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Millennials In the Workforce: Best Practices in Managing Millennials

Ring Central Blog


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As we noted at the conclusion of the last post in the “Millennials in the New World of Work” series, it takes a certain amount of care to manage Millennial workers properly. Yes, there are challenges in integrating Millennial, Generation X and Baby Boomer employees into the same organization – but having Millennials on staff also presents myriad opportunities.

How can you get the most out of the Millennials on your team? Here’s a quick summary of research into how we work:

Millennials want and value frequent feedback.

… consulting firm PwC notes in a late-2011 report for human resources professionals. PwC suggests that firms should accelerate their review calendars and give Millennials more-frequent feedback than was the norm a generation ago. Makes sense – a generation that grew up with Facebook and on-demand cable television is acclimated to a fast-paced lifestyle.

Millennials assume that work will be rewarding and interesting.

… Business and Professional Women’s Foundation wrote in a 2011 research report. BPW Foundation was writing about women in the Millennial generation specifically – but I can attest that its findings apply to Millennial men, too. Work and fun, in my generation’s mind, do not have to be (and shouldn’t be) mutually exclusive.

Millennials are hungry for personal development.

… the Young Entrepreneur Council and UNC’s business school suggest in this infographic. Of the Millennials the two organizations surveyed, nearly two-thirds said the opportunity to grow and develop was the primary factor keeping them in their current job.

What’s a manager to do? Those who’ve worked closely with Millennials suggest the following:

Display vulnerability and own up to your mistakes.

… public-relations executive Steve Cody wrote last month in Inc. magazine. We’re a generation that prizes authenticity, Cody continues, so managers who recognize that – and are willing to be authentic themselves – will get better results from their Millennial employees.

Grant Millennial workers a seat at the table.

… MTV Networks ad executive Berj Kazanjian wrote a year ago in MTV’s Insights research blog. A desire to exert a positive influence on the world is common among Millennials – a fact that the savvy Millennial manager should be quick to recognize and use to his or her advantage. We may have a lot to learn moving forward, but we’re eager to make a difference in the present.

Prepare for Millennials’ always-on aggressiveness.

… author Joanne Meister is quoted as saying in this March 2013 Businessweek article. The same piece cites data showing that 66 percent of Millennial workers think they’re driven enough to be intimidating to their colleagues – compared to just 49 percent of Gen-Xers and 40 percent of Boomers.

Another point to consider if you hope to attract and retain the best Millennial talent: You’d better be ready to demonstrate to your young staffers how working for you can help them. Don’t forget that we place a big emphasis on personal development.

Have you learned anything else about managing Millennials that you’d like to share? Our comments section is always open!

Featured photo courtesy of lumaxart via vecteezy cc.

Originally published Aug 28, 2013, updated Sep 20, 2021

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