Love ‘em, hate ‘em, they’re here and they’re a significant part of our future. Millennials are reputed to have many characteristics, both positive and negative. Often labelled lazy, narcissistic, entitled and given to hopping from job to job, they are also attributed to be flexible, confident, tech-savvy and achievement focused. Having worked with a number of millennials, and observed their behaviour both onscreen and at work, these are our top tips for getting the most out of them, from our experience.
Top Tip #1 Feedback
Understand that the reason they are fixated to their phone screen is because they get instant feedback. Ensure that your systems and team members have rapid feedback loops. The feedback does not always need to be good. If something is wrong, something is wrong. In a computer game, when you jump off the cliff the wrong way, you die and then you have to start again. What phone and computer games tell you is that millennials need to know the rules that they are expected to play by, the end goal outcomes, and have instant feedback when they are off track so they can rapidly get back on track.
Top Tip #2 Variety
Sitting in a car with a millennial, listening to the radio; or watching them on any form of screen very quickly shows you that they need variety. It is pointless bemoaning the fact that they get bored quickly. Accept this and leverage the positive by utilising their adaptability, ensuring that their job has variety. Interestingly, this variety can include some mundane elements as long as they are well mixed with stimulating work, and especially as they see the significance of the mundane aspects.
Top Tip #3 Millennials are still human
For countless generations the younger generation has always vexed the older. This generation is no different, despite the label we have given them. When all is said and done, they still need the three core elements that motivate all human beings. According to Daniel Pink these are autonomy, mastery and purpose. Autonomy is the ability to be able to do a good job - satisfying work is what I call it. Mastery is the ability to be the best that you can be at what you do (hence why on-screen games always go to the next level). Purpose is knowing that what you do is meaningful and makes a difference. Getting these three (or the potential for these three) right in their roles is key.
When we work from a place of strengths that we see in people, we get the most from them, whether they are eighty, thirty-eight or eighteen. Look for the best in your team, and if we can help, do get in touch. Here’s to your success!