There has been plenty written about the Millennial since they began to flood into the workplace over the last decade. It’s almost as if they’re some weird glitch in human evolution that see their Managers pretending they don’t really exist until their strange traits fizzle out and everything returns back to normal.
Maybe this is a slight exaggeration… but millennials have been labelled lazy, incapable of socialising ‘off screen’, rebellious of authority and over rewarded for mediocrity. They’re probably even to blame for Trump!
Either way… they certainly seem to have older generations totally bamboozled with no idea how to manage and incorporate them into ‘regular’ office life.
Simon Sinek in his talk at the RSA – Together is better, raises the point that millennials have grown up to be impatient. Living in a world where they can buy anything, watch anything, speak to anyone, find anything out or pretty much do anything they want instantly. They are used to seeing results very quickly and this is where their ‘impatience’ comes in.
But impatience doesn’t have to be a bad thing. As a Manager or a Director, wouldn’t it be incredible to have a team of people who want to get results now! The world is becoming more and more theirs because they are becoming the majority, thus dictating the direction it moves in. So why not let them take you and your business to where it needs to be as quickly as possible?
Business is moving faster and faster. Getting results even faster is going to be increasingly more important so instead of treating millennials like naughty school children, empathise with them and work with them.
You may be completely confused by these aliens running riot in your workspace, throwing beanbags at each other. But you don’t have to understand them completely and no one is asking you to (unless they’re the ones running around your own household).
Find ways of helping them continually achieve results on the job so that they’re impatience is satisfied not only through FaceTime and Amazon but throughout their working day as well.
Set small goals one after the other so they feel like they’re achieving even more. Find out whether they like to work alone or as a team, and set their tasks appropriately, being there to answer questions as they go along rather than dictating how, on what and when they work.
Unshackle them from unnecessary process and ‘sign off’ as much as possible. By the time it’s got sign off from your boss’s boss who is available for 20 minutes a week they could have failed, tried again, failed again, and then done something absolutely brilliant and learnt along the way. This will satisfy their impatient need for responsibility and autonomy as well as achievement.
Millennials are certainly shaking things up. But hopefully you’ll take the time to work with them, and realise ways you can enable them to get quality results at pace for your company, keeping them motivated and keeping your boss happy. They may even teach you a few nifty tricks on your iPhone.