Updated: November 08, 2022

13 Tips For Managing Millennials in The Workplace

You found our ultimate guide on tips for managing millennials in the workplace.

Tips for managing millennials in the workplace are suggestions every manager should consider if they have a sizable number of millennials on their team. Examples include offering feedback, emphasizing teamwork, and providing guidance. The purpose of these tips is to promote the productivity, growth, and development of employees in the workplace.

This topic helps leaders understand employee turnover data and design employee retention strategies. Leaders can improve these skills by reading management, leadership, and project management books.

This article includes:

  • how to manage millennials in the workplace
  • problems with millennials in the workplace
  • benefits of managing millennials
  • things to keep in mind when managing millennials at work
  • tips for managing millennials in the workplace

Let’s get started!

Benefits of managing millennials

Millennials are the generation of individuals born after 1981 and before 1996. Multiple studies have shown that Millennials are highly motivated and dedicated employees who may be an asset to any organization. You may already have a sizable Millennial workforce since they now constitute about half of the labor force. This figure will likely rise as the baby boomer generation begins retiring.

1. Uniqueness and Adaptability

Millennials have gained a reputation for their wide range of abilities and capacity to learn new ideas quickly. In addition, millennials value jobs that create an opportunity to interact with diverse individuals and get exposure to fresh perspectives. Therefore, you should maximize your employee’s adaptability to the fullest extent feasible and offer diversity and flexibility.

Going by the data from a Deloitte survey, more than 40 percent of millennials said they planned to quit their current employer within the next two years, and below 30 percent said they hoped to remain in their current role for over five years. This study also found that Millennials are more loyal to and satisfied with firms with diverse leadership and flexible work environments.

2. Highly Educated

Many members of the Millennial generation are highly educated. This group is the most educated generation in the labor market right now. The vast majority have bachelor’s degrees, and many have furthered their education and improved their skill sets. Millennials have already shown a willingness to learn, so your business may benefit from their knowledge.

3. Teachable

Younger workers are more open to learning new skills than older employees. Millennials are less likely to have deeply ingrained work habits that require unlearning. This group is more receptive to new information since they are recently out of school. Employers that want to take advantage of their new hires’ eagerness to learn should invest in a solid training program. You may train your employees in the areas most beneficial to your business.

4. High Value on Corporate Culture

Company culture is critical to millennial employees. This generation is also very interested in working for firms with a healthy remote culture and strong corporate social responsibility. You may improve your chances of recruiting and retaining millennial workers by making social and environmental issues central to your company strategy. Equal opportunity, flexible scheduling, regular feedback, and challenging but rewarding job are also important to millennials.

Check out this list of ways to improve company culture.

5. Fresh Perspectives

Younger employees are highly beneficial in a firm due to their unique perspectives. Having personnel in the same age range might be useful if your business targets a younger population. Millennials are popular for their innovative mindset, which may lead to novel concepts and exciting advertising campaigns that reach previously untapped demographics.

6. Tech-Savviness

Most millennials are adept at utilizing various forms of technology, having grown up with access to tech and near-constant innovation. Many employees are eager to bring their mobile devices to the office, and many new hires have extensive computing experience. This generation will have an easier time picking up new software and hardware, meaning they may need less training overall. If your human resources information system has a mobile app or online employee portal, for instance, millennial workers may feel more at ease accessing such resources than approaching HR representatives for help.

7. Loyalty

While the stereotype is that millennials may not show the same level of business loyalty as previous generations, this is not always the case. Millennials are loyal to employers that invest in them, trust them, and help them reach their full potential. As a result, many millennial employees lookout for jobs that give them some degree of freedom and balance in their daily lives. Customers in their 20s and 30s will remain loyal if the firm they work for makes an effort to understand and meet their needs.

Problems with millennials in the workplace

The millennial generation has taken a lot of heat from the generations who came before them. The belief is that the millennial generation has a reputation for being self-centered, spoiled, and reliant on their smartphones. However, the stereotype does not apply to all millennials. Whether you identify with the millennial stereotype or not, knowing how to handle these behaviors can help you make a better impression on your new coworkers.

1. Demands Instead of Requests

The millennial generation has a reputation for being overly demanding on the job. This trait is a positive in some ways since many contemporary employees prefer to keep quiet rather than speak out against unpleasant workplace situations. However, while expressing one’s opinion is good, making requests rather than demands is preferable. It is crucial to remember that requests are more respectful and subordinate than demands. You can show your millennial workforce the importance of tabling their requests.

2. Overconfidence or Arrogance

Although it is admirable to be confident in one’s abilities, overconfidence and arrogance may severely damage your professional image. Older workers find it particularly annoying when millennials, who have often spent less time in the workforce, act all-knowing. Millennials should remember that succeeding while maintaining a modest attitude is preferable to overstating their talents and falling short.

3. Reliance on Certain Communication Media

Millennials generally choose text-based over voice-based methods of communication. Having grown up with instant messaging and email, this generation is more at ease with such forms and appreciates the extra time they get to compose your message. You can help your millennial workforce understand the need for some flexibility in communication. Sometimes, making a phone call works better than emailing.

4. Poor Listening Skills

Although this problem applies to all generations, it is more consequential with millennials. Since millennials are stereotyped as self-absorbed and arrogant, many would consider talking too much and hardly listening as an extension of these qualities. You can handle this issue by having communications lessons in the workplace.

5. Wrong Assumptions About Work

In recent years, there has been a general relaxation of office restrictions. Work hours are getting more flexible, etiquette is relaxing, and the dress codes are now more casual. More advanced technology and less dependence on ancient business cliches are driving these shifts. This condition does not, however, provide the leeway to turn up to work whenever, wearing whatever.

6. Multitasking

Millennials are the first generation to grow up accessing immediate, on-demand information. As a result of their speedy work and inventiveness, millennials are quite successful. The problem is that this particular generation is easily led astray by the allure of multitasking, thinking they can get more done in less time by switching between tasks. More and more individuals are concluding that trying to do too much at once is futile and that doing so might reduce overall productivity.

7. Addiction to Technology

Millennials are more dependent on their technology than previous generations because they grew up with it. Millennials tend to stay “plugged in” for too long. Such employees might stay too long at their computers, bring their tablets to important meetings, and check their phones during a chat. Combating this addiction is essential for ensuring workplace productivity.

The millennial generation does vary in specific ways from older generations. The fact that millennials do not work the same way as previous generations does not make them terrible employees. You can make a good impression on your employees if you recognize these differences and take steps to mitigate any negative effects they may have in the workplace.

Tips for managing millennials in the workplace

Employers consistently face difficulties when hiring and supervising millennials. These employees might be challenging to manage since they have strong opinions about how the business world should function and are not hesitant to voice them. However, one positive aspect of this new generation is that they have a work ethic and mentality that their elders lacked. The following are a few pointers on how to manage millennials in the workplace.

1. Provide Specific Job Duties

Millennials do not like an open-ended list of tasks. When millennials get any job, the tasks undergo careful planning, prioritization, and strategy. This group of employees thrives better when you give them a concrete and exhaustive list of to-dos.

Open-ended jobs can cause employee burnout. Even if employees are well-skilled, they may be unable to contribute to the company to their full potential without a road map and strategic planning. If you do not want your staff to experience this lack of direction, then devise a plan. Millennials often find better methods to accomplish tasks independently when given a road map.

Here is a list of goal-setting activities.

2. Promote Direct Interactions

Due to the ubiquitous nature of technology in both the workplace and society, face-to-face interactions inside businesses have diminished. Although many employees can work remotely, they often avoid scheduling a video conference with their direct reports if the same information is sendable through text message or email. Whenever feasible, set an example by prioritizing in-person interactions. You and your team and the relationships amongst your other workers will benefit from fostering and supporting this human connection. A business social, even a virtual one using tools like Zoom or Skype, may help strengthen team bonds and communication.

Check out this guide to virtual one-on-one meetings.

3. Encourage Experimentation and New Ideas

As a forward-thinking manager, you should encourage your staff to get experience in various fields and roles. Even better, give your millennial workers a chance to learn new skills that are not directly related to their work or team. More Millennials will join your team and stay with you if they see room for advancement in their roles. Likewise, employees are more likely to remain with a firm for an extended period if offered chances for professional development.

4. Offer A Clear Professional Path

Millennials plan for the future and strive for success in their chosen field. These workers want to feel confident that the firm they have joined will help them advance in their chosen field. Therefore, if you or your business can set the path for the millennial and their “5-year plan,” you will likely have a very valued and efficient worker. If you want your millennial employees to succeed professionally and contribute meaningfully to the success of your business, investing in their education and training is a no-brainer.

5. Do Not Use Financial Incentives

For today’s Millennials, money is not the only important incentive. That generation wants more out of this life than a full wallet. Millennials want to enjoy their work, achieve their objectives, have some downtime, and do good in the world. One way to accomplish this goal is to participate in fundraising activities or make donations to worthwhile charities.

Employers who want to recruit and retain top talent without paying market rates can provide comprehensive benefits packages. You can include perks like working from home, paid time off, and more flexible hours. In addition, the millennial generation places a premium on having a pleasant place to work. Therefore it is a good idea to provide perks like a coffee bar and a relaxing staff lounge. This offer allows you to attract skilled millennials and retain existing staff.

Here is a list of potential incentives, including non-monetary rewards.

6. Offer Guidance

Most Millennials see their managers and supervisors as mentors who will assist them in achieving their professional objectives rather than their bosses. However, Millennials also like to feel like their ideas and concepts matter. You can be the leader they need by creating a balance and setting aside time in your schedule for guidance or mentorship.

Check out these books on coaching and mentorship.

7. Give Feedback

The ever-productive Millennial always strives to better themselves and smooth out imperfections. These employees expect to get constant feedback from their supervisor. You can help your workers become the kind of future leaders they want to be by giving them weekly or daily feedback. Millennials will find this approach encouraging and will be better able to show their worth to their employers. It would be best if you remembered that sarcasm, unwarranted criticism, and other forms of negative feedback may negatively impact employee motivation and faith in management. The result is a significant increase in employee turnover rate.

Here is a list of tips for giving feedback.

8. Be Appreciative

Millennials are ambitious and diligent, and like any other generation, they like recognition and appreciation for their efforts. Employees will not stay if you do not reward or acknowledge their commitment. As such, they must get the compensation to which they are entitled. Timely completion of a job merits equal compensation. All millennials deserve equal treatment.

9. Provide Encouragement

Young adults of the millennial generation are known for their high levels of self-assurance, which traces back to the support and encouragement they received from their parents from an early age. So long as they keep working hard, millennials will succeed. Instead of trying to stifle your employees and their ideas, you should be encouraging them to grow. As a good boss, it is your responsibility to raise morale in the office by inspiring and motivating your staff.

10. Emphasize Teamwork

The “self-sufficient mindset” of previous generations has long since faded. The millennial generation understands the value of working together to accomplish greater goals. Collaboration increases efficiency and sparks fresh perspectives. You, as the boss, should use this situation to your advantage. For example, you can hold team-building exercises and plan team outings.

Here is a list of exercises to build teamwork.

11. Offer a Fun Working Environment

Millennials are only about success or advancement in their careers. One of the things to keep in mind when managing millennials at work is that your workers want to love their work. If a millennial employee does not appear to be enjoying themselves, is not joking about much, or is not mingling with the other workers, that should raise warning flags. To keep millennials inspired and engaged, you must create a work atmosphere that is both entertaining and safe for them. You can provide a recreational area where workers may take a break from their regular activities and enjoy some downtime.

Check out this list of ways to make work fun.

12. Offer Flexible Work Times

A typical office job does not cut it for today’s young workers. Therefore, you should offer more leeway regarding flexible work hours, vacation time, and commute time. “Old school” workers may claim that this kind of attitude fosters sloth, whereas millennials see it as a way to boost productivity. Employees benefit from a better work-life balance and less time spent commuting when their schedules are more flexible, while employers benefit from efficient labor. The situation is a win-win for both the corporation and the worker.

According to the PwC study, however, 71 percent of Millennial workers do not find it acceptable for work obligations to interfere with their personal life, compared to just 63 percent of non-Millennial workers. Thus, one can conclude that Millennials value separation between work and personal life.

Check out these tips for work-life balance.

13. Manage Multitasking

Employees skilled at multitasking have a far better chance of meeting their goals and deadlines. Multitasking sets them up for future achievements and success in the here and now. Moreover, millennials are masters of multitasking. They can talk on the phone while responding to emails and text messages. You can use this trait to your advantage. Instead, the practice improves your workers’ cognitive capacities and increases their output.

Conclusion

You are ultimately accountable for the success or failure of your business. A recent survey shows that millennials make up the greater percentage of the workforce. Thus it is important that you and your business take the time to learn about and adapt to this demographic. Every single millennial is unique. Some workers may fall under the above categories, while others might not. You should approach these suggestions with an open mind.

Next, check out our list of important HR skills, these good leader examples, these tips for successful virtual teams, and this guide to managing remotely.

FAQ: Managing Millennials

Here are frequently asked questions about managing millennials in the workplace.

What are some good tips for managing millennials in the workplace?

If you have millennials in the workplace, you should encourage face-to-face interactions, provide regular feedback, and offer the right benefits. You should also encourage experimentation and new ideas.

How do you work effectively with millennials?

You can work effectively with millennials by listening to their ideas, promoting teamwork, and providing specific job duties. Millennials also love appreciation and recognition for their work.

What do millennials want from work?

You gain a lot by hiring Millennials because they are tech-savvy, open to new experiences, adaptable to changing priorities, results-oriented, and passionate about their employer’s mission. In addition, millennials are more concerned about working in a fun environment that allows them to thrive.

How can supervisors better engage millennials?

You should engage your Millennial workforce if you want to maximize productivity. Give folks the freedom to choose their own work schedules, prioritize their input, reward experimentation, and acknowledge their feedback. You will find great success when using these procedures while interacting with this ambitious and creative generation.

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Content Expert at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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