Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1994, are getting noticed! Also known as Generation Y, this growing demographic is increasingly making its mark in the workplace. Because Millennials see the world through different value filters than the generations who came before them, it often leads to tension and conflict, but it doesn’t have to! These “kids” are creative, adaptable, realistic, tolerant, and technologically-savvy, but only if you know how to tap into their potential. Since May, off-and-on, we’ve been discussing how to best motivate and harness the potential of this workplace demographic (links to previous posts are below), and this week I have two more specific ideas.
Be flexible when it comes to work scheduling. Be willing to adjust your schedule for their social engagements. I can hear the indignation right now – “What do you mean Merge? This is a job, what does their social schedule have to do with it?” Hear me out. This is the first generation to truly live work-life balance. Previous generations talked about it, but never really succeeded. This generation does and will. Millennials truly do not see a distinction between work and play; in fact, to them, work should be play. Whether it’s softball practice or attending a concert, in their minds, these engagements are equivalent and just as important as work! Now I am not suggesting that you must give in to every request, but consider them seriously. If you can make it happen, do; it’s a huge motivator for Millennials. Keep in mind that it is possible to turn down such requests, but if you’re going to, you can’t just say no, do it in the context of structure; you can’t just say “no” without a reason. Well you can, I guess, but it will be at the expense of (their) energy and enthusiasm.
So now that you’ve heard me out, what do you think? Reasonable, or am I talking “crazy talk”? 🙂 Would love your thoughts!
As promised, previous blog posts on this topic:
- Give them respect (despite their youth)
- View them as free agents
- State your expectations for results
- Give them what (technology) they need to get the job done
- Give them variety (but with structure)
- Invite them to get involved