Millennials (also known as Generation Y) have been labeled as needy, spoiled, impatient, entitled (and the list could go on). However, there seem to be many traits that workers from all generations can learn from them. And yes, they are actually positive lessons that could benefit your workplace in many ways.
If you’re managing Millennials in the workplace, pay attention to these four changes that Generation Y employees want to see:
Millennials want to see annual performance reviews go out the window. They want constant feedback and they want it immediately. How can you blame them? Being made aware of your performance, or lack of, on a regular basis could benefit the employer and the employee. If there are areas in which an employee could improve, regular feedback will allow them to make the necessary changes sooner than they would if they only had an annual review. Everyone could use a little more feedback, and they could use it often.
Having a supervisor as a mentor is something that many Millennials want, and it’s something that’s lacking in many organizations. A Deloitte survey found that 63 percent of Millennials feel their leadership skills are not being fully developed. However, those who do have a mentor are likely to stay at their company for longer. The same Deloitte survey found that Millennial employees planning to stay at their company for at least five years are more than twice as likely to have a mentor than those who don’t.
If you want to keep your young employees (and you should, considering the high cost of employee turnover), you need to invest in mentorship. And keep in mind that mentorship can be a two-way street– while older supervisors can share leadership knowledge with younger employees, Millennial employees may also be able to help educate older employees on new technology.
Transparency within the organization is important to Millenials. Being in the dark isn’t fun. Understanding how one’s work contributes to the success of the company helps with engagement, but almost 3 out of 10 Millennials say they’re unclear on how their work contributes to their organization’s overall success.
Help Millennial employees feel more engaged in the workplace by making sure they understand how the company is structured and how their role fits in. Consider holding weekly company-wide meetings to share major updates from each department, or use an internal knowledge sharing platform to post regular updates.
Lastly, and most importantly, communication and collaboration are of high importance when managing Millennials in the workplace. Millennials are demanding that there be more communication channels and better ways to collaborate within the organization. A recent study done by MTV found that 89 percent of Millennials want to be constantly learning on the job. Give into your Gen Y employees’ demands and open up more communication channels. Meet with your employees or conduct a survey to find out what communication channels they believe are most beneficial.
Like every generation, Millennials have workplace expectations they want met and it might just change the workplace for the better. Engagement, collaboration, transparency, feedback, and open communication lines are not bad qualities to instill within organizations. Maybe they have something right after all.