Millennials – those born between the early-1980s and mid-1990s – have attracted numerous stereotypes from previous generations. The most notable stereotypes, such as a sense of self-entitlement, impatience, an ‘unrealistic’ desire to have everything quickly and the like, are often negative.
However, positive stereotypes of millennials also exist – they are seen as highly driven, competitive, innovative, technologically savvy and highly welcoming of change. While their general traits are often at odds with baby boomer and Gen-X employers, the typical millennial can benefit their colleagues and workplace in general if they are dealt with appropriately.
Three Tips For Dealing With Millennial Employees
Be a Mentor and a Guide
The stereotypical millennial employee has a desire to not only be good at their job, but to be the best at it, and in a world where jobs are increasingly unstable, it is hard to blame them. They understand that a major part of being great in their career requires learning from those who are more experienced and can offer loads of useful advice.
Millennials do not necessary expect their superiors to sit beside them every minute of the day. However, regular feedback – positive and negative – of their work and approach to it, as well as occasional workshops and forums, will help secure their loyalty and make them a better employee, which should benefit their workplace and those around them.
Create Cohesion in the Workplace
While millennials tend to enjoy showcasing their individual skills in the workplace, they also equally enjoy working and dealing with colleagues and other stakeholders. For SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) something as simple as a monthly lunch or a team-based workplace exercise could do wonders in bringing out the best of their millennial employees.
For large companies, social clubs are an easy way of allowing millennials to network with other colleagues in their workplace. This could provide huge benefits for companies that have a number of different teams and divisions, as millennial employees can easily establish internal networks with colleagues from other areas, which could lead to a more efficient workplace.
Provide a Balanced Workplace
Although the public sector has been negatively stereotyped for a lack of workplace efficiency and seemingly lazy employees, it has been a leader of innovative practices such as flexi-leave and working from home. This plays right into the hands of the stereotypical millennial, who craves possible alternatives to the in-office, 9-to-5 daily grind.
For an employer, this does not mean letting employees turn up to work at lunch time for a few hours every day. Rather, it means having a normal full day’s work at the office as the default, but making arrangements for employees in a way that allows for a more effective and fulfilled workplace.