Whether or not you belong to the generation known as Millennials, you must have heard of the many things that differentiate them from the preceding Generation X or Baby Boomers. The term refers to people born between the early 1980s and 1990s. As a rule of thumb, if anyone came into this world between 1980-1996, they are generally considered a millennial. But some people also use the term to refer to those born in the early 2000s.
Whichever period you use to tell Millennials apart from Gen X, Baby Boomers, or even their younger counterparts in Gen Z, there are predefined characteristics about them that you cannot miss. Millennials saw dial-up internet as up close and personal as they experienced the first cell phones. They are often credited with some of the most world-changing inventions that are now an integral part of our life. Millennials have left their mark on the world as the population segment that knows how to set itself apart. That’s why business owners do not only end up hiring a large chunk of this generation but make an active effort to learn how to manage Millennial workers.
That’s just one of the many reasons why amongst all the ridicule for Millennial stereotypes that include but are not limited to love for avocado toast, almond milk, and mooching on others’ Netflix accounts, the generation is taken quite seriously by businesses. Set to become America’s largest population group, Millennials already make for a considerable part of the consumer population. At the same time, they also contribute significantly to the current jobs market.
Whether a business operates in the service industry or identifies as a tech startup, works as a fashion house, or functions as a financial institution, it is bound to have Millennials as an integral aspect of its workforce. With 1 out of 3 workers in the U.S. being a Millennial, the generation has already pegged its status as the most significant participant in the American labor force. As a business owner, this highlights a need for you to understand how to manage Millennial workers. Additionally, how to get the best out of the skills they bring to the table.
But seeing that this is easier said than done, managing Millennial employees can seem trickier than anything at times. With that being said, understanding the generation’s mindset that is primarily focused on issues such as social impact, environmentally friendly practices, and an overall sense of equality in and out of the workforce can be quite simple when you pay some much-needed attention to it.
Still, learning how to manage Millennial workers isn’t a straightforward path to walk. This is especially true in high-pressure environments such as the service industry, where the slightest turn of a situation could go very wrong very fast. Keeping this in mind, we have put together a list of 5 things that you can do to manage your Millennial employees in a way that is both considerate of their mindset and your overall bottom line.
Learn some techniques for setting up your training program with our piece “Tips To Setting Up Proper On-The-Job Training“.
Tips to Manage Millennial Employees the Right Way
1. Start with a Culture of Transparency
If there is anything that most Millennials value the most, it is a culture of transparency. Whether they are shopping for brands that demonstrate the utmost honesty to their customers or looking for work at an organization that practices openness with its employees, transparency is regarded as one of the most valued traits by this generation.
As far as Millennials are concerned, gone are the days when closed-door meetings and “need to know basis” policies dictated the workplace and the lives of a business’ employees. Instead of a hierarchical approach to crucial matters of business, they prefer when things are laid out on an organizational level. While this may sound difficult in practice as a business owner or manager, it is not impossible to implement. This is especially true when you are serious in managing Millennial employees most effectively.
This doesn’t mean that you have to disclose trade secrets to every employee in your organization. But at the same time, you need to be transparent about issues that directly affect your employees. Decisions such as using certain products or practices, policies that might clash with their personal views, and affiliations that might ruffle their feathers the wrong way all need to be disclosed in a forthcoming manner.
Be sure to also check out our similar piece “3 Things You Should Know Before Hiring College Students” for things to look for in a millennial employee these days.
A transparent business
Being open about such issues is a perfect way to let your employees weigh all of their options and make an informed decision about sticking with your organization. While this practice poses the risk of losing employees, it provides more benefits than disadvantages.
As a business, being transparent provides you with employees that are more loyal and devoted to your organization while knowing about the ins and outs of its operation – which means that you end up working with people whom you could depend on in the direst of situations. Since the employees are choosing to stay with your organization than you manipulating them into working for you, you can seriously consider cultivating their skill set and investing in their career with a long term approach. This assures you to end up with a great roster of senior employees and future managers whom you could rely on easily.
All in all, being transparent and forthcoming in your operation proves to be one of the most imperative practices to implement while learning how to manage Millennial workers. As long as you follow this practice with a mindset of benefitting your employees and your business, it could be one of the most unconventional yet advantageous techniques to deal with your Millennial workforce.
Be transparent with your employees and try our piece “How to Recognize & Deal with a Disgruntled Employee” for techniques to treating your employees with compassion and patience at times.
2. Be Flexible With Scheduling and Modes of Work
While this particular preference of flexibility doesn’t only apply to Millennial workers, it is one of the most crucial aspects of this generation while weighing their options between employment opportunities.
Seeing that Millennials tend to be a generation that juggles multiple jobs, student loans, and household responsibilities on an everyday basis, being allowed to work with a flexible schedule makes their lives easier and enable them to be more productive towards their tasks. This is why it is no surprise to see that 72 percent of Millennials maintain that flexible working arrangements are highly important to them.
The findings, which come from a Facebook survey conducted across 11 markets, also explain that 64 percent of global Millennials are open to turning towards the gig economy to support their earnings from a full-time job. Whereas, 42 percent of them go as far as to entertain the idea of being a full-time freelancer.
These findings would be shocking if you were not considering the issues and responsibilities explained above. But keeping them in mind, this thought process makes perfect sense when you are managing Millennial employees.
Being mindful of these requirements, offering flexible schedules, and even remote working opportunities should be at the top of your list while learning how to manage Millennial workers. Doing so is not that difficult either. If you are in the service industry, then you could show an openness to discussing employees’ schedules with them even after you have set it all up – as long as they have a good reason for their requests of modification.
If your business is based in a sector where you can easily support remote working opportunities, then you could act on that aspect as well. It wouldn’t only provide your Millennial employees with the flexibility they seek, but it will also give your organization an array of benefits such as low costs and higher efficiency.
Check out “8 Tools to Help You Schedule Employees at a Restaurant or Café” for our tools to scheduling staff at your establishment.
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3. Focus on Providing a Greater Work-Life Balance
The influence of the Millennial generation has been so profound that it has gradually yet certainly changed the way organizations look at their workforce.
Thanks to Millennials, the days of seeing employees as cogs in a machine are a thing of the past. Now, it is essential for any sensible employer not to demand a mechanical attitude from their workforce or ask them to drop their emotions at the doorstep when they walk into the office. Instead, corporations and small businesses are taking significant steps to establish a more excellent work-life balance for their employees. All of this contributes towards letting the employee know that their personal life is respected and valued as it should.
Once again, you don’t need to do much to demonstrate this from your end. The aspect mentioned above of flexibility itself would play a significant part in maintaining a great work-life balance for your employees. But in order to take additional steps that all contribute towards this cause, you can introduce policies such as not piling extra work on your employees out of nowhere, giving them extended lunch breaks to meet urgent personal commitments, not expect them to be available on emails throughout the night, and help them with adequate training in time management.
At the same time that you’re providing your staff with a comfortable schedule make sure everything else at your establishment is running up to speed by reading “Everything You Need to Know About Workforce Optimization“. Optimize your workload.
An effective leave policy that helps your employees take some personal time off to enjoy a break from work would also be helpful in this matter. Whereas, you would also need to ensure that you are paying attention to aspects such as family leave and sick leave, so your Millennial employees are not resorted to sharing memes like this one.
When it comes to managing Millennial employees, these simple yet effective steps go a long way into helping you establish a greater working relationship with them, and benefitting from happier and more productive employees as a result.
The best part about these steps is that they don’t seem like anything out of the ordinary, yet show your employees that you value them significantly. That’s one of the many reasons why so many organizations are paying significant attention to such aspects while learning how to manage Millennial workers, and reaping substantial advantages as a result.
4. Invest in Your Employees
When it comes to introducing programs that hold a world of benefits for you and your Millennial employees, you simply can’t complete the discussion without mentioning employee training programs.
In addition to work-life balance, Millennials pay a great deal of attention to the value of learning and growth in their career – to the point where a whopping 58 percent of them are willing to change their jobs to get access to this perk.
While the survey that leads to this statistic is quite recent, the fact that Millennials want their jobs to be learning and growth opportunities are not out of the left field. For the past few years, it has become clear that most Millennials do not just look at their workplace as a venue to pick up their paycheck, but they perceive it as a place to learn valuable skills for their career.
Check out this piece “All You Need To Know About Employee Loyalty” for helpful info in seeing which employees are putting an effort into their work.
While the time management training mentioned above is a good example, employee training goes far beyond these simple tips. By providing overall management and skill development training, you can show your Millennial employees that you see them as a valuable asset. It conveys to them that you don’t have any inhibitions in actively investing in their growth, while also letting them grow their set of skills in a way that contributes to their overall efficiency. When it comes to managing Millennial employees, this simple investment with some of your funds and time could go a long way in benefiting your business as well.
For one, you are able to benefit from happier employees. Since most of your Millennial workforce will be getting some sort of skill development from what you are offering to them, they will be more satisfied at their job and reciprocate your gesture of investing in their growth by working more effectively. In most cases, they would try to practice the skills that you teach them right at the workplace itself, which would provide you with employees who are proactive in utilizing a diverse skill set including but not limited to communication, analysis, and problem-solving.
But it doesn’t end there. By deploying training and development programs, you will be able to show your employees your active interest in helping them advance in their careers. As a result, you will be able to encourage employee engagement in return, which in most cases, would come as a natural reaction from your Millennial workforce. Given that engaged employees are more proactive, more interested, and more invested in performing their work in the right manner, you will be able to benefit from a more productive, satisfied, and efficient workforce in this journey of learning how to manage Millennial workers.
5. Implement Social Programs
Another thing that works in place of simple compensation and benefits for Millennials is some well placed, meaningful social programs. To them, nothing spells fulfillment from their workplace more than the organization’s direct involvement in a cause that they are interested in.
As a critical aspect of managing Millennial employees, you need to ensure that you are looking into social programs with a perspective of genuine investment to do some good in the world. Don’t just hand out checks for the sake of being in line with what your employees expect out of you. Instead, run customized corporate social responsibility programs that hold immeasurable value in them due to the sheer sincerity that you are executing them with. As described above, transparency is one of the most critical factors that would appeal to Millennials, and that aspect holds true in this particular scenario as well.
While determining how to manage Millennial workers via this method, you need to look into philanthropy and social development programs that you believe in yourself. Whether it is paying attention to climate change, rehabilitating the homeless, fighting against cancer, or contributing to the preservation of wildlife, find common ground with a majority of your Millennial workforce to get the most out of your efforts. It has been noted that nearly 9 out of 10 Millennials are willing to bear a pay cut if it would mean that they work at a company that shares their values. If this doesn’t highlight the importance of this aspect to you, then nothing else would.
Keeping this in mind, whether you are thinking about contributing to accessible education or affordable healthcare, ensure that a large part of your Millennial workforce is on the same page as you. This way, you cannot only do some social good but also earn your employees’ long term engagement as a result. With it, you also gain some brownie points as a business that is involved in giving back to society.
Once again, the steps that you will need to take are just as beneficial for your business as they are for the self-worth, satisfaction, and joy of your Millennial employees. In fact, when you look at these observations and research-based suggestions for managing Millennial employees, nearly all of them prove to be mutually beneficial for your workers and your organization. This holds true whether you are in the service industry or work in an exclusively B2B segment.
When analyzed from this perspective, learning how to manage Millennial workers doesn’t seem like a daunting or additional task that you have to take up just to appease this generation of employees. It becomes clear that the changes you make at the organizational level contribute towards the betterment of your business itself. It’s because while Millennials might be the generation that pays the most attention to these aspects, all segments of employees can and do benefit from them.
Thank you for reading! Keeping this in mind, make sure that you give these tips serious thought and ensure to work towards implementing them to the best of your ability. Doing so wouldn’t only do wonders for helping you manage your Millennial employees, but would also help you establish your organization as an ideal place to work for other generations as well.
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