Startup founders today are faced with the task of managing generational differences at the workplace. We have heard of the baby boomers, Generation X and the Millennials and in this article, I focus on the millennials generation. Born between the late 1977s to 1996, millennials find themselves at the centre of an unbelievable amount of discussion largely because they are perceived to be strikingly different from generations that preceded them. Arguably, they form out the transitioning phase between the generation X and generation Z locally known as “ama 2000s.” while this is so, there are some remarkable, characteristics amongst millennials that makes them an interesting bunch to study. This article seeks to explore some of the various factors that make the millennials different thus seeking unique management styles.
Understanding The Millennials Generation
Difficult to adequately define, some have attempted to describe the generation as entitled, lazy and attention-seeking but this is nothing short of a stereotype description. At the core, millennials are hungry for personal and professional development and feed more on frank and frequent feedback on their performance this keeps them going. What makes them rather different are the tools at their disposal which they use in carrying out their day`s tasks way differently than the preceding generations. Perhaps they have been successful in setting the tone for generation Z and how to use technology in the new age. Millennials are always on the lookout for new opportunities regularly and this aids in how they are then described as being lazy and entitled.
Millennials and The Use Of Technology
Millennials thrive in a technologically driven environment and sure they feel at home when there are on the internet. Millennials have been fortunate to witness the introduction of technological advances such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. These gadgets have transformed the way people connect and interact and millennials want to make the most out of these advances. As a startup owner/manager you need to ensure that millennials at your workplace are given access to technological devices which can be used in carrying out their work with great enthusiasm. Research reveals that millennials check their mobile phones about 150 times per day and you sure want to convert this to favour your work tasks. There is no doubting that millennials successfully leverage technology as a resource to make work more efficient and as a creative tool to support workplace flexibility.
Cultivating A sense of Purpose For Increased Productivity
To keep millennials engaged in their work and the general workplace environment, there is a need to cultivate a sense of purpose for the team and have it aligned with their personal values. Studies have pointed to how millennials constantly want to be associated with larger brands and entities that have cultivated a greater sense of purpose at their core. To then better handle millennials at your workplace, it is encouraged that you constantly share the company`s core values and overall vision. Efforts should be made in ensuring that personal values amongst the workforce align properly with the organisation`s values.
Cultivate Effective Internal Communication
As has been mentioned, millennials value frank and rapid feedback on tasks they carry out. As a result, millennials are always seeking out the organisation`s information both to feed their internal dialogues as well as be aware of what is going on throughout the entire organisation. Put simply, millennials always want to be continuously engaged in various aspects of the business and become as informed as possible in the process. Where they feel they`re not getting enough information or at worst the communication channels are poor, millennials tend to withdraw. Hence, to be able to better manage millennials, it is encouraged that managers put more effort into boosting internal communications and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Have Them Design Advocacy Programs
Millennials know a great deal about the power of social media and the majority of them have their lives revolving around it. About 42% of millennials use social media at work and this coincides with their frequency in using their mobile phones throughout the day. As a business owner/manager. It would prove beneficial then to come up with online marketing campaigns and have them spearheaded by the group of millennials. If this is carefully implemented, millennials in the workplace will make the strongest brand ambassadors and even help in attracting new talent to the workplace.
Support Learning and Development At Your Workplace
As mentioned earlier, millennials are fascinated by constantly developing themselves professionally or otherwise. An organisation that offers such opportunities for its millennial staff will always reap the far-reaching rewards of high performing millennials. It emerges that millennials want to be constantly advancing their skills and knowledge to advance their careers. While this is so, millennials also want to be taught valuable interpersonal skills as communication, patience, dealing with pressure and being team players. These are some of the things that millennials are always on the lookout for and If your workplace environment can offer them such, then they surely will be productive.
Cultivate A Sense of Responsibility
Millennials have seemingly cultivated the thought that businesses and business leaders should contribute to the improvement of society. They strongly believe that if the businesses engage with their respective communities in their areas of work, positive change can result. This factor largely stems from the fact that millennials by nature put more value in collaboration for robust and far-reaching results. As a business owner leading a team of millennials, always ensure that you come up with a social responsibility policy and have the millennials lead the projects with your respective community.
Always Have A Customised Management Style
While a lot may be said about managing millennials at the workplace, it is also important to note that the same millennials harbour personal differences which need to be approached differently and tactfully. In successful management, one size “management style” doesn’t fit all. This is because the staff always possesses common attributes but carry individual preferences and needs. In management, it is important, therefore, that you are always on the lookout for those individual needs to better understand individuals making up the workforce team.