Motivate millennial staffers with these tips

This misunderstood generation is supremely savvy and can be tremendously productive. It simply seeks different rewards from those of its predecessors.

More than half (53 percent) of managers say the Generation Y is the toughest to manage.

The tech-savvy, outspoken millennial generation gets a bad rap, but, if properly managed, the millennials in your office can be a huge asset to your team.

Millennials are the largest generational faction in the workforce; by 2020, they will make up 50 percent of the workforce. It’s in supervisors’ best interest to learn how to relate to them and help them excel.

Want to learn how best to manage the millennials in your office? Read on.

  • Team them up. Millennials grew up surrounded by technology and are constantly socializing with their peers. Therefore, millennials perform well when grouped with like-minded peers. Team up your millennials on projects, and watch them flourish together.
  • Be flexible. Three-quarters of millennials want flexibility that also keeps them on the promotion track. Throwing down a hard-and-fast rule will only make a millennial bristle. The millennials in your office want to see that you’re open to new ideas and methods.
  • Be transparent. Ian Siegel, co-founder and CEO of ZipRecruiter said, “One thing I’ve learned from my younger employees is that radical transparency about the business can bridge the understanding gap between them and older generations in the workplace. Not only does this transparency engender a stronger connection, but it motivates individuals to pursue the business’s goals.” Keep it real with your millennials, and watch their ambition grow.
  • Listen to their ideas. On par with their appreciation for feeling valued and their need for guidance, millennials want to feel that their ideas are taken seriously. Often ambitious and frequently innovative, thanks to the innovative mindset that defines the generation, your millennial employees can be a huge asset if you listen to and act on their input.
  • Give them an experience. Unlike their Gen X predecessors, millennials value experience over ownership of possessions. Roughly four out of five millennials would opt to spend money on an experience or event over buying a tangible item. Yes, millennials still want to be paid, but compensation is not their chief concern. Rather, millennials want to feel valued and included; they want to gain experience and contribute to the larger strategy and goals of the business. If you make them feel involved and regarded, millennials will excel, because you are giving them the experience they so desire.

Millennials are often portrayed as self-important and lazy, but they’re educated, adaptable, ambitious and flexible. As they slowly take over the workforce, supervisors must learn how to manage them and encourage growth by working with their work style rather than against it.

A version of this post first appeared on Collaborative Exchange. You can follow Chelsea Mize and PGI on Twitter.

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