— August 1, 2019
The Millennial generation, those born between 1982 and 2000, is the first generation to come of age this century and the last generation to remember life before the internet. But this group brings more distinctions than this, many of which are affecting their reputation in the workplace. Research has long illustrated some of the disconnect between Millennials’ performance and their employers’ expectations.
Despite the hurdle of differences in work ethic and priorities, Millennial workers offer many positive traits that can be an asset to employers. The key is for employers to recognize those traits and use them to benefit their company, instead of letting the employee go.
If you have Millennial employees, here are three ways to maximize their success
1. Pair Millennials with Mentors
Millennials grew up being coached and carry this mentality with them into the workforce. While employers may view this as hand-holding, providing regular feedback is an important part of a leader’s interactions with all workers. Pairing newer employees with more seasoned colleagues makes it easier for employees to receive the coaching they expect. It also helps them adjust to your company culture, which can be just as important toward retention as mentorship and promotions.
But beyond answering questions, Millennials want someone who can help them shape their career path and sharpen their skill set. Millennials welcome the chance to work with someone who can look at their work from a fresh perspective and give them an honest evaluation between annual performance reviews.
2. Prepare Millennials to Succeed with Leadership Training
Let’s face it: Any employee wants to know there is upward mobility at the company where they work, and Millennials are no exception. Preparing them to step into those leadership roles in the future is crucial to the success of the company and an important factor in retention. Having the right leaders boosts employee morale and keeps turnover costs down.
To best train this newer generation, consider alternatives to traditional methods. Millennials are proficient in technology, so taking advantage of e-learning courses and other formats to present training is a great way to get started. Allowing Millennials to demonstrate their knowledge through activities such as scenario-based role-playing will allow the employer to understand their thought process when handling issues and open a discussion for ways the employee can improve.
3. Boost Accountability at All Levels
Dismissing accountability can become a problem no matter what generation or job position. Managing accountability is a vital part of leadership and a skill that should be refined often. With Millennials, depending on the workplace culture and their own values, they may be prone to shirk responsibility on teams or projects where they feel undervalued or understimulated.
Make sure to acknowledge the importance of every individual’s full participation at work and how it contributes to the company’s success. Let your Millennial employees know that they are valued and what the expectations are for their performance, giving them clear work processes. Likewise, hold more experienced employees to the same standard. When it’s clear that accountability is expected across the board, younger team members will feel less targeted and be more likely to take ownership.