Do generational differences have an impact on the workplace? Yes — and you should adjust your management style accordingly.
The millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, now makes up a substantial portion of the workforce. Millennials were born between the early 80s and the early 2000s and are distinct from previous generations, particularly in their workplace expectations.
Here’s how to successfully manage millennial talent.
Awareness of Generational Differences
The first step to managing across generations is to understand the differences.
Millennials have been heavily influenced by media and technology. They’re also believed to be a more global-community minded and inclusive generation than previous generations.
Their communication style leans more toward instant messaging than a phone call. Millennials also tend to place less value on the hours they work, instead favoring the results they produce.
It’s important to remember these are generalizations and not every person will match their generational traits.
Adjusting to Different Expectations and Goals
It seems most millennials are technology savvy from a very young age. While this has great advantages in the workplace, it can also present challenges.
With technology, comes a constant flow of information and often instant gratification. It may be challenging for millennials to be enthusiastic for long-term projects or goals.
The solution: Break long-term plans into small milestones to allow the sense of accomplishment sooner and more often.
Generation Y expects a fair balance between work and life. For many millennials, extended hours at the office are a deal breaker. Millennials are more likely to consider benefits beyond salary as essential, such as a flexible work schedule or telecommuting.
The solution: Join companies around the world that are exploring new ways of working that aren’t tied strictly to spending hours at the office.
The idea of staying with the same company from entering the workforce to retirement is no longer the norm. Millennials are likely to quickly move on from a job if there’s no room for advancement.
The solution: Offer avenues for personal and professional development, and training and clear paths for career advancement within the company.
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