Okay, you’ve recruited talented Millennials. Now you actually have to manage them! Knowing that Millennials’ values and goals are different from those held by Baby Boomers or Gen Xers means that managing and mentoring Millennials is also different.
Here are some tips for managing your Millennial talent:
1. Provide a structured, supportive work environment.
Because Millennials are team oriented, they work well in a hierarchy. This is a significant upside, because Millennials are also easily “teachable;” they like to know how the team works and who’s in charge. Keep in mind, however, that this needs to be balanced with their need for instant gratification. A Millennial will quickly loose job satisfaction if they are a part of a team which fails to acknowledge each member’s contributions. Similarly, Millennials will loose interest if there is no payoff for accomplishing mundane tasks.
2. Create interactive relationships.
This is not your old mentoring relationship. When your organization selects mentors for Millennials, you need mentors who are willing to actually mentor – they must be willing to take the time to teach, advise, and contribute to a Millennial’s work experience. Lunching with your Millennial just before an annual review is not enough.
3. Be prepared for high demands and high expectations.
The tables have turned a little bit here. Whereas Baby Boomers and Gen Xers were willing to put in their time and ask few questions about their future, Millennials are likely to ask about how they can advance in your organization sooner rather than later. This means that your organization needs to be prepared to answer such questions, or risk loosing your Millennial talent. This does not mean, however, that you need to promote Millennials before they are ready. Instead, be prepare to reasonably manage Millennials’ expectations so that they have answers to their questions regarding rewards and promotions. One of the keys to managing Millennial talent is to develop and communicate multiple career paths.
Managing your Millennial talent is imperative to your organization’s success. With respect to Millennials, management means more than making sure your new hires are showing up for work and meeting deadlines. Much like your recruiting practices, your organization will need to commit to creative and strategic ways to manage your Millennial talent. Don’t spend time wishing that the Millennials fit into the same management mold as your Baby Boomer or Gen X employees. Instead, remember that flexibility and change can bring new successes to your workforce.
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