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Leveraging Millennials at the Office


The millennial generation (people born roughly between 1985 and 2000) gets a bad rap, often described by older generations as self-centered and disrespectful. While they are often viewed in the workplace as difficult to manage, high maintenance, and disloyal, the millennial generation brings a lot of knowledge and tech expertise to the table.

Millennial traits

Millennials are thought of as the most tech-savvy of any generation in the current workforce. This enables millennials to develop social media strategies. Though they are said to have higher job expectations, they are also widely considered to be the most enthusiastic employees.

Millennials are very focused on personal betterment, thriving on developing new job skills. Unlike older generations, failure is viewed as less of a threat to millennials. But, they tend to gravitate towards feedback and praise, requiring validation of a job well done.

How to leverage millennials?

Millennials bring unique talents to the workplace, especially as far as technology is concerned. Millennials are constantly connected through texting and social media that their networks are much larger than baby boomers’.

When managing millennials, it is important to consider the following tips:

Provide positive feedback before constructive criticism. Millennials are far more likely to listen to criticism if they feel they are valued in the workplace.

Give clear instructions. Ambiguity can be difficult for millennials to navigate, so be as concise as possible when giving assignments, direction, or feedback.

Offer a flexible work environment. Millennials thrive in a relaxed, creative atmosphere.

Consider tuition reimbursement. Continuing education is incredibly important to this generation. Offering any kind of reimbursement will go a long way in retaining the employee and teaching him or her valuable skills to bring to the organization.

Put them on collaborative projects. Millennials excel at teamwork and problem solving, and they like feeling like they’re making a difference.

Explain the reason behind tasks. Millennials like to feel like they are making a difference. They want to feel that the work they are doing has a greater purpose, so explaining the “why?” behind certain tasks and assignments will help motivate them.

Understand success is measured differently to them. Millennials are far less impressed by time spent at a company and don’t measure authority by seniority. Accomplishments matter much more.

Get social. Millennials are always connected and getting them comfortable with coworkers will only help their commitment to their cause. They also thrive on collaboration. Plan happy hour at Wetherspoons and get the creative juices flowing. 

This is not a new phenomenon

Older generations have been critical of younger generations since the beginning of time. It is human nature to feel an affinity for people who share our characteristics, and to feel threatened or intimidated by people who bring different skills to the table. By making adjustments in how millennials are managed, their strengths will have room to flourish.


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