It’s projected that by 2020, millennials (people born between 1980-2000), will comprise 50% of the global workforce which means they’ll be on your team sooner rather than later.
These tech-savvy “Gen Yers” tend to carry a reputation as narcissistic, entitled employees. And though studies have proven many of these notions to be myths, Millennials do require a different style of leadership.
Try These Three Management Tips to Maximize the Value of Your Millennial Workforce:
Lesson 1. Be Transparent
A study by the Pew Research Center found only 19% of millennials believe most people, in general, can be trusted. This Harvard Poll showed even greater distrust in Congress and the President. So, if Gen Yers don’t trust Capitol Hill, Wall Street, or really anyone for that matter, you best believe they have questions about their employer — so be transparent.
According to a Future Workplace Study, 91% of millennials expect to stay in a job 3 years or less in search of new opportunities to progress quickly. To combat this, clearly illustrate their potential within the company by defining their role, the company’s missions, goals, and how they factor into the plan. In the end you’ll have a more engaged employee that’s tied into the organization at every level.
Lesson 2. Manage Less, Mentor and Develop More
You don’t hire eager-to-please millennials for experience, but for their potential. So tap into it by regularly scheduling time to discuss their work, explain why it’s relevant and how they can improve. A record 33% of people ages 25-29 have a bachelor’s degree. This forces millennials to be competitive and constantly working to impress.
If you invest the time and effort, you’ll find these job-hopping employees improve and stick around. A Sun Microsystems Mentoring Program showed a 23% higher retention rate in mentees, while mentors were 20% more likely to stay with the company when participating in the program.
The bottom line: Sun estimated the program saved $6.7 million in retention benefits alone.
Lesson 3. Listen and Learn from Them
Millennials aren’t just the workforce of the present and future, they’re also the consumers. Few understand the value of millennial input more than David Berg, COO of Carlson Hotels.
Berg implemented a reverse-mentoring program where he was mentored by rising-star millennials to better understand what this generation values as consumers. As a result, Berg and Carlson are launching a new line of technology-oriented Radisson RED Hotels that cater to the growing generation that wants to control everything from the television to their water temperature from their phone.
Value your millennials and their knack for innovation. Your company’s next big idea could be in the head of that wide-eyed former intern.
So, yes, millennials do require different management tactics than previous generations. They yearn for more attention, but also want nothing more than to succeed and be a valuable asset to their employer. Show them they matter, where they can go, and help them get there. Create an environment where they can flourish and watch them do just that.