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7 Tips for Working with Millennials

Getting the most out of this generation by providing the tools they need to make your organization better.

Blackboard With The Word Millennials 000084280137 Medium 57f2cc5b03db9
Reprinted Courtesy of Tooling U – SME and their whitepaper Embracing Millennials: Closing the Manufacturing Skills Gap and Gaining a Competitive Advantage.

1. Don’t Generalize

Like all generations, this broad swathe of workers is made up of individuals with different life experiences that color their approach to work and careers.

2. Communicate the Corporate Mission

Millennials expect companies to demonstrate a strong sense of purpose, and they want to be part of that. Be sure to communicate your mission and show how each individual job ties to it. Allow them to see how their talents and skills fit into the big picture.

3. Show Them Their Future

Millennials want to see their (near) future. Provide room for growth within your company so they do not feel they need to grow somewhere else. Ask about their career aspirations. Institute clear steps that young employees can take to develop skills they might need for future positions within your organization. Ensure there are clear milestones along the way with rewards in the not-too-distant future. Provide recognition with each success.

4. Provide Continual Learning Opportunities

Millennials have a strong desire to learn and acknowledge they have things to learn. For instance, despite their confidence in the workplace, millennials feel they were stronger on “softer” (i.e. hard work, discipline, teamwork) rather than “technical” skills at graduations. Help them gain that missing knowledge, especially by appealing to their desire to the experiential.

Host a lunch session exclusively between management and millennials to encourage conversation. Pair millennial employees with your own organizational mentors, or those outside the company. All of this should fit into a formal continuing education program.

 5. Go Digital

This generation grew up with technology. Move away from paper. Much hiring and training can be done digitally through tablets and smartphones. For instance, online courses allow workers the flexibility to compete training at any time of day or night.

Different learning styles are easily accommodated through the use of video or ability to have text read to the student. Online training offers the added benefit of providing instant feedback – automated grading and tracking, saving considerable administrative time for employers. Allow millennials to share their technical talents with older workers, which can create new peer connections.

6. Allow Them to Share Their Ideas

Only 28 percent of millennials feel that their current organization is making full use of their skills, so provide them the opportunity to show what they can do. Arrange dynamic brainstorming sessions allowing all employees to contribute ideas.

Their fresh perspective can complement that of more senior employees. These sessions also help them see the big picture so they know where they, and the organization, are headed. From there, assign them meaningful missions. You – and they – may be surprised at what they can accomplish.

7. Provide Regular and Immediate Feedback

Millennials grew up with constant feedback from their parents, teachers and coaches. They expect it from you, their leader. It doesn’t have to be a long session. Just five minutes of clear, direct feedback on a regular basis will keep them motivated and engaged. Consider quarterly merit increases versus one annual raise to demonstrate career movement in response to feedback.


Additional information captured from The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2015

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