Companies are putting in serious efforts to make the millennials feel welcome without undermining those that came ahead of them. While it might be tricky, it is not impossible. After all, age is just a number!
Here are our top tips on how you can get along with millennials in the workplace.
#1 Engage them in decision-making
Millennials are always eager to get into the thick of things. And often, they possess the knowledge to make a useful contribution towards the task at hand. Engaging them in decision-making in subject matters where they have enough knowledge to contribute a valuable opinion will make them feel more valuable as a member of the team as well as encourage them to voice out their opinions without having any inferiority complex with the senior staff. This also enables them to connect more personally to the project at hand; they feel as though they are valued participants and they feel as though they are contributing. Of course, it goes without saying that you must then be committed to implementing the decision or finding a way to acknowledge their contribution without hurting their morale.
#2 Offer career development opportunities
Contrary to popular belief, Millennials are quite ambitious. University students these days make sacrifices unlike any other generation in the past to achieve their goals and make their dreams a reality. Once offered the opportunity to learn or develop their skill set, they are always up to the task and eager to sharpen their skills. In fact, 60% said they would pick a job with strong professional development potential over one with regular pay raises.
#3 Millennials are good with technology
Millennials are the most technologically adept generation yet, bar Gen Z about to enter the workplace for the first time. Modern technology can help your employees be more productive. While older generations might take time to get used to new technology, Millennials take significantly shorter time to do the same. Providing them with adequate technology will help them be efficient and motivate them to excel at their jobs. More than that, it's a given that it will be provided.
#4 Millennials work as a group and they work well!
Millennials are excellent when working together as a team. The constant sharing of ideas and inputs at various stages of decision making enables them to excel at the project they work on. They want to work at places where they can collaborate with their colleagues and superiors alike. A Microsoft survey found that collaboration is a primary driver for where Millennials seek employment. "Their rallying cry is 'a win for one is a win for the team,'" according to David Stillman, a consultant and co-author of The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation Is Rocking the Workplace. In an IBM study of Millennial workers, more than half said they made better business decisions when there was a group of people providing a variety of input. Surprisingly, this is even higher for Generation X. So if you are able to work with your Generation X employees, Millennials shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. Collaboration is the name of the game.
#5 Allow flexibility in how they work
Millennials prefer flexibility. This means that many will choose to make less money for a job that offers a better work experience, a strong company culture or the ability to work remotely. These workers want jobs that allow them the freedom to develop outside interests. Flexible working times are popular with millennials than the generations before them.
#6 Provide regular feedback
Feedback is key to the growth of any employee. This is even more important when your employee is a millennial who is entering the global workforce. Take the time to sit down with your team members and show them you do care: listen actively, ask how you can better support them, figure out ways to help them with professional development. Be serious about making the time for this and stick to it. Not only will they feel comfortable and confident, this will also improve their morale and help them improve their skills. This in turn will help the company.
It's easy to get lost in jargon, but knowing your Gen X, Y and its younger sibling, Gen Z, is crucial if you want to join the party. Check out our quick guide to the who, what and when: Do you know the difference between your Gen X, Y and Z?