The Millennial generation, loosely defined as those born between 1980 and 1999, now comprises the largest group of living adults. They are the first generation to come of age with high-speed internet access as a central part of their lives, which has shaped their culture and collective worldview. This Millennial generation is having a noticeable impact on the world of business, which will only increase as Baby Boomers retire.
Of course, no group as large as Millennials is going to be uniform, and there are some trends in thought and behavior that are unique to this generation of digital natives. The experiences of Millennials position them to offer insight that can ultimately make the workplace more modern, more productive, and more exciting for everyone.
If you are nervous about working with Millennials, relax – they are much more like previous generations than they are different. You can collaborate more effectively with team members if you keep these four principles in mind.
1. Be Flexible – Keep an Open Mind
The lifelong adventures of Millennials on the internet and social media have made them less rooted to fixed locations. They have friends all over the world; their social groups aren’t anchored by geography, and their careers won’t be, either.
As teleconferencing technologies continue to improve, expect telecommuting and offsite work to grow more popular. If you can, create flexible work schedules for Millennials. They work as hard as any other generation, just not necessarily according to the strict parameters of the traditional 9-to-5.
Likewise, be open to new technological innovations of all sorts, including those that may disrupt your existing workflow. Millennials have spent their whole lives living through massive technological upheaval, and can adapt quickly and effectively to change.
2. Lead With Your Mission
Studies show that Millennials are less interested in perks, social status, or lavish compensation than they are in making a positive difference in the world and living in ways that are congruent with their values.
To hire and retain top Millennial talent, be clear on the values that drive your culture and never waiver from what matters. Be a good corporate citizen and have a zero-tolerance policy toward hypocrisy. Make sure your culture welcomes and supports everyone on the team. Be a good corporate citizen, even if it may seem to make things more difficult in the short run.
If your company is unclear on its core mission, this is a strong call to consider your values, rediscover the reasons your company was founded, and consider what sort of world you want to live in.
3. Be Transparent, Be Human
Social media and other digital breakthroughs are a mixed blessing. In some ways, they have brought us closer together.
Millennials are less covetous of privacy and more comfortable with sharing. They are less inclined to compartmentalize their lives or to hide their “private” selves from their employers and coworkers.
To be an effective manager, you must reciprocate this transparency and trust. It’s okay to be flawed and even rough around the edges, as long as you embrace the unique contours of your personality.
No one is perfect. Everyone is human. In our modern digital landscape, it doesn’t make sense to hide. This creates an opportunity to embrace who we are and to be our best selves.
Get comfortable with informality. Being a serious worker doesn’t always require strict conformity and decorum. Encourage your younger team members to nurture a variety of interests and to have robust lives outside of work.
4. Keep the lines of communciation Open
Communicating effectively with millennials will allow them to fully integrate with your company and garner respect for you and your product if they understand the company’s vision, mission And values. This generation needs to feel they have a voice that is heard. Taking the time to listen and giving a platform to share ideas will mean that they will talk openly and honestly with your team and management. This input is invaluable as a manager and should provide a meaningful and long-lasting communication style.
As the world rapidly changes, those members of your team with diverse interests and full lives will offer the confidence, creativity, and adaptability you need to stay relevant and successful.
In our decades of experience working with top creative clients and talent, we have learned how businesses can use change to their advantage and thrive in interesting times. Contact Artisan today to learn what we can do for you.
We hope you enjoy the 453rd issue of our weekly a.blog.