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Wednesday, 18 May 2022 15:14

Managing Millennials

We’ve taken some calls to the helpline recently from employers asking for support in managing their ‘Millennial’ employees. In particular, it seems there have been noises around bullying behaviour by managers when these individuals are asked to fulfil their roles. So, does this class of individuals require special management arrangements or is it something more fundamental.

The term ‘Millennials’ relates to those who were born during the ascension of the Internet. They have always known a connected world with constant online access, broadband, smart phones and social media. Studies in recent years have highlighted the differences in attitude towards work displayed by millennials vs those from older generations.

With instant access to information being the norm, our research suggests that this new breed of worker expects a job to offer varied and interesting duties, rapid career progression and constant, positive feedback.

Whilst we might expect the outlook of younger people to be influenced by their (lack of) responsibilities, millennials do seem to take a different stance towards their motivation for work than we may be used to. In more than one survey that we looked at, a good salary comes after work-life balance and opportunity for progression. Moreover, millennials don’t necessarily expect to stay in the same job or with the same employer for an extended period as we might expect those of the “baby boomer” generation to have done. Millennials expect to have more jobs of relatively short periods.

The prolificacy of the Internet and social media has also seemed to have manufactured a need for an expectation of immediacy. Access to information and knowledge of just about everything is at our fingertips in seconds, and this seems to have influenced how quickly millennials expect to see praise, reward and recognition.

The employers who might benefit the most from the millennial workforce are those who form a strategy for employing them. With information so readily available, experience may not be such a big measure of a candidate’s suitability for a role as their ability to source, access and apply the knowledge to do it. After all there are videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to do just about everything from computer coding to plumbing.

Notwithstanding, there are some crucial steps that employers should be taking when recruiting employees, regardless of their generation, in order to lay a firm foundation upon which to build an understanding of management practices and job role expectations. These include:

  • A thorough company induction that engenders engagement with the organisation’s vision, values and ethos
  • An induction to the position that clearly sets out what good likes and is accompanied by a clear job description
  • Providing clarity around targets, objectives and expected job outcomes
  • Regular one-to one meetings to discuss performance outcomes and any barriers faced by the individual in delivering their objectives
  • A properly communicated, and celebrated probationary sign-off
  • Continued regular performance discussions and one-to-ones so that performance feedback never comes out of the blue or is a surprise to the individual

Potentially we might expect millennials to expect this sort of approach anyway as they have always existed in a world where feedback is almost instant and constant, however the above outlines a strategy that should apply to all new recruits, regardless of their generation. Whilst it may appear novel to some employers, it is an approach that is recognised as being key to engendering employee engagement behaviour.

One obstacle to this approach however might come from managers who have difficulty in delivering the strategy, especially where they fear that some of the conversation might be considered ‘difficult’. Some appropriate training in this area should overcome this and prove more than cost effective.

With record employment in the UK, a more meaningful recruitment strategy might be on the agenda for some employers. Our talent management seminar is running in June but for bespoke help and support with your recruitment strategy, call us on 01452 331331 or via e-mail on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Read 282 times Last modified on Friday, 20 May 2022 14:51

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