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The Generation Gap

“Those damned kids,” is something that every generation has said at one point about the population that’s come after them. Millennials are a unique group, having been shaped by technology and the parenting styles of Boomers.

Inc. describes them as “passionate and risk-taking.” They love feeling fulfilled in their jobs, working in teams, having freedom of choice, and having fun, according to Forbes. They would rather take a lower-paying job that gives them personal satisfaction than a lucrative one that they think is boring, according to one study.

So, as you hire and train Millennial team members, how do you find and motivate them?

The best workplaces for Millennials have:

  • Strong, open two-way communication
  • A high tolerance for risk-taking
  • Support and cooperation from leaders and among employees
  • Few roadblocks to innovation.

That might mean you have to make some adjustments to your own thinking and style if you want to attract this population. The days of a boss saying, “You should do it because I say so” are long gone. Millennials expect to have a voice in decision-making and their career paths. Many of them have great talents and new perspectives and listening to them may result in new directions for your business.

Involve your Millennial team members in decision-making and express to them why you’re making certain choices. Flexing your management style to meet Millennial needs will pay off in loyalty and engagement, although it may seem backwards to traditional ways. Enjoy these great tips for managers of Millennials.

Think about how you’re rewarding your Millennial team members for jobs well done. Money (raises and bonuses) may not be as meaningful as recognition, a day off, or special experience. Knowing each of your team members and what her values and passions are will give you greater insight into how to keep them motivated. As this article points out, happy Millennials lead to a happier and more successful company!

Here are some of the workplaces that are “doing it right” in terms of Millennial management. Small businesses can still take creative ideas from big brand examples.

If you feel as if you need a handbook to lead your Millennial team, turn the pages (or download) Bridging the Soft Skills Gap by Bruce Tulgan. He’s been writing about this talented segment of the workforce since 2009 and really knows his stuff!