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Business leaders’ manual to managing Millennials

Managing Millennials is perceived as a tricky thing to do. How can companies and business leaders get the best from this complex generation?

According to a new survey, recent political and social upheaval has seen previously ambitious Millennials’ more likely to remain in their current jobs; now is the time for business leaders to understand what this generation want from their workplace.

Contrary to common belief, Millennials want more than ping-pong tables and pizza Fridays. Surveys repeatedly suggest that teamwork and ‘doing good’ rank higher than expected on their list of priorities.

Teamwork

An IBM survey found that the majority of Millennials feel they make better decisions when a variety of people provide input. In other words, teamwork is key. Contrastingly, baby boomers place little importance on group consensus.

Experts emphasise how Millennials have been raised to ‘crowdsource’, valuing the opinions of others and often wanting to work in diverse groups.

Deloitte’s findings support this conclusion; Millennial employees in their survey are most loyal and satisfied in workplaces where there is open communication, collective idea generation and a culture of mutual support.

‘Doing Good’

Nearly 90% of Millennials surveyed agreed with the statement: ‘The success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance.’ As the most politically independent generation to date, they heavily value what organisations stand for.

With 71% of Millennials relying on the internet as their main source of news and information, they have gained a unique global outlook which has transformed the way they work. For example, more than 80% of this generation believe that business has the potential to do good.

The majority of those surveyed by Deloitte who wish to stay in their jobs agree with what their organisation morally represents. It seems fair to conclude that when it comes to companies acting in a socially responsible manner, Millennials are the toughest critics.

Feedback

In addition to teamwork and moral integrity, the Ivey Business Journal notes that part of the Millennial ‘social mindset’ is the desire for feedback.

Having grown up with instant gratification from the internet and social media, experts suggest that this generation of employees flourish when dealt regular evaluation.

Leadership Skills

Interestingly, despite their emphasis on teamwork, surveys suggest that Millennials search for roles in which leadership skills are nurtured.

Deloitte research reveals that 7 in 10 Millennials intending to leave their employers within the next two years feel their leadership skills aren’t being sufficiently developed.

While on the other hand, participants deemed most ‘loyal’ tend to work in environments where junior employees are actively encouraged to aim for leadership roles.
In order to prevent Millennial employees from working with ‘one foot out the door’, employers will have to pay attention to their motivations.

While it goes without saying that this generation are masters of digital communication, experts suggest that their desires to work collectively and do well by doing good are not yet fully understood by business leaders.