One of the most interesting and difficult challenges at work today is managing across generations. The generational shift occurring in the next two decades will be larger than ever seen before. There will be far-reaching consequences. As one important example, let's consider the millennial generation. The millennials were born approximately between 1980 and the year 2000. There are now many millions of them joining the workforce. Unlike Gen Exers and the Baby Boomers, the Millennials have developed work characteristics and tendencies from their doting parents and very structured lives.
They are a huge part of your future, so what do you have to do to effectively communicate and motivate millennials? Here are the top three ways to connect successfully. First, provide structure. Assignments have deadlines. Jobs tend to have regular hours. Meetings have agendas and minutes. Goals should be very clear. These folks grew up with lots of structure. I want you to resist too much micromanaging, but for millennials, you have to give them clear structure.
Next, choose dialogue instead of always dictating. Young millennial employees have ideas and opinions and don't take kindly to having their thoughts ignored. After all, for better or worse, they were raised by the best listening, most child-centered group of parents in history. They have been trained to believe it is their right to have input. Yes, you're the boss. But, your goal will be to view them, genuinely, as partners, not mere employees. Finally, try not to be too serious, and remember the profound importance of having a little fun.
More than any other generation, millennials want to enjoy their work, their workplace, and their colleagues. They openly desire a positive, fulfilling professional experience. You should be concerned if your millennial employees aren't laughing, socializing with others from the workplace. And becoming actively involved in social events, such as the next company event or celebration. Life is short, so work really should be about more than just work. I hope you believe me because the massive influx of new millennial employees definitely agrees.
Consider the steps we just outlined and start building stronger bridges to your younger employees right now.
More management tips from Todd Dewitt at http://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Managing-millennials/126132/150440-4.html