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When Generations Collide at Work: How to Manage "Millennials"

By: Aureus Group


Research suggests that 75 million millennials (born between 1980 - 2000) are preparing to join or are joining the workforce. These desirable employees bring a positive “can-do” attitude and team-oriented perspective to the workplace. Unlike Gen-Xers and Boomers, millennials have developed work characteristics and tendencies from doting parents, structured lives, and contact with diverse people.

Learning how to utilize the specials skills this generation brings to the workforce and how to effectively manage this group will enhance your office and help build the foundation for the superior workforce you desire.

Here are 11 Tips for Millennial Management

  • Provide structure
  • Provide leadership and guidance
  • Encourage the millennial’s self-assuredness, “can-do” attitude, and positive personal self-image
  • Take advantage of the millennials comfort level with teams and encourage them to join
  • Listen to the millennial employee
  • Millennial employees are up for a challenge and change
  • Millennial employees are multi-taskers on a scale you’ve never seen before
  • Take advantage of your millennial’s computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy
  • Capitalize on the millennials affinity for networking
  • Provide a life-work balanced workplace
  • Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace

In the workplace Millennials expect:

  • State of the art computers and equipment
  • Ample opportunities for training and growth
  • A place where fun is an accepted element of the job
  • An organization that accepts them for who they are
  • Consistency and fairness in management
  • A place where management decisions that directly affect them are negotiable
  • A positive, optimistic workplace such as those they see illustrated in the media
  • A place where an individual can make a difference
  • Policies that make sense and are applied to everyone
  • A work environment that allows for the completion of personal tasks as long as the employer’s work gets done
  • A workplace that is accepting a wide spectrum of diversities
  • Compensation that is commensurate with their perceived financial requirements
  • Opportunities for advancement within a defined span of time
  • Leadership that recognizes their contributions regularly

The Challenges for Employers:

  • Connecting with the most diverse, wired, impatient, skeptical, demanding, fun-loving generation in U.S. history
  • Retaining college graduates who expect to be in their first job out of college less than three years
  • Honing the critical thinking skills of a generation that developed a dependence on menu-driven options in most aspects of life
  • Training a generation that expects on-line learning, video gaming in an environment of non-stop entertainment
  • Maintaining the focus of an ultra-connected group of workers to whom a job is just one part of a busy day
  • Coaching young people who are used to working the system rather than confronting the daily conflicts that arise everyday

Suggested Strategies:

  • Maintain recruitment and hiring integrity
  • Increase corporate communication about vision and goals
  • Demonstrate opportunities for growth with the organization
  • Engage young workers by demonstrating how they DO make a difference
  • Increase opportunities for training and growth
  • Improve access to organizational leadership
  • Foster young professionals forums
  • Re-examine veteran managers’ practices and expectations
  • Re-recruit those who have left

Reprinted with permission from The Center for Generational Studies www.generationaldiversity.com