Chances are, there are millennials in your office—and if not, there will be. It’s a rapidly growing workplace demographic, and as such, it’s important for leaders to consider the ways to get the best out of their millennial-age employees.
There are a lot of great things about this generation, which consistently proves itself to be driven, entrepreneurial, and mission-minded. Even so, managing the members of any generation can require a change in mindset and approach. It’s also necessary to avoid common pitfalls and errors—like these.
Common Pitfalls in Managing Millennials
Not Understanding What Motivates Millennials
While everyone likes to receive recognition for their hard work, that’s not the primary driver for millennials. Actually, employee engagement surveys find that millennials are motivated by two things, primarily—making a difference in the world, and finding opportunities for professional development.
Are you showing your employees how their work connects to some broader sense of mission? And do you provide a path forward for your younger team members? Both are necessary steps for keeping millennials engaged!
Being Impersonal in Your Feedback
Too many leaders provide millennial employees with cursory or generic feedback, when what they often crave is something a little more individualized.
Remember, millennials are looking for opportunities for professional development—and employee engagement surveys show that they respond best to personal feedback from a mentor or leader.
Underinvesting in Education and Training
Along the same lines: Your millennial employees want to learn. They want to grow. It’s up to you to give them the opportunities to do so.
Make training, learning, and ongoing education keys to your company culture. That’s a clear sign that you’re invested in the future of your employees, not just what they can do for you right this second.
Assuming Millennials are Too Tech Focused
There’s a common knock against millennials, that all they want to do is play on their phones all the time.
Actually, millennials technology use isn’t just about play. They’re uniquely suited to show you how technology can be used for work purposes—even improving some of your company’s internal processes. Use that to your advantage, rather than laughing it off.
One More Thing…
Of course, there’s one final mistake to note—and that’s assuming all millennials are exactly the same! Everything we might say about them is, of course, a generalization. As a leader, it’s up to you to get to know them as people, not just as a generation.