Four Real Truths about Leading Millennials

Posted April 25, 2016

Millennials were arguably the first generation of Americans raised with the idea that parenting means constant emotional support and attentiveness.

While that idea of parenting has great intentions, it also means that millennials have very different values and motivations than previous generations. In order to be effective, today's professional leaders need to recognize what motivates millennials, and speak to those values.

Researchers have found that millennials tend to be more altruistic than older generations, meaning they are more likely to value collective successes. Millennials have also been found to report higher levels of self-confidence and positive outlooks.

Because they grew up with the Internet, millennials are also used to being constantly accessible. They tend to report being more open to handling work issues during personal time, while expecting to be able to handle personal issues during the workday.

Take a mentor's approach

Millennials tend to look for growth opportunities, and leaders can speak to this tendency by offering younger workers chances to learn that simultaneously benefit the company. Younger workers also appreciate guidance more than past generations, and will likely embrace constant feedback, rather than viewing it as a domineering form of micro-managing.

Encourage collaboration

While critics of modern parenting deride some of it as the "Everybody Gets a Trophy" mentality, this less-competitive mindset means millennials are more likely to appreciate team success.

Today's leaders should be looking to foster teamwork among their younger workers whenever possible. Putting teams together helps to channel millennials instincts to solve problems collaboratively and consider a diverse range of opinions.

Embrace frequent and transparent communication

Millennials received constant feedback from parents, teachers and coaches growing up - so expect them to want the same in a leader. Speak to millennials' affinity for technology when setting up methods of regular communication.

Also, try to be as transparent as possible when communicating with the youngest members of your staff. Millennials are more likely to value a flattened company structure than past generations, and maintaining transparency helps to close the divide between management and workers - creating more of a community feel.

Allow flexibility, expect availability

Because of their familiarity with technology and the Internet, millennials are less likely to see reasons to divide work and personal space. In fact, the possibility to work remotely can be a very effective tool for recruiting younger workers.

However, with that flexibility should come responsibility. You should feel comfortable in asking millennials to meet or exceed expectations when working from home.

Design an inspiring culture

Millennials also want to work somewhere they can look forward to walking into each and every day. When your younger workers are feeling enthusiastic and inspired, motivating them is much easier.

Keep in mind that a loose company culture doesn’t mean doing away with results-based recognition and promotion.

At Ambassador, we pride ourselves on connecting with job candidates of every working generation. If your company is looking for an infusion of younger talent, contact one of the leading employment firms in the South today to discuss a customized talent acquisition solution.