Butler Street's millennial workforce share their insights each month in this Millennial Minute.
When discussing the management of Millennials with business executives today, the conversation is often met with a feeling of discouragement, shrugging of the shoulders and shaking of the head. Common phrases I hear from executives are, “Millennials are tough to manage, entitled, lazy, etc.”
Millennials became the largest generation in the workforce three years ago at 40% and will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025.
As a Millennial, my goal is to change your mind on my generation by helping you understand how we think and what we desire in the workplace. Millennials will help your business thrive if you are able to provide the following four things consistently:
Let’s take a step back and observe how Millennials were raised. My generation grew accustomed to being transported to youth athletic leagues, scheduled play dates, school events, music lessons, etc. Structure was hard-wired in our brains at an early age and a similar type of structure must be matched within organizations.
According to SHRM, 86% of new hires decide whether to stay with a company long-term within the first six months of employment, with the greatest impact being during the first month of employment. You only have one opportunity to make a first impression, so start right and stay right by creating a structured process for:
Pre-onboarding - to welcome your new employee, complete HR paperwork and provide them with instructions for their first day
Onboarding - to properly set expectations, gain the skills required for success, and excite your new employee about their position and the company
Post-onboarding - to establish a system of reinforcing activities to ensure continuous learning and success
This may come as a surprise, but Millennials crave accountability. However, if you missed the mark with creating structure, then you will have a tough time with accountability.
Leaders must do the following during the onboarding process to demand accountability:
• Properly set job expectations
• Communicate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
• Provide the tools, training and resources to succeed
• Explain the employee’s purpose within the organization
When properly executed, you not only hold your employees to the standards you have established, the structure of accountability will lead to your employees holding themselves to a higher standard.
As a sports fan, I look at great athletes in history and they often attribute much of their success to a coach or mentor that held them accountable. Legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady says, “Coach Belichick holds us accountable every day. We appreciate when he’s tough on us. He gets the best of us.”
Learning and Continuous Development:
Millennials are the first generation in the workforce that grew up with instant access to the internet. We do not sit around discussing the best route from one place to another or trying to figure out if tomatoes are a fruit or vegetable. When Millennials want answers, we simply Google it and get immediate access to information.Access to information must be made available 24/7 in the workforce.
To inspire the Millennial learners today, training must be:
• Accessible anytime, anywhere,
• In ways that are structured yet flexible
Create a blended-learning experience for your employees by offering instructor-led training, eLearning, one-on-one coaching sessions and access to workshops and conferences. Richard Branson says, “If you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your business.”
Constant Feedback & Inclusivity:
Millennials need a constant assessment of their performance. My generation grew up in the social media era where each person’s well-being can be determined by social status or the number of “likes” received on a post.
This concept holds true in the workforce. What gets recognized gets repeated. It is imperative to create a culture where good behavior gets recognized often by leadership and peers. Furthermore, consistent one-on-ones are necessary to review KPIs, track progression and provide support. The psychological paycheck far outweighs the actual paycheck for Millennials, so take the opportunity to invest in a professional relationship with your employees and it will pay dividends to you and your business.
Start with the basics. Create structure within your organization, hold yourself and others accountable, offer learning and development opportunities and provide constant feedback and inclusivity. At Butler Street, we practice what we preach. Need help designing and implementing an on-boarding program for your employees? Contact us and let us help.