As most business owners know, there seems to be a hefty communication gap between Baby Boomers, Gen X and the Millennials. Basically, a lot of business owners and managers aren’t sure how to effectively lead their millennial employees. If you are having trouble with figuring out what drives them, here are some tips that might help.
Millennials aren’t overly motivated by money.
Clearly money is important, especially considering the massive amounts of college debt many are carrying. However, it’s not the driving force behind most millennial workers. Today’s young professionals are focusing more on prioritizing a healthy life, traveling and getting involved in volunteer work and fundraisers. So, you won’t always be asked for raises. If you’re looking to keep morale high, you might make them just as happy by offering more vacation time and healthy office lunches.
Millennials want to do work that matters.
This generation is known for being particularly outspoken when it comes to tedious grunt work. They want to get in on the action right away, and often, they have great ideas. The best way to work with them is to let them share in some of the more challenging work, or at least consider some of their more intriguing ideas. They care about making a difference in the grand scheme of things.
Work with them, not over them.
What I mean by this is, we all know that employees are more engaged at work when they feel they can connect with one another. This is especially true of millennials. Rather than talking to them as a boss would to a subordinate, talk to them like equals. Connect. Ask their opinions, and more than ever, keep it real. As Karl Moore points out in a recent Forbes article: “The better you are at being an authentic leader, the more your millennial employees will appreciate you.” Agreed.
They want to grow.
If the everyday work cycle leads your young millennial workers into feeling that they aren’t growing, they’ll start looking for jobs elsewhere. It’s important for them to know that they are consistently working to improve themselves and what they can bring to the table. Mangers and leaders who want to keep their millennials should let them get involved with big projects that will help them grow.
Work is not just 9-5.
Gone are the days of separating work life from personal life. Young workers today base everything off of their jobs. It’s how they introduce themselves and how they measure their accomplishments. This means it’s helpful to connect with them outside of regular work hours, too. Work is where their friends are, and it’s where they socialize as well as actually do work. Treat your young workers to company lunches together or happy hours to better connect.
Hopefully, this has shed some light on the mysterious millennial generation. Remember, be authentic and let them help with the big stuff. Most importantly, stay actively interested in young workers and learn about them as individuals.