The Millennial Generation is the generation born between 1982 and 2002. It is a massive one that has not yet been completely understood. You can find many manuals and guides to help you understand and manage this generation and managers share these soi-disant “Millennial guides”; but in reality, there are many varying views to understanding Millennials that setting any solution for how to manage them is virtually impossible.
Hereunder, you will find significant data points from many well-known research organizations that will instruct you on the characteristics of this generation so you will be able to apply this knowledge to your own management style.
Why be Aware?
The exposure of millennials to educational, economic, social, and political contexts makes them unique and different from previous generations. Millennials are the first generation with continuous positive feedback, considerable technological jumps, and political and economic chaos.
Since Millennials are not going to disappear any time soon, it is very important to first recognize their needs and wants if you want to manage them. According to Pew Research center, in the next ten years, Millennials will count for half of the work population while having more flexible income than any previous generation.
Unfortunately, Millennials are prejudiced and attributed negative characteristics when they are described. We are used to hearing that this generation is lazy, unmotivated, distracted, sluggish, uninterested, and self-centered. According to Hershatter & Epstein, the reason of this is that Millennials have grown up in environments abundant in feedback, individual attention, praise, guidance, and direction.
Why They’re Misunderstood
Millennials are highly hypersensitive because they have been exposed to energetic amounts of stimulation thus making them highly aware in life. This attitude makes this generation exceptionally skilled at multitasking and great at managing high workloads. When this attitude stops, they get bored and they appear uninterested. Therefore, if you treat a Millennial as unmotivated, he may just need more stimulation and responsibility.
What Are Their Values?
According to Holt, Marwues, Way, and contrary to popular belief when it comes to values, Millennials value intrinsic rewards, like interesting work and growth opportunities rather than valuing social and altruistic rewards. They need to be interested by their work and to feel passionate about what they are doing.
What Motivates Them?
As a manager, and in order to gain the most of your Millennial employees, you need to allow them to work in different ways. Give them more autonomy by, for example, letting them work from home. What motivates a Millennial are two things: Personal Challenge and Personal Growth.