Each generation complains about the previous ones and the ones that follow, but there are tips for handling each. Millennials generally want their goals satisfied immediately.
Twenty years ago, job-hopping every year was a negative factor, and employees who bailed out of job after job were considered bad risks. Companies used to train employees and each person leaving contributed to the turnover costs. Many companies simply stopped training and required experienced employees to avoid some of those losses.
Enter the Millennials with different values, work ethics, and goals, so companies lost in their efforts to manage them have turned to workforce consultants and psychologists for answers. In “Bridging the Soft Skills Gap,” business consultant and author Bruce Tulgan explains that the best approach with Millennials is to negotiate everything. One example is to say, “OK. I’ll do that for you tomorrow if you do X for me today.” If you have an unpleasant job that you need done, offer the reward for completing it immediately. Promising something for the future won’t be acceptable. They want custom deals. Tulgen says managers have more discretionary resources at their disposal than they realize.
Millennials want control, so think of what you can offer that will make them happy and get them to do the work you want. Use flexible scheduling, paid time off, extra training, or short-term accommodations if you can. It doesn’t take much to write a letter of appreciation or to add a commendation in the employee’s file, but such acknowledgments will go a long way in getting the results you want. Aim for short-term accomplishments and you may change your mind about seeing these new workers as difficult.
The Millennials may have the right approach to work. They won’t go home angry and stick it out on jobs and bosses they don’t like, and they won’t suffer the stress that generations before have experienced from feeling trapped.