become fully-productive.

Treat your employees well and respect their differences. You’ll soon be on the way to a happier team and a more productive business.

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