Managing the generation that’s changing the way we work.
The Millennial generation is a force to be reckoned with and as they finish their education and enter the workforce, some workplaces are finding it harder than others to understand this new generation and use them to their full potential. What do we need to understand about Millennials so we can stop underestimating them and begin to value them as the movers and shakers they are?
FACT: Millennials value flexibility.
There’s a huge increase in freelance workers – of course, this is due to the accessibility of technology and the ease that it brings to working anywhere, anytime. The Millennial generation want flexibility because they can see how easy it is to obtain. Many people are worried that this kind of flexibility will lead to disloyalty, but the two are not synonymous; this new generation are just as keen to work, and work hard, they just want to do it in a different way.
FACT: Millennials are great with technology.
Adopting new technology can be a daunting undertaking for any workplace but both generation Y and Z are incredibly fast learners when it comes to new technology. Throughout their lives so far, they’ve spent most of their formative years learning a new piece of software nearly every month – from new iPhones to social media sites and word processors, there’s a huge turnover in technological advances and the younger generations have grown up to be well-versed in adapting.
FACT: Millennials crave growth.
Thanks to their parents, Millennials have grown up being told they can do anything – something that has translated into an intense ambition. Whilst every millennial is different, there is a large percentage who would like to rise to the top. The flexibility that they so highly value means that they know there’s more than one way to do achieve their growth and they’re constantly looking for new ways to grow. Sometimes, this craving for growth means that they will move on quite quickly if they feel as though they’re not advancing in their career.
What can you do?
Here are some quick tips to start to bridge the gap between generations in your workplace:
● Mix up your teams – you want your older generations to impart their knowledge on the younger generation and vice versa; allowing the generations to mix provides a platform for this intergenerational sharing.
● Give Millennials clear deadlines – they love flexibility but leave that to their methods. If they get the job done well and on time, you can worry less about the w ay they get it done.
● Set jobs and assignments which clearly allow growth. Let them feel as though they’re moving forward in their career so that they feel more connected and want to stay longer.
● Allow flexibility. Integrate technology into your workplace so that Millennials can be as flexible as they like – without freedom in their work, you run the risk of losing them.
The first step to bringing Millennials into your workplace is understanding the differences they bring to the table. Once you understand them, you can begin to move forward and connect the generations to achieve a diverse and productive workplace.
To read more about how Millennials are shifting the way we think about work, Pendragon’s ‘New World of Work’ is available for download now