Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Managing the Incoming Millennials

The month of May involves a flurry of graduation ceremonies. These graduates are more than likely already applying to work for your organization. Are you ready to handle them? Astron has explored the concern of working with Millennials in Astronology.  It should not be a surprise that in five years, the majority of our workforce will be the current 80 million millennials. In this issue of Astronology, we review some of the millennial generation’s values, and how organizations can successfully work with those values.

Empowerment through Feedback

A key value for millennials is empowerment. As a leader, how can you empower your millennials? Guest writer for the Ladders.com, Dylan Kaufman writes, “A reported 80% want regular feedback from their managers, and are eager to improve their professional arsenal of skills.” The Ivey Business Journal suggests that millennials have a different “social mindset” due to social media’s presence. Due to constant exposure to instant gratification and instant feedback, millennials require and value feedback more than previous generations. A Business2Community.com article suggests that “some millennials may take the lack of reviews and feedback to mean that they are not appreciated.” Obviously, depending on the field of work and personal preference, the amount of feedback needed will vary.  Conduct formal feedback regularly and pepper with informal feedback throughout the year.

Enthusiastic Work Environment

Millennials value enthusiasm in the workplace.  For loyalty and productivity to grow, employers will have to focus on making the work environment friendly. This means being open in communication and recognizing the value in creating work teams. An IBM survey notes that, similar to Generation X workers, millennial workers prefer to work in groups. The business2community article suggests, “You need to value the importance of the group and instead of ‘laying down the law’ and dictating decisions that affect the whole group, you must involve your team or at least show them why the decision was made. Your team will work better if they feel that the entire group is valued and is in it together.” Also consider the power of transparency in communication. When workers, regardless of their generation group, can communicate clearly and effectively with each other, shared goals are acknowledged and motivation is created. Never forget the connectivity clear communication can create.

Find Flexibility

Millennials value flexibility. As a result, freelancing and self-employment are becoming a trend. To combat this, some employers have offered flexible scheduling as a retention strategy.  However, there is a concern regarding flexibility stigma. This is when employees are viewed as less valuable, due to their flexible scheduling or their less traditional presence in the office space. Despite this concern, 38% of US Millennials are willing to move for better benefits in areas such as parental leave. The Harvard Business Review online suggests, “Give employees some control over when and where they work, combined with managerial support for their work and family lives.” There is a classic fear that people will take advantage of flexible schedule offerings, but Karyn Twaronite, an EY Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer mentions, “research shows people aren’t actually asking for all that much. They want flexible start and ending times and telecommuting for 1-2 days per week…these options improve engagement and productivity.”
Has your organization prepared for the new graduating millennials? Has your organization already hired and started working successfully with millennials? What adjustments has your organization made in order to support this burgeoning group of workers? Tell Astronology about it and we may share your insights with the rest of our readers!

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