Millennials in the Workplace: Meeting Them Where They Are

Understanding any generation — and working with them effectively and productively — means knowing how they were raised. It is important to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” and consider Millennials’ upbringing, how they have been raised and what they value.

In leadership, you cannot fully utilize an individual team member’s strengths unless you really know them and know where they’re coming from. To develop Millennials professionally, it helps as a manager to communicate the way that they understand, taking into account their perspective.

There are certain hot buttons that can spur a Millennial to higher levels of engagement and activity.

  • Members of the Millennial generation were raised to feel special by parents who engaged with them, made them feel wanted and important, and were actively involved in their lives. For employers, that means a more hands-on, self-affirming approach to management that visibly and positively rewards them for accomplishing their goals. Here is where a coaching model to managing really works. (And no, you don’t need to buy a box of trophies. A simple gift card to Starbucks for a job well done works just as well.)
  • Millennials were raised with teamwork, collaboration and community-mindedness. They played team sports, worked on group projects in school and volunteer work was a routine part of their education.
  • They grew up with rapidly developing technology and are comfortable communicating in new ways, across management levels and in an open and honest manner.

Employers should meet Millennials where they are. Here are three ways employers can to do that to encourage professional growth and commitment:

  1. First impressions are everything. For example, you’ll never get their attention if your website is cluttered, difficult to navigate and uses outdated technology. The message that sends to Millennials is that your company isn’t forward-thinking and technologically savvy. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, clean and has up-to-date content, in addition to addressing why the company’s mission matters and what the company does for its community and to better the world.By doing that, you’ll actually attract other generations, too! A great example is wsandco.com, the website of Woodruff Sawyer & Company, an independent insurance company whose website is both well-designed and speaks to the company’s role in the community and world.
  2. Personalize outreach with high-tech and high-touch elements. Give Millennial candidates the chance to speak to both top executives and newly-hired employees.Millennials are keen on transparency and on open and honest communication across professional levels. Millennials are used to being able to reach colleagues and higher-ups through multiple, convenient channels and want to work for CEOs who follow through on promises.
  3. During the recruitment process, give Millennials a chance to speak with not just with human resources staff and their direct potential manager, but with recently hired employees and top executives, too. Recruiters should maintain frequent communication with Millennial applicants, too, without sacrificing formal niceties.

In the onboarding process, schedule immersive orientations in order to build a network of trust among their new peers and foster a sense of community. Welcome Millennials like it’s a privilege to work with them.

A just-released white paper from Coaching Millennials goes over six simple strategies every employer can use to attract, manage, and retain the best Millennial talent. Along with meeting them where they are, the white paper discusses coaching millennials with feedback, creating a positive environment and more. Download the white paper (free) here.


white-paper-frontt

Download the free white paper here from Coaching Millennials.
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erin

3 Ways Millennials are Changing Your Workplace

 

Every generation that comes into the workplace brings cultural, environmental and other changes. But Millennials are changing modern workplaces in new and different ways that can be challenging to the people trying to manage members of this generation.

From teamwork to goals and feedback, here are the three C’s of how Millennials are changing your workplace.

Community. Millennials want this sense of community in their workplace. For managers, making Millennials feel like part of a larger team, developing a collaborative environment and culture, and emphasizing the “greater good” of a company’s mission the employees’ place in it, and providing volunteer opportunities related to their skills are all key to ensuring Millennials’ professional success and happiness.

Millennials have been raised with this sense of community. Members of the Millennial generation grew up completing group projects in school, playing organized team sports and participating in (often required) volunteer activities in school.

“From early childhood, Millennials have been encouraged by parents to work together and build important peer connections. As young adults, they are constantly connected to their friends and expect their leaders to take a stake in the well-being of the communities they hold dear,” according to a 2015 report from the Congressional Institute and LifeCourse Associates.

Seventy-one percent of respondents to an LBG Associates survey about corporate volunteerism “indicated that they felt more positive about their company as a result of these programs.”

A number of companies are taking big steps to incorporate volunteerism into their culture, including Deloitte, which offers unlimited paid time for volunteer projects. Novo Nordisk also provides significant paid time off to employees who volunteer, but also includes a community service component in most off-site meetings. The company also has an internal website to help employees find volunteer opportunities.

community

Confidence. Many Millennials crave an upbeat work environment that includes positive reinforcement from their peers and managers. This is because they were raised with a sense of optimism by parents who taught them to believe they can do anything if they put their mind to it.

Managers of Millennials can help them go far, do great work and achieve professional fulfillment by tapping into Millennials’ sense of optimism and confidence. Providing them with a organized support system is important as these Millennials look to take on new and interesting challenges in the workplace.

They crave frequent achievement that is measurable and attainable. In fact, one of the leading causes of low motivation among Millennials in the workforce is a lack of praise, according to Leadership IQ.

Because of this preference, many companies are moving away from the annual review in favor of project-based, monthly or even weekly review periods, frequent one-on-one meetings with managers and more collaboration on critical tasks. Cargill Inc. replaced its annual reviews with an “Everyday Performance Management” system that gives employees routine feedback. “Cargill says it’s seen measurable improvements after managers began giving constructive feedback that was forward-looking, instead of reviewing what had happened in the past,” FastCompany reported. Other companies building systems for routine and frequent feedback include Adobe, Accenture and Google.

In fact, 80 percent of Millennial employees who responded to an MTV Millennials in the workplace survey said they “would prefer real-time feedback over traditional performance reviews.”

Communication. While each generation has its own language, Millennials are communicating through different platforms than employees in prior decades.

In addition to the ways they communicate, managers should acknowledge that their language and tone are paramount to connecting with members of the Millennial generation. Millennials appreciate honesty and transparency from their managers and they crave feedback, but they also want to be heard. This will require a communication style that is conversational; managers of Millennials should keep their doors open and be approachable.

Millennials may tend to text and chat more and email less, but the real difference is in the now asynchronous nature of the way they communicate, which has changed the way they interact and work, according to Gallup. “With technology dominating every aspect of millennials lives, it’s perhaps not surprising that 41 percent say they prefer to communicate electronically at work than face to face or even over the telephone,” a PwC report revealed.

These three C’s — community, confidence and communication — will continue to mold the workplace of the future as Millennials gain footholds in senior management in the coming years.

what is a generation?

What is A Generation Anyways?

Hi Everyone.

This is a youtube I did over a year ago and it received lots of hits. It is a one-minute primer on generations. I hear people talking about “Generation Z” as if they are starting in the workplace. The reality is that “Generation Z” , the generation after the Millennials, was born around 2004-2005, making the oldest about 11 years old. Marketers frequently try to split a generation in two so they can sell more consulting on a “new and different” generation. Remember– a generation spans about 20-years, which is about the length of a phase of life.

Its all written in the book called Generations by Neil Howe and William Strauss. BTW– They coined the term “Millennials” way back in 1990.

If you really want to geek out on generation theory, check out this: Strauss-Howe Generational Theory in Wiki.

Bye bye for now.

Warren

 

i want you

3 Ways to Effectively Onboard Millennials

On my website, CoachingMillennnials, you can find an overview video Neil Howe and I produced called Recruiting and On-boarding Millennials. This video will get you oriented about best practices for recruiting and on-boarding Millennials, but I also wanted to point out a really comprehensive article on the same topic published just recently by Saeculum Research.  Its called “Welcoming Millennials Onboard“. It is a great article because it provides actual, actionable ideas you can use to attract Millennials. Here’s a summary:

  1. Invest in Swag. Show Millennials you care about them. This is easy, and it doesn’t cost a lot. LinkedIn welcomes employees with a swag bag of goodies that are customized to the person being hired. It’s simple swag– like include a personalized greeting card, copy of LinkedIn founder’s book, “The Start Up of You“, and a water bottle. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but ideally, should be personalized. Online care medical scheduling service provider ZocDoc invites new employees to dine out with the executive team for lunch.
  2. Offer Professional DevelopmentGeneral Electric and Caterpillar have pro­fes­sional development programs that emphasize mentorship by top executives and senior management. NYU assigns each new hire a mentor-buddy for the first two months on the job. Millennials like to gain new skills, and are much more likely to stick around if you invest in their professional development.
  3. Build Relationships Quickly. The faster a new hire bonds with his or her immediate co-workers, the more likely me or she is to stay and be a productive member of the team. As the article states, “Deloitte divides new hires into groups to play a board game that not only teaches newbies corporate policy, but also allows them to bond with their co-workers. Internet marketing company Bazaarvoice even sends new employees on a weeklong scavenger hunt to learn the ins and outs of the company. Although these practices are rather unconventional, they take advantage of Millennials’ team-oriented nature and facilitate stronger ties to the organization.”

One other key point the article makes to keep in mind when you are recruiting millennials… keep the parents involved! Boomer and Xer parents are with their Millennial kids at all the big milestone events, and their first job is no exception. And don’t think less of your Millennials because they want to involve their parents. Chances are, you have a very different relationship with your Millennial child than you did with your parents. The Army slogan is highly instructional as you think about including parents as part of your recruiting strategy: “You make them strong, we make them Army strong.”

i want you

3 Ways to Effectively Onboard Millennials

On my website, CoachingMillennnials, you can find an overview video Neil Howe and I produced called Recruiting and On-boarding Millennials. This video will get you oriented about best practices for recruiting and on-boarding Millennials, but I also wanted to point out a really comprehensive article on the same topic published just recently by Saeculum Research.  Its called “Welcoming Millennials Onboard“. It is a great article because it provides actual, actionable ideas you can use to attract Millennials. Here’s a summary:

  1. Invest in Swag. Show Millennials you care about them. This is easy, and it doesn’t cost a lot. LinkedIn welcomes employees with a swag bag of goodies that are customized to the person being hired. It’s simple swag– like include a personalized greeting card, copy of LinkedIn founder’s book, “The Start Up of You“, and a water bottle. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but ideally, should be personalized. Online care medical scheduling service provider ZocDoc invites new employees to dine out with the executive team for lunch.
  2. Offer Professional DevelopmentGeneral Electric and Caterpillar have pro­fes­sional development programs that emphasize mentorship by top executives and senior management. NYU assigns each new hire a mentor-buddy for the first two months on the job. Millennials like to gain new skills, and are much more likely to stick around if you invest in their professional development.
  3. Build Relationships Quickly. The faster a new hire bonds with his or her immediate co-workers, the more likely me or she is to stay and be a productive member of the team. As the article states, “Deloitte divides new hires into groups to play a board game that not only teaches newbies corporate policy, but also allows them to bond with their co-workers. Internet marketing company Bazaarvoice even sends new employees on a weeklong scavenger hunt to learn the ins and outs of the company. Although these practices are rather unconventional, they take advantage of Millennials’ team-oriented nature and facilitate stronger ties to the organization.”

One other key point the article makes to keep in mind when you are recruiting millennials… keep the parents involved! Boomer and Xer parents are with their Millennial kids at all the big milestone events, and their first job is no exception. And don’t think less of your Millennials because they want to involve their parents. Chances are, you have a very different relationship with your Millennial child than you did with your parents. The Army slogan is highly instructional as you think about including parents as part of your recruiting strategy: “You make them strong, we make them Army strong.”

millennial

An Embarrassing Millennial Moment for Kronos

Millennial mishap alert! I was really looking forward to reading a new research report by Kronos, a US-based multi-national workforce management software company, called, “Motivating Millennials, Managing Tomorrow’s Workforce Today”. Researching Millennials is my work, and I collect research reports like I used to collect baseball cards as a kid.

So, I’m settling in with my cup of coffee, sun streaming in through the window, my dog Wulfie sprawled on the “dog sofa”, excited to digest this research report. The very first “take-away” from the research is that “Millennials will make up 75% of the Australian workforce in 2025.” REALLY? Guys– do the math. A generation, by definition, lasts 18 to 22 years. Let’s just say 20-years. The workforce is made up of people roughly 20 to 60-years old, right? That’s a 40-year span, meaning that at a MAXIMUM, Millennials could only represent is 50%, but that’s only assuming we are counting 2 generations.

I know many of you don’t care about this, but I’m a stickler for data accuracy. I would hope Kronos would be too. I’m giving then a “D” on this report for demographic accuracy.

Oh– if you want to know how many Millennials will be in the workforce by any given year, I am including a Link to a spreadsheet we put together by looking at census estimates. Max percentage is 51% in 2034. This is for the US, but population pyramids run roughly parallel between Australia and the US.

Bravo, Kronos, for recognizing that Mentorship programs should be a core part on Millennial’s development– (see our take on Mentorship), but its better if you stick with your core competency– software development.

Percent of Millennials in the workforce.xlsx

millennial

An Embarrassing Millennial Moment for Kronos

Millennial mishap alert! I was really looking forward to reading a new research report by Kronos, a US-based multi-national workforce management software company, called, “Motivating Millennials, Managing Tomorrow’s Workforce Today”. Researching Millennials is my work, and I collect research reports like I used to collect baseball cards as a kid.

So, I’m settling in with my cup of coffee, sun streaming in through the window, my dog Wulfie sprawled on the “dog sofa”, excited to digest this research report. The very first “take-away” from the research is that “Millennials will make up 75% of the Australian workforce in 2025.” REALLY? Guys– do the math. A generation, by definition, lasts 18 to 22 years. Let’s just say 20-years. The workforce is made up of people roughly 20 to 60-years old, right? That’s a 40-year span, meaning that at a MAXIMUM, Millennials could only represent is 50%, but that’s only assuming we are counting 2 generations.

I know many of you don’t care about this, but I’m a stickler for data accuracy. I would hope Kronos would be too. I’m giving then a “D” on this report for demographic accuracy.

Oh– if you want to know how many Millennials will be in the workforce by any given year, I am including a Link to a spreadsheet we put together by looking at census estimates. Max percentage is 51% in 2034. This is for the US, but population pyramids run roughly parallel between Australia and the US.

Bravo, Kronos, for recognizing that Mentorship programs should be a core part on Millennial’s development– (see our take on Mentorship), but its better if you stick with your core competency– software development.

Percent of Millennials in the workforce.xlsx