What is a Millennial and how are we all supposed to get along in the workplace?
A Millennial is someone who was born between 1980 and 2000. They are the group that was told they can do anything, be anyone, and win everything. They were taught that their ideas matter and they’re in control of their future. Love what you do and if you don’t like it, find something else. Don’t like what you hear, change the conversation. Don’t like working 9 to 5 like everyone else? Don’t. Millennials want to be heard, make a difference, love what they do, work 9 to 2, take time off for the gym or volunteering and get back online later, to finish up the day.
Working in a group largely made up of Millennials can be confusing and frustrating. They are casual and super connected to everything technology. Here are a few things you can do to build rapport with Millennials and leverage their motivation and enthusiasm.
Millennials are fairly new to the workplace, so a more senior colleague will be a helpful tool in navigating the professional environment. A mentor can help provide structure around career growth and development. Understanding the all-important office politics will also be critical for the Millennial (for example, don’t use emoticons or slang….Like “LOL” in work emails).
Destroy Your Cubicle
Generate creativity by opening up your work space. Stop using silos (by hiding in an office) and encourage collaboration and team work. Millennials work well in groups and enjoy the immediate feedback and constant “in touch” atmosphere.
Millennials grew up with parents who were very hands-on, compared to the Gen-Xers who were often “latch-key” kids.....who became more of the independent, more hands-off type. Millennials want that constant communication and feedback. They want to know how things are going, how they’re doing, and what’s next. Scheduling a weekly catch-up meeting or performance evaluation might help you to avoid the frequent office visits.
Know Your Team
Rather than just read about generational employee assumptions, why not spend your time getting to know your employees? We all make up different generations with different life experiences and have so many diverse ideas to offer….so get to know them…without using age as the starting point.