The word millennials carry a lot of mixed emotions with it, and when you hear it, you already know that something versatile is upcoming. People belonging to this group have unique characteristics that affect their interaction with the situations in the world and other people. The older generation may consider it a gamble to associate with millennials leave alone working with them.
However, it is not as hard or challenging as it seems or as most people want to portray it. For millennials, just like any other unique group of people, you need to understand them and make sure that you can meet them at their level. Well, when I say get at their level it does not necessarily have to be at the bottom, it could be at a unique point that is often not grasped or appreciated.
At the workplace, it is assumingly the desire of every employer to see their establishments thrive, it is also common knowledge that for this to happen you will need to have employees that are well satisfied and feel the drive to steer the business ahead. For this to happen however you will need certain privy points about your employees and especially if they are millennial. There is no need for alarm though, millennials are not the worst or the most challenging people to work with, and I do not think any group of people is, all the employer or the human resource manager needs to understand is the uniqueness of each group and craft the operations against these parameters.
The following are some of the things that you will need to keep in mind while dealing with millennial
They are unique, but you can leverage that to your advantage
You see the problem most of the time is not the challenge but how we can change them to positive energy. It is true that millennials have been stereotyped as hardheaded and stubborn, lazy even, but what needs to be unearthed is the cause of these behaviors. In most cases, you will find out that once you have a conversation with them they will open up and you will discover that the negative energy they exhibit can be turned positive
They are goal oriented
Now millennials are hardly mainstream or traditional. They thrive in the ‘why’. They need to find reasons as to why they are doing what they are doing. So do not be dismayed when you give instructions at the workplace and it’s followed by a ‘why’, be kind enough to provide perspective and give the goal of whatever you ask them to do.
They love structures that work
Ah! What a frustration when you give them a promise that a particular thing will work in a certain way but it does not. This is the most likely reason as to why millennial are considered quitters or complainers. The issue is actually in most cases not inherent in them. It is in the structures that they find themselves in that sometimes doesn’t even work.
For example in the workplace be sure to set clear deadlines, operating hours, resting hours, etc. This gives them a clear framework to fit into their tasks and deliver results. Void of that they will just become bored and indulge in other irrelevant things like social media and the like. And oh! To add on that do not expect them to work beyond the set times. For them, there is time for everything and work without play makes Jack a dull boy!
Involve them in decision-making
Yes, that’s right. It matters to them. Do not think that imposing things on them will work. In most cases, it will not, it makes them rebellious and unproductive. Always take time to listen, ask for opinions and be sure to include them in the process. Once they feel part of the picture they will deliver for the greater good, but once they are left out they will lag, and therefore you will end up losing their energy-full input.
It is clear that there is a two side to this coin of dealing with millennials, you need to understand them to be able to avert their perceived bad behavior and leverage it into positive energy that benefits the workplace.