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Keys To Better Millennial Managers

Millennials are one of the most studied, talked about and often misunderstood generations. The ways they think, act, dress, perceive the world and manage employees are different than anything we have seen before. But they are making a big impact on the way business gets done.

At Inno-Versity, we understand how Millennials learn, work and lead. We partner with organizations to customize and develop training to accommodate the various learners and generation divides. We also work to create an environment where each learner feels connected and valued which we believe produces the best results for all involved.

Millennials, those born between 1980 and the late 1990s, now make up a significant portion of the workforce with roughly 30 percent in management roles. And within the next decade, Millennials will lead two-thirds of management teams.

In order to understand how Millennials lead, it is important to understand more about this group.

  • Millennials will make up as much as 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2025
  • More than 63% have a bachelor’s degree
  • As a group, they have over $1 trillion in student debt
  • 81% have donated money, goods or services
  • Nearly a third have put off marriage or having a baby
  • 75% see themselves as authentic and are not willing to compromise their family and personal values
  • 92% believe that business success should be measured by more than profit
  • 45% believe a good-paying job is a privilege
  • 63% of Millennials want their employer to contribute to social or ethical causes they felt are important
  • 84% say that helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition
  • 70% have connected with a manager or employee on social media
  • 69% believe office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis
  • 50% do not believe that Social Security will exist when they reach their retirement age
  • 39% have a tattoo
  • Millennials are more tolerant of races and groups than older generations
  • The average work tenure for Millennials is two years (five for Gen X; seven for Baby Boomers)

As a vendor or employee whose manager is a Millennial, how do you work together?

Metrics Don’t Matter

Reviews, KPIs and hours spent at a desk are not important. While this generation values hard work and respects the organization’s bottom line, they are more interested if people are productive—or if they are not. Millennial managers typically do not like formal annual performance reviews, but would rather have frequent and informal feedback systems that allow for better communication between managers and employees.

Blended Is Better

Gen X may have created the casual work environment, but Millennials want it blended. The eight-to-five work life with no access to the outside world is foreign to them. Millennials are not going to turn off their lives for eight hours and focus strictly on work. But, they also don’t mind working longer hours and being available anytime to answer questions or complete a task. Flexible hours, working from home and access to technology during work are key for the blended balance. They are far from lazy, as they are often perceived. They typically work more than eight hours a day. They just want it blended into their 24-hour day.

Relationships Matter

As a group, Millennials are all about relationships. And titles and hierarchy don’t matter. In the past, managers typically had a strict policy to not be friends with co-workers because at some point you would have to fire your friend. Millennial managers don’t see it that way. They connect with co-workers on social media, spend time outside of work together and really get to know the people they are working with. For them, it is highly relational. And they want to empower all employees to grow, develop and win.

Understanding how Millennial managers think will help as you work with them and develop training for your team.

When developing training specifically aimed at the Millennial workforce, our goal at Inno-Versity is to bridge the generation gap, develop and implement training that resonates with Millennials, and to create a culture that attracts and cultivates young talent that leads to growth and management opportunities. Any training that is developed must be available in a variety of formats that is geared to their unique learning style.

We have found the best way to connect with this generation is to develop training that is compatible and works with the technology they are currently using. It must be highly visual with infographics, video and short bursts of copy. We also find that Millennials like (and need) feedback, explicate expectations, and ongoing training and validation. And finally, with this group, it is especially important to make sure the content is relevant to their job and ties back directly to a task or matrix within your organization.

If you are interested in learning more about working with Millennials or need training to meet the needs of the changing workplace landscape, we would be happy to talk. We can customize a training program to meet your needs.

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