There is a fundamental disconnect between managers and millennials that leads to organizational tension, less than full engagement on the part of millennials, and misdirected effort and energy by managers.
Perceptions many managers have of the millennial workforce need to be expanded to include an understanding of the behaviors behind their perceived orientations before we can reduce tension and build trust on teams.
People’s behaviors are driven by their beliefs, values and expectations. Leaders who understand the values behind the behaviors that are perceived negatively by others have an edge in maximizing the potential of their workforce.
The idea of “Flexing” Based on the Values of Millennials
What Millennials Expect from Their Managers
- Sensitivity to work/life balance
- Space to do their job
- Being taken seriously (listened to)
- A fun work environment
- Frequent constructive feedback
- Career counseling and development
- An advocate
What Millennials Expect to Give
- Fresh perspective and ideas
- Technological expertise
- Honest opinions and feedback
- High productivity
Millennials truly value feedback and expect that their manager will provide it- both often and in “small doses”
Here is a Millennial Feedback Model will solve both problems described previously.
Do It Instantly
- One of the biggest mistakes that managers can make when it comes to providing feedback to millennials is waiting to do it
- Don’t set up a formal meeting to discuss the issue. Instead, pull the millennial aside right away and bring it up. Informality makes the conversation less intimidating
Get the Millennial Involved
- Instead of presenting feedback and ways to improve the millennial, present the feedback and come up with solutions together
- Ask the millennial to think of ways they can improve and let them feel like they’re part of the process
Coach, Don’t Manage
- Instead of thinking about your relationship with millennials as a manager-employee relationship, think of it more as a coach-trainee relationship
Be Specific and Direct
- Are there metrics you can use to measure improvement? If so, mention what you want to see from these metrics and when you need to see them by
- With any generation, but specifically with millennials, it’s important to balance the positives and the negatives when giving feedback