Managing the Millennial Generation

The Millennial Generation raises questions, confusion, and brings up multiple questions regarding how to motivate and manage this group from all others NOT in that generation! Who are the Millennial’s, also known as Generation Y (age group @21-32, some say a slight bit wider range), following Generation X (age group @ 33ish up to 50) and why do we care? 

The Millenials/Generation Y will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025 according to studies done by Deloitte. The Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau says:  More than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015), and this year they surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce. So, that is why we care p- because they are prevalent in the workplace and will be driving the future. The question is: How does your organization attract the best of this group and how do we keep them?

I personally have six of these young adults in my own family (daughters, son-in-law, nieces and nephews) as well as I have many friends with children in this age group and have witnessed first hand the influence of technology, the different work approach, the expectations they have of their work environment and the desire for opportunity and flexibility. In addition, I have directly worked with and trained in the neighborhood of multi 1000’s of employees who fall into the Millenaial/Generation Y range.  As a consultant and facilitator I work with multi-generational employees and have been asked frequently by managers, “How do I motivate and manage this young generation?” I have also heard the negatives, “They are lazy, entitled, want immediate gratification and expect everything for nothing!”

In order to provide real-time answers and satisfy my own quest to uncover what drives these workers, what they value and the best way to motivate them I have conducted my own informal one-on-one interviews every time I am afforded the opening in addition to my observations.

There are some common denominators among the Millennial/Generation Y Group. From – this is what they want you to know and understand:

This group was brought up with technology and they know how to use it! They believe they can work from anywhere and get the job done! They do understand there are times and situations when being at the office is imperative and they are OK with that but all other times should allow for options. Also, don’t be threatened by their ability to use technology – they are happy to teach you, just ask!

A Creative Environment
Think outside the box!  Could your environment include: music, updated work environment, ways for employees to let off stress i.e., ping pong, air hockey, gym or an open work environment! Generation Y will work hard for you and produce but do want a hip place and inspiring place to work.

Generation Y knows they have to earn their stripes but many have already been running full blown and mini business via the Internet since they were 10!  This business-minded group has set up Ebay, Etsy, U-Tube and other ventures while still in high school, some even in elementary.  They have dealt with people across the world and have grown up as winners. They want to continue to contribute and make a difference and will do so for you, if you let them.

We are not all entitled, lazy, self-absorbed people
Generation Y like any other generations has had it’s fair share of these lazy and entitled people but they also have far more of a percentages who are hard-working, innovative, super-smart, and dedicated to the job they have taken. They are willing to work hard to get what they want but believe they should be able to access opportunities and advancement as earned.  Don’t lump us all into the same definition.

Historically, in the corporate environment you knew you made it when “Manager, Director, and/or VP” was part of your title and you were in charge of others!  Today, Generation Y is a mix. Some do want to be managers who guide and lead others but there are many who would prefer to be individual contributors and have no desire to manage others but there is a catch. This generation wants opportunities to lead without managing, to be influential, make more money, make a difference, and take on more responsibility. Offer dual career tracks and other ways for these workers to be involved and lead.

Millennials like all other generations are comprised of a mix. Include them, engage them and treat them with respect and they will respond accordingly!