How Millennials Will Change the Workplace

Unlike the majority of Boomers, who view Millennials as self-absorbed, entitled, and unrealistic about job expectations, I see them as being catalysts for much-needed changes.  By 2025, 3 out of 4 workers will be Millennials.  Managers will have to learn to adjust.

A common and strong criticism of this generation is their ‘constant need for feedback.’  I say, good for them!  In my opinion, most managers give feedback that is not nearly frequent enough.  According to speaker and consultant, Haydn Shaw:  “Especially if you’re a Boomer, take the amount of feedback you would want, and then double it.  Then double it again, and you’ll meet the Millennials halfway!”

Yes, it’s true that Millennials are used to instant feedback on social media.  So, don’t think of formal, structured interactions when giving feedback.  Instead, provide timely feedback with Twitter in mind.  Short, specific, frequent feedback is what this generation is looking for.  Millennials want to know how they’re doing – and what they need to do to improve.  What could be better for job performance?

Another criticism of Millennials is that they only want positive feedback.  Well, who doesn’t?  Employers – use this to your advantage… what gets rewarded, gets repeated!  Although you may have to be a bit more careful about how to give constructive feedback, the rewards will definitely be worth it in terms of productivity.  Anna Johnson, Writer of ‘Business Know How,’ suggests:  “Instead of being too positive or negative – which can result in the employee not believing what you say – think about the impact on the employee you want, and communicate your feedback accordingly.”

Being kept in the loop about company goals is important to Millennials.    Again – good for them!  Understanding the big picture creates meaning for employees – another one of their workplace needs.  And, by the way, this is true for all generations of employees.

Millennials are also interested in being part of the conversation.  Don’t just tell them what you want them to do.  Ask them about their goals and about how they think their projects turned out.  Taking the time to do this will increase their ‘buy-in’ for achieving whatever goals end up being decided on.

Three cheers to the Millennials!  They’re interested in having a good and open relationship with their boss.  They’re eager to learn and are open to new ways of doing things.  They’re committed to a healthy integration of life and work and are focused on wellness, which means less absenteeism.  They’re team-oriented and want to contribute to society.  And, if those aren’t enough reasons to love Millennials … they can teach you technology, too!

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