Monday, December 10, 2012

6 Keys to Managing Millennials

Millennials, those born in the 1980s and 90s, are flowing into the A-E industry like a tsunami. They’re diverse, work well in teams, tech-savvy, and looking for fun. They come from a childhood with intense schedules and structure, and often had hovering, “helicopter” parents. Managing Millennials is slightly different than managing Gen-Xers, and extremely different than working with Baby Boomers. Here are some tips for overseeing this new professional generation:
1. Be a mentor. Millennial employees need guidance, and they want to look at you as a leader, for both personal and professional feedback. When developing your project work plans, include some professional development time for coaching and instructing these younger team members.
2. Allow a balance of work and life.  Millennials grew up watching their parents overloaded with work so that their kids could be given every amenity and activity, and they don’t want to follow in their footsteps. In addition to work, they want an active social life, they want to volunteer in their communities, and they want to enjoy hobbies and sports. Let them!
3. Use their computer skills.  Whatever you think you know about IT, WiFi, mobile computing, and the Cloud; Millennials know more, and are faster. Take advantage of their tech-savvy talents to enhance your team and the services to your clients. It might even be fun to let them give some computer/mobile lessons to the older team members.
4. Don’t be bothered by multi-tasking.  Though it’s still frowned upon in many offices, Millennials have an innate ability to be on the phone with a client while, at the same time, checking Facebook and texting with friends. As long as they are fulfilling their job responsibilities, don’t let this bother you. In fact, it may even make them more productive, because they’ll be enjoying themselves at work.
5. Challenge them. Because they grew up with over-structured schedules, Millennials get easily bored. Give them extra work and opportunities. If they’re excelling at their tasks, allow them to try something new.

6. Remain Structured.  Despite Millennials’ desire and ability for multitasking and a work-life balance, you’re still trying to push a project through on time and on budget, so make sure that your team and process are structured. Meetings and schedules must be taken seriously. Assignments and action items must be clearly stated, with formal feedback and assessment.
It has been estimated that as many as 75 million Millennials have just entered or are about to enter the U.S. workforce. Not only will you be managing a number of them on your project teams, you will be helping to grow a future generations.

No comments:

Follow @PSMJ_Resources