Managing Millennials in a Competitive Business World

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Michael, an employee, you recently hired, has shown promising skill in his work. After a few months, he can already perform multiple tasks skillfully and his contribution continues to boost revenue. You, the CEO, are optimistic about his future within your company except for a few trends that gradually antagonize you. Although he wears many hats, he frequently asks about the why in his work. You on the other hand wish he would just work and not ask so many questions.


Another tendency adding fuel to the fire is that he constantly asks for feedback on his work and harps on the topic of promotions. Although you notice his lack of enthusiasm to your responses, you decide to shrug it off. A few days later, he pays you a visit in your office and says he is putting in his two weeks notice. Just like that you lose a valuable employee. 


Although not always, these characteristics are common trends among millennials. Maybe you are a CEO from Generation X and dealing with employees similar to Michael leaves you confused. Speaking as a millennial myself, seeing the purpose or long-term benefit in my efforts and moving up the ladder enhances motivation. Millennials are nicknamed the “now generation” because we want stuff now and struggle with waiting.  


What steps can you take to make millennials happy and keep them working for you?


68% of corporate recruiters say that it is difficult for their organization to manage millennials. Before thinking about your approach, consider your expectations. Are they realistic?


What to Expect When Managing Millennials

74% of non-millennials agree that millennials bring valuable new skills to the workplace, including technological skills. Furthermore, 81% of millennials have donated money, objects, or volunteer time to causes they care about. These statistics show that millennials carry positive values with them and are passionate employees. A few other attributes include:


 1They are Hardworking –and full of energy! It is up to you to help them maintain their creative energy. They also seek a challenge, which is why boring routines provide little chance for improvement.

2. They Desire Professional Developmentthey want to see where their career path is heading and know exactly how to get there. This is why they value quick feedback on assignments. Knowledge of their own progress provides them with the incentive to keep up the hard work.

3. They are the Most Connected Generation – As shown in the previous scenario, the employee felt that the company failed to meet his needs;  as soon as he found a better option, he put in his two weeks notice. With various social media platforms available, the “now generation” is constantly networking and will connect somewhere else if they are displeased at their jobs.


Imagine sculpting a phalanx of highly ambitious and innovative employees, eager to learn and prosper from your coaching.  And then imagine them all leaving. This is what happens if you can’t keep them happy.


How to Make Millennials Happy in the Workplace

By 2025, millennials are expected to make up 75% of the global workforce. Like it or not, managers must embrace the role of leading the upcoming generation. CEOs today must accept a vital truth – you have to keep the “now generation” happy, all the time. If the work is boring and repetitive, their motivation will be cut to shreds.


Keep the following in mind when trying to satisfy their needs:


1. Convey Yourself as a Coach – Millennials want to be led and mentored in their workplace. Coaching personalizes the work relationship and engenders them to keep improving. Give feedback all the time, providing instant constructive criticism. 95% of millennials work harder when they’re told what kind of impact their making. They will respect you and be more receptive if you give feedback.

2. Listen and Welcome Their Ideas – One way to show your appreciation is by encouraging millennials to share ideas. You can make time for this during company meetings, seminars, team projects, or on an online platform. Never underestimate millennials – their creativity and passion could provide breakthroughs your company really needs.  

3. Make Your Workplace Employee-centered – It is easy for a manager to care more about the goals than the employees – but dont do that. If you honor their self-interest, millennials will work for you with pride. Because of their dedication, you can expect them to work hard towards your goals automatically. Another way to promote an employee-centered workplace is by inquiring about their interests or personal goals. With this insight, you can surprise them with opportunities to advance their professional growth.


Happiness is only one factor to keeping millennials working for you. There a few more factors you should consider to retain them long-term. 


How to Retain Millennials in a Competitive World

According to findings of the Deloitte Millennial Survey, two in three millennials expect to leave their job by 2020. You can provide opportunities that keep them working for you in a super competitive business world:


1. Show Career Paths Early On – and ways to get there! If you show millennials the long term benefits of working for you, you are giving an incentive to stay a while. There is good chance that many of your employees intend to stay in the same industry, so it makes sense to keep them from going to a competitor. You also want to make the work relationship mutual – you get results, they provide opportunities for you. You can also provide mentor programs that focus on their future. Such opportunities encourage employee development and according to the Gallup survey, 87 % see professional development as an important part of their job.

2. Invest in Your Firms Technological Capabilities – Many millennials learned to use smart phones as children, so naturally their expectations for technology are high. Stay up to date on the most recent technology and figure out how to incorporate it into their tasks. Mobile is the platform of choice for most millennials, so encourage them to use their mobile devices for work related purposes. 

 3. Provide Flexibility in the How-to Process – Feel free to adopt an “I don’t care how it gets done as long as it gets done,” mentality when dealing with millennials. Provide the framework for the task, then get out of their way. This generation is all about discovery, curiosity, and seizing control of their own destiny. Encourage collaboration as 88% of millennials would rather work together than compete.


Without the right resources, you may find it difficult to keep your employees satisfied. Consider a recognition and collaboration software for your company – and millennials – to feel empowered.


Resources for Keeping Millennials Engaged at Work

By using the previous tricks your millennials should stick around. With that in mind, it’s important to beef up your management skills to make sure they stay around.

Remember to:

  • Convey yourself as their coach; not just a leader.
  • Make your workplace employee-centered by listening and welcoming their ideas
  • Show them potential career paths and how to accomplish them
  • Never stop investing in your company’s technological capabilities


Check out Novarete’s standard plan which offers a kudos recognition software and private social media platform that can keep your millennials engaged.