Millennials now comprise most of the workforce. Chances are, if you take a look at your office, the vast majority of people there count among that demographic. In terms of office management, this is a concern. That generation requires a different touch, because they have different desires from the previous demographic. Here are a few ways you can properly manage them:
Promote Feedback and Candor
Feedback can be difficult to deliver, which is a problem. Feedback is how people learn they’re doing something right, or if they need to change course. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be awkward or touchy. It just has to be approached properly.
Feedback, for example, should not focus on what the employee has done wrong. Encourage people to positively reinforce good behavior by highlighting achievements. When they do discuss areas for improvement, tell people to stay positive and to remember that the objective is to make their peers better.
Pay for Education
Small businesses don’t have a lot of free capital, but what free capital you do have should be dedicated to improving your employees. Your first set of hires should form your core team. They must be the best they can be, but they’re not going to be that when the join you. You need to help them discover and realize their full potential.
Larger companies can afford to offer education stipends, or allowances meant specifically for expenditure on conferences or classes related to their work. Your small business may not have that kind of cash lying around, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your workers something. Most courses or conferences have special deals for companies who want to give their employees training, so take advantage of that. When that’s not available, you can have cross-department training sessions to better familiarize them with the rest of the company and improve productivity.
Give Them Purpose
While compensation will always matter, the millennial generation wants something more. They want to be part of a movement, to feel that their work matters. For some, it could be something as simple as making people smile through your offerings. Others want a grand vision to aspire to and build towards.
Whatever the scale, your mission and vision matters. There are a number of things you can do to impress upon them the value of their work. For example, you can have people work cross-department at times so they can fully appreciate how their tasks matter. You can also hold monthly meetings informing them how their work has made everything possible, and mention specific instances throughout the month where their efforts contributed. Connect them to the company’s goals and accomplishments
Make the Workplace Social
Friendships can make a tough day possible, and a great day even better. Workplace relationships are of critical importance when working with millennials. Not only will it help productivity levels and engagement, it’ll make them happy.
How you do it is up to you. Happy hours can work, but if you want them to bond, you may have to go above and beyond. Actual company events, like scavenger hunts or anything with friendly competition involved, can result in a sense of camaraderie that will pay off in the office.
Millennials have a tendency to jump from job to job, looking for something that speaks for them. More than a few of them do so for an entirely different reason: they don’t feel they’re progressing. They expect some form of upward movement every one or two years.
This is doable for many small businesses, especially when you’re promoting someone from an entry-level position. Give them goals and milestones to reach, and you’ll find them full of motivation and worthy of promotion.
Millennials hold a massive share of the workforce, and that share is steadily growing still. If you want your small business to succeed, you’ll need to understand how to deal with them. Do so, and you’ll find at your office a happy and highly motivated team.