Millennials do get a bit of a bad rep these days. One could say that the Boomers trying to stay relevant are behind it, but hey, generations will bad mouth each other whatever you do, that much is for certain. Say one thing about Millenials – they are by now getting quite long in the tooth. Most research places them among those born from early 80s to late 90s, but you could say that it depends on how people feel and where they have grown up as well. Still, this means that Millennials have been around long enough to gain quite a bit of work experience and become the largest, youngest portion of the workforce. But what makes them tick?
They like quality products
Definitely a product of their own time, Millennials prefer to work for organizations that offer awesome products or services. This is why Apple or Google are normally the pinnacle of younger generations’ work ambitions. They possess the desire to innovate and create something of quality, something they can stand behind. This is where you come in – you can motivate them by emphasizing the qualities of your company and the way your products or services are innovating the industry.
They have the desire to learn
If anything can be said to be the quality that Millennials have over the Boomers it is the awareness that workers must be willing to learn and improve for the duration of their working lives, as well as their desire to do so. This also means that they are not shy about switching careers after some time spent in one company, which can be a double-edged sword. However, this also means that you can find some really interesting and experienced people looking for a change – you just need to recognize them and be ready to pounce on the opportunity.
They like feeling valued
This probably goes for everyone, but Millennials are definitely expecting and enjoying the feeling of being valued. It might have something to do with upbringing differences between them and the older generations. Don’t be afraid to squeeze a few bonuses every once in a while and be creative in providing rewards and encouragement. Provide as many fringe benefits as you can, without breaking the bank, such as an occasional educational assistance or a universal gift card to show your appreciation. Your employees will certainly show theirs through their increased motivation.
They know their technology
Having the privilege of growing up alongside the rise of the pc, the Internet and smartphones really gives the Millennials the edge when it comes to technology. They have embraced it and lived it throughout their childhoods and teenage years which makes them if not experts, then definitely very capable when it comes to using any new kind of technology. This definitely means that you won’t have to spend a lot on their education when it comes to using new technology, however, it also means they are going to be very demanding when it comes to the equipment they use. Make sure to provide them with the latest technology to pique their interest whenever you can!
They need your support to advance
Millennials do lack one thing perhaps, compared to their older colleagues – the drive and the ambition to progress in their careers. It would be a good idea to let them know that they have been heard and that their ideas have been considered, even when the idea itself is perhaps not that brilliant. Remember, they deal with rejection slightly less well, so break it to them gently and if you do accept some of their ideas, make sure to give them credit. While you’re at it, remember that they will need some encouragement when it comes to taking initiative and they do like to be included in the process of making decisions.
In the end, it is probably most important to approach them as the wunderkinds they are – the generation that was the first one to be exposed to the unstoppable deluge of technological advancement at the turn of the century. You might need to tread a bit lightly, but with some effort and support you will soon have an army of tech-savvy employees with a strong desire to improve themselves and learn as much as they can. Good luck!