Millenials are weird as a whole. And they know it.
They know that they are different, and they are being treated that way by the older generation. Yet, like it or not, that is where the entire future of the workforce is at, precarious though it might sound. Mishandle them and you will meet with is an inefficient input of energy and a lack of sense of direction and purpose. But, manage them well, and their differences will reward you.
Their take on life and boundless energy is what will inject a new kind of creative energy into your organization – something always useful for a boost of the morale and renewed sense of inspiration within the company.
1 – Lead by Inspiring, Not Dictating
Unlike generations before, millennials work for a reason. Millennials commit to a cause, not so much your organization. Work must have a meaning and a purpose.
Lead like a guide, not a dictator. Give them a purpose, a meaning. Give them a reason to do “good”.
Set up a culture that inspires rather than stifle. Have a bigger vision and a “cause for good” the organization, or your team can stand for.
Then your millennials will follow suit.
2 – Give Up Some Authority And Standby For Assistance
The more willing you are to delegate authority, the more you breed trust within the culture. We all know how trust is a crucial make or break factor within any relationship – ranging from personal, to business, from the bottom to the top of an organization.
Give the millennials the opportunity to make their own decisions. These are the bunch that are eager to jump in straight on, learn something new, and prove their value. Yet at the same time, be prepared on standby to assist them.
Ask “How May I Help?” and do that without micromanaging.
When you delegate a good balance of power and the flexibility to make decisions, you are encouraging leadership. Good leaders create leaders, not just followers. Not only that, you become a more credible leader too.
3 – Allow For Flexibility
Rather than only going by the “tried and tested” way, give yourself the flexibility to allow for a different way of getting things done. The more rigid and structured things are, the more challenge there is to create a culture of new ideas and creativity – unhelpful during a time where change is the only constant, and innovation is required to adapt to such times.
The company Vanderbloemen adopted this method by introducing “intentional chaos” from time to time.
A client wanted work from them in a week – their tried-and-true process takes about eight weeks or more weeks. But because the team really wanted the client, they dropped everything that they were doing and did it differently this time around – all of which contributed to the enthusiasm of the millennials and boosted their energy too.
4 – Respectful Communication, But Not Authoritative
In your communications, even when providing help and advising the “best” way you deem fit, be as non-authoritative as possible.
In effective communication and problem-solving situations, everyone, not just the millennials, needs to feel like they are listened to, and treated like capable human beings. Treat millennials as the adults as they are and as someone equipped to handle the task, though young they might be.
No one likes to be told what to do, but we do want to be heard and to be given the freedom to express our views. Praise and compliment when things are done well. The fact that millennials are working for a greater cause and like to know they have made a contribution, it is essential that they know they are valued.
5 – Ask For Advice And Watch How They Reciprocate.
It is quite uncommon in the older times for the old to be receiving advice from the young, but like it or not, times are changing.
In order to understand how the new generation work, talk to them. Yes, they might not have the experience in terms of the numbers of years of being in the workforce or in life in general. But ask for their thoughts and opinions, watch how they will be much more willing to receive when you give yours.
The millennials are really not that difficult to manage when you experiment with the outlay as above. While there are always factors beyond our control, but if you are able to gather and rally your troops together, it is much easier to mitigate any challenges, internal or external, within the organization.