Millennials are one of the most misunderstood generations, which has led to frustration in the workplace. With so many generations working together, it is not unusual that there would be some conflict. The biggest issues have revolved around the clash between Boomers and Millennials. With varying views on political and leadership issues, as well as differences in the frequency at which they embrace technology, conflict management has become a top concern for many leaders. Part of learning to manage this unique generation includes understanding and embracing their values.
The Forbes Mentor Week presentation, “The Future of the Workplace” focused on what will happen when Boomers finally retire, and Millennials take the wheel. This presentation addressed some myths and facts about Millennials. In addition to the information provided there, here are a few more Millennials statistics that may be surprising:
- Millennials are now the largest living generation
- Millennials make up more than 25% of the U.S. workforce
- Nearly half of business to business researchers are Millennials
- Millennials are among the strongest advocates of business
- Millennials’ top issue that concerns them in business is education (including skills and training)
- Millennials’ loyalty to employers remains low with many anticipating leaving jobs within 2-5 years
- Although they embrace technology, 40% believe it poses a threat to their employment
Millennials want to experience engagement at work. For this group, engagement requires that they have a sense of belonging. To meet this need, leaders must clearly share their vision, to obtain their cooperation. Millennials must feel valued; therefore, it is critical that leaders show them respect and reward them for their efforts. In research by Zemke, Rains, and Filipczak, the authors found that Millennials had nine more frequent requests. These included:
- Help us learn
- Believe in us
- Tune on to our technology
- Connect us
- Let us make it our own
- Tell us how we’re doing
- Be approachable
- Plug into our parents
- Be someone we can believe in
Part of being successfully in meeting their requests is to provide timely and detailed feedback. Millennials like to receive feedback more frequently than past generations. They like to meet privately and learn about their performance immediately after, with concrete observations. They do not mind hearing they need to improve, but they will want to have specifics on how to accomplish that. To ensure proper training occurs, managers should vary the way in which they present information. Millennials are avid learners and like to get their information through technology. Allowing for workplace flexibility may be critical to Millennials staying with their employer. Flexible working conditions are linked to improved productivity and engagement in this group. By offering flexibility, employers have found that it has encouraged their sense of accountability. By demonstrating to Millennials that leaders appreciate their values, they will have a better opportunity to lead this group in a way that meets their unique needs, leading to improved engagement and productivity.
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About the Author:
Dr. Diane Hamilton is a speaker, educator, and the co-author of It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality and award-winning speaker at DrDianeHamilton.com. She is a former Editor in Chief at an online education site and has written for several sites including Investopedia. Dr. Hamilton has spoken for top companies including Forbes about topics including leadership, engagement, emotional intelligence, and generational conflict. If you would like to learn more about these issues, you can sign up here: Contact.