Managing Millennials: Be the Type of Boss They Want

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Millennials make up one-third of the workforce. Use these five tips to bring out their full potential and be the type of boss they want and need.

Lazy, entitled, and ignorant: these are just a few words that are used to described millennials. But like it or not, this generation now makes up one-third of the total workforce. While the validity of these stereotypes are certainly up for debate, millennials are more prone to thrive under a strong manager who understands their unique characteristics.

Below are five tips to be the type of boss who is able to bring out the full potential in their Gen Y employees.

Include them

Thanks to technology, millennials have grown up in a time period where they want answers and they want them now. This quest for knowledge parlays into the workplace. While it may seem like they’re pushing the boundaries and questioning authority, it’s their way of wanting to learn.

When an important decision is being made, be sure to include them in the process. Simply letting them know why you’re changing their responsibilities, or why a project was put on pause, will help them feel included and see the bigger picture.

Challenge them

While work ethic can’t be taught, millennials still need the opportunity to rise to the occasion. There’s a good chance that if they aren’t challenged, they’ll get bored, and mediocracy will occur.

Take a look at their strengths and weaknesses. If they seem to flourish on the phone, give them the leads that are the hardest to close. Let them know that you believe they have what it takes, and provide an incentive for when they get the job done.

Provide flexibility

While your generation may be able to sit still for eight hours a day, millennials need a change of pace. Online opportunities have made them realize that they can often get the job done from the comfort of their home.

If working from home isn’t possible, consider providing them with a flexible schedule. Even something as small as allowing them to come in an hour earlier can keep them on their toes, and make them feel as if they have more control over their work-life balance.

Encourage growth

Let’s face it: millennials want to move up as quickly as possible. They have expectations—often unrealistic—of how fast they want to reach a desired salary. They also want to know where they stand at all times.

The key to meeting their expectations is by providing real-time, detailed feedback. Let them know what they did, or didn’t, do well. Just be sure that your continuous feedback is supportive.

Promote teamwork

Millennials are social by nature. When they’re not texting their friends at rapid speeds, they’re connecting with them on social media. Therefore, the majority prefer, and even work best, in a social setting.

Teamwork is the perfect way to help them still be social, while allowing them to hit their deadlines. Most of them are accustomed to group work from their school days. You might even find that the old adage “two brains are better than one,” rings true.

If you find yourself struggling to manage millennials, consider using these tips to reevaluate your management style. Grasping this modern generation’s wants and needs is the first step to creating an ideal workplace that will be beneficial for the both of you.

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