Every generation thinks the one behind it is problematic.
The Greatest Generation had issues with the Boomers who looked askance at Gen X who get frustrated by Millennials.
But it's the Millennials that are grabbing all the headlines now as they mature and fill the workforce. Do you have to have special skills to work with Millennials? Or to be a millennial working with the Olds?
Here are 5 things to know about Millennials in the workforce.
- You have to speak in terms they understand. They don't remember Nixon. Gunsmoke reference go over their head. Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000. Some of them may even be unclear on who The Beatles were. Don't be offended—you might have looked at Mary Pickford and called her Clara Bow! Kids, ask your flapper grandparents.
- Give feedback. Millennials want to know how they're doing. Don't expect them to be satisfied just punching the clock. Give them useful and honest evaluations on a regular basis.
- Listen. Millennials want to be heard. Take the time to ask their opinion and really try to understand what they say. You don't have to make it a democracy but do honestly take into account their opinions and they'll appreciate it.
- Money may not be the most important thing to a millennial's job satisfaction. Just as important is feeling like they're part of something they can be passionate about and having daily job duties that seem meaningful.
- What applies to Millennials applies to all your employees. They're actually just younger versions of humans. So really all these tips apply to everybody. Millennials, like all young generations, ask why more often and lack experience, because they're young. Someday they'll be older and complaining about all the new Gen Z employees. I'll republish this same list then I expect.
Hey, I'm just saying, treating people with respect is good management practice for all ages. Right?
- Streaming media policy (Tech Pro Research)
- Millennials at work: Tech is more important than free lunch and ping pong (ZDNet)
- Why IT pros need soft skills to advance their careers (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Millennials are twice as bored at work as baby boomers, report says (TechRepublic)
- How millennials are changing project management (TechRepublic)
- Why Baby Boomers and Millennials target different tech jobs, and the 10 they're most after (TechRepublic)
Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, covering the most important tech issues of the day with the smartest minds in technology.