Merge's Blog

Working with Millennials – give them respect (despite their youth)

Millennial01The Millennial generation (also known as Generation Y) is a rapidly-growing demographic in today’s workplace.  Defined as those born between 1980 and 1994 — so roughly between the ages of 19 and 33 — they have puzzled, bewildered and in some cases frustrated their Baby Boomer and Generation X managers and supervisors. Millennials see the world through different value filters than those who came before them, and in many cases, this leads to tension and workplace conflict between the generations.  The truth is that Millennials are the most creative, adaptable, realistic, tolerant, and technologically-savvy group to ever arrive in the workplace, and they can take you and your organization to amazing places that you may have never imagined.  BUT … only if you know how to tap into this immense potential.  Not surprisingly, I am often asked about how to work more effectively with Millennials.  So this week, in today’s and my next post, I’ll give you a couple of specific ideas.

First, don’t discount them because of their youth.  Millennials crave respect.  Many Boomers and Gen X’ers operate under the philosophy of “You must EARN my respect.”  Consider changing your approach to “You HAVE my respect unless you prove to me that you don’t deserve it.”  This may seem like just semantics to some, but its impact is powerful.  Give them your respect unless they give you a reason not to.  You’ll find that this seemingly simple action will be a huge motivator to most Millennials.

I have another idea coming to you later this week, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Do you agree with me?  What are you doing to attract, engage and motivate your Millennials.  Please share.

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