3 Lessons I Learned From Managing Millennials

We have all heard XY and Z about working with millennials. We know the basics; they are tech-savvy, crave promotions ASAP and want to make a difference in their company. There is no denying that this generation proposes unique characteristics in the workplace but we're going beyond that. Managing millennials requires a different strategy, mindset and let’s face it: a whole new managing field. Here, three takeaways I have learned from managing Generation Y.

1.   Money isn't all it takes to make millennials happy.

The most noticeable difference in managing millennials is they are not driven by the same motivators that previous generations were driven by. Millennials value an innovative and inspiring work environment over monetary motivations. Harbouring an encouraging team environment year-round is far more valuable than an incentive bonus.

To keep our employees satisfied and motivated we maintain an engaging and open work environment. From monthly team activities to free breakfast every morning. It doesn’t have to be a grand event to create a teamwork culture, little details like snacks on Fridays or interactive team meetings really do make the difference for millennials. The key here is to maintain and truly embed this type of work environment in your everyday culture.

2.   The pros and cons of technology.

While millennials require particular managing tactics, I have learned heaps from them. Millennials speak the language of technology, which can be a distraction at work, so it is important to establish boundaries as a manager. While their tech-savvy ways tend to have them checking their phones more often than the previous generation, I can't ignore the benefits.

Technology and social media are a meaningful part of our business being in recruitment. We connect with people and nowadays that does mean building connections online. Millennials have a natural tact to network digitally and use it to their advantage.

3.   They have chameleon-like adaptability.

This generations ability to adapt to changes and go with the flow is one of the most surprising aspects I have found about managing millennials. They are more than comfortable and used to embracing change. No matter the size or weight of the change, millennials are able to quickly adapt and will always be on board.

Now what?

If I could give a manager one piece of advice on managing millennials I would advise providing clear directions and guidance regarding their role, project, position, etc. Millennials are very emotionally driven, creating an engaging environment for them to work in will make all the difference in productivity and office morale. Millennials are determined for success and tend to want it quickly, managing expectations by having clear communication is key. 

About The Author – Shannon Lippert

As PKL Recruitment’s New South Wales Branch Manager, Shannon is responsible for both the Temporary and Permanent Divisions. Since joining the PKL Recruitment team in 2013, Shannon has always lead from the front, guiding and growing the Sydney PKL Recruitment Branch to be one of the most successful recruitment teams in Sydney. Contact Shannon directly on shannon.lippert@pkl.com.au or on LinkedIn.