Looking to employ the younger generation? Here are six frequent requests Millennials make of new employers:
1. Show me the way. The Millennials grew up with structure and supervision; they were the kids shuttled between soccer practice, violin lessons and ballet recitals. Of course there will always be exceptions to any rule, but for the most part these kids prefer to follow—especially with leaders who are honest and have integrity.
2. Teach me. This generation wants to learn. If a project can teach something it will be received better. In fact, a recent Randstad employee survey found that “trying things” was the most popular item chosen.
3. Set me on a path. Millennials don’t just want a job. They want a career path. If they feel that they are working toward a bigger goal they will enjoy their work more and do a better job.
4. Let me work with friends. Millennials enjoy being friends with coworkers. Jobs that offer a social aspect are much more appealing to the younger generation.
5. Fun! Work environments that encourage silliness, irreverence and fun are greatly preferred over the stuffy old boardrooms of yesterday.
6. Respect me. Treat them with respect, and they’ll treat you with respect. Even though your Millennial will probably be the new kid on cubicle row, he or she will have ideas that should be listened to, respected, and possibly considered.
7. Flexibility. Millennials are, without a doubt, the busiest generation ever. EVER. If you think that they’re going to drop their multitude of activities just to work for you, then you’ve got another thing coming. Be flexible with their schedule and they’ll stay happy.
Assets & liabilities
The constant exposure to technology has made Millennials great at multitasking, they can work with six open desktop windows while listening to music, watching a YouTube video and IMing. Their technical savvy is a fantastic asset; in fact, many companies are having their Echo Boomers teaching their Baby Boomers in casual computer classes. Employers who embrace this generation’s technical knowledge, instead of ignoring it or fearing it, tend to do better.
Millennials are generally upbeat, with positive attitudes. Millennials love working in groups and are fantastic at collaboration. Finally, they are very goal oriented. Set a goal and watch as they reach it.
On the negative side, Millennial workers don’t appreciate busy work and have a distaste for anything they consider menial. They are impatient and lack the skills necessary for dealing with difficult people. They lack experience, although this is a liability that will fade with time.
Millennials overconfidence and sense of entitlement may be their biggest issue. These kids grew up with parents telling them they were wonderful, special, and that they always deserved the best. As a result, Millennials now believe they are entitled and deserve things without actually having to work for them. They will expect to be paid well but don’t expect them to pay their dues.
Three Easy Ways to Manage Millennials
1. Make the office feel casual, comfortable and fun. Encourage idea sharing and camaraderie.
2. Put your Millennials in groups. Let them work on projects together, give them feedback often and let them know how they are doing; finally, set a goal and evaluate them as a group once they reach it.
3. Reverse mentoring. Have the younger Millennials teach or update your older employee’s on new technology; this validates them and encourages all employees to work together.
This may sound crazy but you should be prepared for the possible involvement of parents. It seems ridiculous, yet the parents of this generation are… involved, to say the least. If the parents start to poke their nose into your company, calmly yet firmly, tell them to mind their own business.