Millennials (or Gen Y’s) are the generation following generation X. Though there is some debate on when the generation starts (generally born between 1981 and 1999), there is little debate on the characteristics of this up-and-coming generation. I myself am a millennial (96% according to this Pew survey).
Many companies today have three and sometimes four generations working together in (dis?) harmony, and many are at a loss when it comes to co-working with generation Y. The reason? Opinion varies but top reasons include:
- Parents who pampered and over-praised us.
- A powerful sense of entitlement.
- Desire for more work flexibility.
- Lack of formality.
That being said, there are many who see benefits specific to millennials in the workplace including:
- Benefiting from our affinity for networking.
- Utilizing the fact that we are digital natives (which doesn’t mean to throw us on social media).
- We are team players.
So now that we’ve touched on the pros and cons of the millennials, here are a few tips to working with and managing us:
1. Give us more feedback. This may stem from our pampering parents, but we like to know how we are doing. Traditional performance reviews are way too infrequent and if we need to change or adapt, we want to know now. A Kenan-Flager Business School survey found that 80% of us would rather receive real-time feedback.
2. Give us opportunities to learn. A recent MTV survey found that 89% of millennials think it’s important to be constantly learning.
3. Give us structure. Clear deadlines and due dates let us know exactly what is expected of us. This helps us know if we are on track or not.
We may be a little different in some respects, but we are worth the investment.