It has become fashionable to trash millennials. Some claim that millennials are the unleadable generation having a huge sense of entitlement are lazy and unfocused. While I can understand the frustration a manager feels employing millennials, especially when using orthodox methods of leadership, I find the labels given to them as misleading.
Millennials are choosy, not lazy
They ask themselves ‘is this going to add value to my work’ or is it just ‘procedure’. Millennials need to know the why before the how.
Millennials hate feeling ‘stuck’
They do not have a huge sense of entitlement they require well-communicated career progression pathways because they hate feeling there is no room for growth. With so many other ‘focuses’ out there, no millennial wants to waste valuable time waiting aimlessly. Millennials get bored quicker than their previous generation.
Millennials are multi-focused, not unfocused
Rather than unfocused, alienated or detached, millennials are consistently aroused by the multiple stimuli derived from social media. Instead of describing millennials as unfocused, I would say that they have multiple focuses that keep shifting all the time due to the sheer influx of information.
This is happening to most of us, irrespective of the generation we form part of. One minute we see a video of how a man became wealthy in 100 days which draws us in, and a few seconds or feeds later, we are immediately enticed by someone else happily enjoying life traveling in the remote regions of the world.
Can millennials still be managed?
Not just managed, they can be your best workers, but only if you are aware of the paradox that surrounds them.
Millennials love autonomy, they want their leaders to assign to challenging tasks and allow them the flexibility to carry out the task in the way they deem best. However, as much as millennials love autonomy, they hate the feeling of abandonment. They need to feel that their bosses care about them and thrive on frequent short meaningful interaction with their leaders. These little conversations help millennials readjust their focus to become better aligned with the company objectives. These conversations also allow the leader to identify talent and offer the millennial an opportunity to develop further. These conversations hit the 3 main elements of motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
Contact ThinkTalent today to find out more about managing millennials through our specialised management and leader courses and workshops.