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3 Things to Remember When Managing Millennials

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Erin Cushing
on March 30, 2016

We’ve talked a lot about millennials and their expectations in the workplace, but we feel that this is worth repeating: millennial employees expect a certain level of process and technological sophistication from their employers. As an HR leader, that means that you need to equip yourself – and your organization’s line of business managers – with the right tools and strategies to help engage, motivate, develop, and ultimately retain their younger employees.

But what is it that managers really need to know in order to deliver on these expectations? If you’ve read our research report, you know that millennials have specific desires and expectations for every aspect of their employee lifecycle, from recruitment to leadership development. However, when it comes to arming your line of business managers with the expertise to successfully lead these individuals, these are the things you must know:

Your Millennials Want Feedback – from Everyone

It’s no secret that younger employees love to receive feedback on their work; the ideal amount of manager-employee feedback sessions for millennials is at least monthly, according to our research. But when managers have multiple direct reports, as well as their own projects and goals, delivering this amount of feedback can seem like a daunting task. That’s why smart managers will supplement manager check-ins with comments from other resources, including an employee’s team members, peers, and other, indirect managers. The good news? Millennials find feedback from multiple streams useful to their performance and development. The right technology can help enable the collection and dissemination of this multiple feedback streams.     

Learning Shouldn’t Just Happen in the Classroom

This generation of workers is the least-developed to enter the American workforce in several years, which means you need to have a proactive learning and talent development strategy in place to address these skills gaps. One thing your managers need to know when designing or suggesting learning paths for their younger employees – millennials prefer more informal, flexible learning environments that fit into their workdays as opposed to a formalized event that takes time away from their every day tasks. Additionally, almost 45% of our survey respondents found “informal instruction from colleagues” while learning on the job helpful. When designing learning paths, make sure your managers take advantage of those peers and colleagues who can teach their younger counterparts.

Millennials Aren’t Afraid to Talk About Money

Millennials constantly smash the taboo of discussing compensation with their peers, and they are highly motivated to seek out new opportunities for better compensation – in fact, 78.1% of our millennial survey takers indicated they would leave their job for a bigger paycheck elsewhere. When it comes to retaining your best-performing millennial employees, empower your line of business managers to create pay for performance programs that reward individual outcomes; 85.7% of millennials consider performance-based raises to be “important” or “very important” when considering their engagement and retention intentions at their current organization. Creating a culture that rewards high performance will better engage millennials, who always have an eye out for a new opportunity.

Millennials don’t have to be a thorn in your managers’ sides; with the right talent management strategies and supporting technologies, you can create a strong, long-lasting workforce. Learn how with our Guide to Managing Millennials. 

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