How to make the most of millennial employees

How to make the most of millennial employees

Millennials have a bad reputation. We’ve all heard about how they’re lazy and self-entitled. But you know what? They’re not. They’re just different from those who came before. They grew up in a completely different world, so it makes complete sense that they operate in a different way.

Millennials aren’t lazy, they’re actually really productive. They’ve just figured out how to minimise the effort to get the maximum results. As Lifehack puts it:

“Next time you think a 20-something employee is just being lazy, have a closer look at his productivity time. He might just have written a simple code to do copy-pasting for him and now enjoys longer lunches while the job is still being done by itself.”

If you invest in millennial employees, you’ll see just how much of an asset they can really be. But you can’t just hire millennials and expect them to stay. You have to keep them interested. Here’s how.

Don’t treat them like aliens

One thing millennials hate is being talked down to. They get that they’re different. They fully understand they exist in an alternative universe to their older counterparts. And that’s why respect is so important to them. Because they operate in a different space, it’s hard for older employers to relate to them. They feel like they’re looked down on because they’re always on their phones and telling their story on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Stay away from uttering “kids today” under your breath. Millennials work hard and are ambitious and they want you to notice that.

No, they don’t expect praise because they showed up at work on time. They want to be told they’re doing a good job when they are. And it’s not because they’re needy. It’s because they want to excel at their job and they won’t know where their strengths lie unless you tell them.

Let them mix up work and play

Millennials don’t want to work for nine hours a day, go home exhausted, sleep and do it all again the next day. They don’t want to sit at a desk, staring at a screen, creating spreadsheets and graphs. But who does? The only difference between the older crowd and millennials is that the former gave into that life and the latter refuses to.

Add a social element to work. Let people chat around the coffee machine. Encourage team bonding. Let them wear what they want if they don’t have to deal with clients. Don’t get upset when they browse through social media while on the job. You’ll find if you let them do things their way, they’ll be more productive and give their job all they’ve got. They want to work, but they also want to enjoy what they do.

Upskill them

Millennials don’t want to do the same thing every day. They want to advance in their careers, learn new things and acquire new skills. Becoming stagnant is something many millennials fear. So send them on a finance course for non-financial managers or get someone in a senior position to mentor them. You should also keep an eye out on where they can grow in the company. For example, you may find an account manager who excels at design.

The working world is only just starting to wake up to the fact that millennials may be the very thing to shake up the workplace for the better. So, find some great millennials, employ them and hold onto them.

Authored by: Pete Anderson

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