Managing Millennials

Millennials are dictating the culture of the workplace. We should be cautious about the dangers of generation stereotyping and take the time to get to know our staff on a more personal level. The advantage of understanding how to lead millennials is that we can take the opportunity to raise our own self-awareness!
Do’s:

1)Listen to them!

This may seem obvious but surprisingly or maybe not surprisingly it is often ignored. Listening creates a culture of engagement. Good managers are invariably good listeners! Listening is particularly important during times of change, misunderstanding and conflict. Next time you are with a member of your team notice how long you listen for before then thinking and offering a solution (and therefore no longer actively listening).

2)Provide feedback!

This doesn’t just apply to millennials. We all want it and we all need it. If you want to be a stand out leader, give feedback and make sure it is timely, helpful and honest. Less is more does not apply in this instance. Feedback is crucial to the success of millennial management. What stops you from giving feedback regularly and honestly?

3)Provide recognition!

One of this generation’s most distinctive features is the need for others’ approval. They are one step short of being “addicted” to recognition, which they not only expect it from their superiors, but also (and especially) from their peers.

4)Think of leading rather than managing!

You may have been on a few management development courses where you were asked to make the distinction. It is important to get it right because millennials respond better to leadership than management, it is the “lighter touch” which they like. This is linked to coaching where they are not being told what to do. Leading by example is a big win! Practice what you preach! In the words of physician and philosopher Dr. Albert Schweitzer, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

5)Coach don’t tell!

Studies have demonstrated that millennials prefer their feedback to be given in a coaching management style. This means that their manager does not tell them what to do but instead asks them insightful questions and challenges their perception of a situation. A leadership culture of command-and-control is no longer the preferred management style. Leaders should be creating a culture of personal ownership. The person who owns the problem also owns the solution.

6)Give them a reason to believe!

At Archipelo (www.archipelo.co.uk) we refer to this as “The Big Why”. It matters more to a millennial to understand the “why” than it does the “what”. A good management team will help create a vision which will enable the employee to “get” how their role fits in to the bigger picture and “why” is it is important.

Millennials are attracted to businesses with a strong culture and values that are in line with their own. If the culture is not consistent they will notice and they will reconsider staying.

7)Provide opportunities to learn and develop

Those born in the nineties have grown up in a culture of immediacy! They are surrounded by information and stimuli that they can access at the touch or a swipe of a screen. This means they are always eager for new experiences, they are impatient and they thrive on short-term goals and visible results. What does this mean for you? Find opportunities to develop new skills, frequently assign new and different projects. Or enable them to move around the position in to temporary positions providing new opportunities to learn and develop different skills.

Don’ts:

1)Make assumptions about money as a motivator!

For people of my age group (cough, 40 ish) money was the motivator. We sacrificed family life and many other things to progress our career and earn more money. Millennials aren’t always motivated by money. Instead think causes, coaching, attitude and environment.

2)Don’t be intimidated or threatened by those that speak up!

Millennials want to be heard. So alongside developing those listening skills as a manager you should also give your team opportunity and encourage them to have a voice, share ideas and views rather than take orders and comply.

3)Don’t box them in!

It is never a good idea to micromanage. It doesn’t work very well. Millennials don’t respond well to it. This doesn’t mean you lose any authority. It just means going about it in different way. All the do’s and don’ts will ensure you can achieve the results you need to meet.

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Managing Millennials

Millennials are dictating the culture of the workplace. We should be cautious about the dangers of generation stereotyping and take the time to get to know our staff on a more personal level. The advantage of understanding how to lead millennials is that we can take the opportunity to raise our own self-awareness!
Do’s:

1)Listen to them!

This may seem obvious but surprisingly or maybe not surprisingly it is often ignored. Listening creates a culture of engagement. Good managers are invariably good listeners! Listening is particularly important during times of change, misunderstanding and conflict. Next time you are with a member of your team notice how long you listen for before then thinking and offering a solution (and therefore no longer actively listening).

2)Provide feedback!

This doesn’t just apply to millennials. We all want it and we all need it. If you want to be a stand out leader, give feedback and make sure it is timely, helpful and honest. Less is more does not apply in this instance. Feedback is crucial to the success of millennial management. What stops you from giving feedback regularly and honestly?

3)Provide recognition!

One of this generation’s most distinctive features is the need for others’ approval. They are one step short of being “addicted” to recognition, which they not only expect it from their superiors, but also (and especially) from their peers.

4)Think of leading rather than managing!

You may have been on a few management development courses where you were asked to make the distinction. It is important to get it right because millennials respond better to leadership than management, it is the “lighter touch” which they like. This is linked to coaching where they are not being told what to do. Leading by example is a big win! Practice what you preach! In the words of physician and philosopher Dr. Albert Schweitzer, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

5)Coach don’t tell!

Studies have demonstrated that millennials prefer their feedback to be given in a coaching management style. This means that their manager does not tell them what to do but instead asks them insightful questions and challenges their perception of a situation. A leadership culture of command-and-control is no longer the preferred management style. Leaders should be creating a culture of personal ownership. The person who owns the problem also owns the solution.

6)Give them a reason to believe!

At Archipelo (www.archipelo.co.uk) we refer to this as “The Big Why”. It matters more to a millennial to understand the “why” than it does the “what”. A good management team will help create a vision which will enable the employee to “get” how their role fits in to the bigger picture and “why” is it is important.

Millennials are attracted to businesses with a strong culture and values that are in line with their own. If the culture is not consistent they will notice and they will reconsider staying.

7)Provide opportunities to learn and develop

Those born in the nineties have grown up in a culture of immediacy! They are surrounded by information and stimuli that they can access at the touch or a swipe of a screen. This means they are always eager for new experiences, they are impatient and they thrive on short-term goals and visible results. What does this mean for you? Find opportunities to develop new skills, frequently assign new and different projects. Or enable them to move around the position in to temporary positions providing new opportunities to learn and develop different skills.

Don’ts:

1)Make assumptions about money as a motivator!

For people of my age group (cough, 40 ish) money was the motivator. We sacrificed family life and many other things to progress our career and earn more money. Millennials aren’t always motivated by money. Instead think causes, coaching, attitude and environment.

2)Don’t be intimidated or threatened by those that speak up!

Millennials want to be heard. So alongside developing those listening skills as a manager you should also give your team opportunity and encourage them to have a voice, share ideas and views rather than take orders and comply.

3)Don’t box them in!

It is never a good idea to micromanage. It doesn’t work very well. Millennials don’t respond well to it. This doesn’t mean you lose any authority. It just means going about it in different way. All the do’s and don’ts will ensure you can achieve the results you need to meet.

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