Working with Millennials – What Every Leader Should Know

Millennials (those who were born between 1982 and 1996) currently make up about 50 percent of the workforce. By 2025, that number is expected to increase to 75 percent. 

Clearly, it behooves employers to learn how to work with Millennials sooner rather than later. In many cases, this is easier said than done, though. 

Do you currently have Millennials on your team? Are you unsure of how to best support and motivate them? 

If so, keep reading. Explained below are some of the most important things leaders should know about how to work with Millennials.

millennials working

Who Are Millennials?

People who were born after 1982 fall into the Millennial generation. The average Millennial worker has a college degree, is employed full-time, and works for a large private organization that has at least 100 employees. 

Challenges of Working with Millennials

Even though they make up a significant portion of the workforce, many employers experience confusion and frustration when it comes to working with Millennials. The following are some specific challenges employers are facing:

  • Lack of Engagement: Millennials are the least likely to be engaged in their jobs, with 55 percent falling into the “not engaged” category and 16 percent falling into the “actively disengaged category” in a recent Gallup survey
  • Demand for Flexibility: Millennials want flexible jobs, in terms of the hours and the location in which they work
  • Need for Connection: Millennials also want to feel a deeper connection their jobs; this includes having a strong relationship with their employer and other higher-ups in the company and having an understanding of what their purpose is as an employee

Tips for Working with Millennials

Do any of these challenges sound familiar to you? These tips for working with Millennials can help you to overcome them and improve morale and productivity for everyone at your workplace:

Provide a Sense of Purpose

If your Millennial employees feel that they’re part of something bigger than boosting the company’s bottom line, they’ll likely be more engaged, motivated, and productive. 

Communicate what the company’s yearly and quarterly goals are on a regular basis. The OKR (Objectives and Key Results) framework is especially useful for this. Then, relate those goals back to them and their responsibilities and talk to employees about the big-picture impact that their contributions will have. 

Support Their Leadership Ambitions

If you have Millennial employees who show signs of wanting to take on leadership roles and additional responsibility, support those ambitions. 

Meet with employees on a regular basis to talk about their goals and formulate a plan to help them accomplish them. This also helps you to satisfy Millennials’ need for connection.

Encourage Mentorship

To further satisfy the need for connection and support Millennial workers’ leadership ambitions, encourage mentorship. 

Consider pairing up Millennial employees with more seasoned workers in other departments or in higher-up positions in the company. This gives them a chance to see what they can aspire to and will likely provide them with more motivation to continue doing good work and increase their productivity.

Offer Training Programs

Consider giving Millennial employees a clear path to accomplish their goals and move up within the company. One way to do this is by providing them with regular training opportunities. 

When you put together training programs that teach workers the specific skills they’ll need to qualify for other positions, you show them that you value them and want them to stick around long-term. Millennials have a reputation for being job-hoppers, and helping them to expand their skillset is a good way to combat this issue.

Encourage Flexible Working Conditions

When possible, do your best to create flexible working conditions. 

Remember, offering flexibility helps to increase job satisfaction and employee engagement across the board, regardless of employees’ age. By allowing workers to come in at times and create their own schedule, for example, you can create a more hospitable work environment for everyone you employ.

Offer Remote Working Opportunities 

Another way to implement more flexibility is to offer remote working opportunities. Give workers the chance to work from home a few days per week, for example, or simply allow it as an option that employees can take advantage of on days when they have other commitments that make it hard for them to get to the office and be fully present.

Using a software like Weekdone can help keep teams aligned when working remotely. Easily keep your quarterly goals on track with OKR tracking, and keep employees plans driving these goals forward with Weekly planning.

Change the Way You Work with Millennials Today

Now that you know more about how to work with Millennials, it’s time to start improving your workplace for the better. 

Keep this information in mind as you begin making changes to the way you lead, support, and motivate your employees. It might feel like a big adjustment at first, but when you see the positive changes that occur in your business, you’ll be glad you made some changes.