Tweak These to Get the Most from Your Millennial Team

Tweak These to Get the Most from Your Millennial Team

Tweak These to Get the Most from Your Millennial Team

If you are reading this, you should either be a millennial, or you would be managing Millennials in various capacities. A generation that is born after 1984 and all the way through 2000, comes with their own specific instruction manual. The world is slowing waking up to the special instructions for this generation. A generation that saw grew with the digital age, exploring a world of innovation, update and versions on a daily basis. Millennial workforce is often considered to be entitled, lazy, unfocused, narcissistic and deeply misunderstood. Many have tried to decode this generation on the go, ‘What would make them stay in this organization longer?’. This was discussed in the last post. Now as we expand the scope, we see to understand what rewards and recognition would work for the millennial workforce. It is a question that would make every manager ponder on striking that impact factor that this workforce seem to hold so close to their hearts.

This is a generation used to instant gratification, with the advent of social media and doting parents, they are used to attention, care and concern. It is also wise to keep in mind that this generation grew up witnessing the fall of too big to fail enterprises, global economic slowdowns, and have grown to have a distinct distrust in intuitions. They are exposed to greater choices and have emerged with levels of education the previous generations have not witnessed. Let us not forget that this education comes with a price tag on their future salaries.

General Misconception

  1. As you flip across innumerable content on millennials’ expectations from a workplace, a constant recurring requirement is for constant feedback and much often misconceived that they want managers to hold their hands all the way through. Let’s face it, Millennials do not want managers parenting them at work.
  2. A certain disregard for hierarchies can be seen and it is often understood to stem from the entitlement. However, growing up in scenarios where the power hub inaction or ineffective response that lead to many economic and political changes made them lose trust in institutions. Hierarchies often delay decision making and growing up with fast-changing environments make eager for a constantly evolving environment.
  3. Millennials are popularly referred to overly connected to technology, narcissistic, self-obsessed. Truth is social media developed as they grew and everyone out there is hell-bent on creating a ‘personal brand’ and a need to stand out from the crowd. Job opportunities come by easy to people who manage to showcase their abilities, even before they are called for an interview. Being connected to technology has now become a necessity.

Deploying it as Rewards & Recognitions

The next question in your mind would be, ‘How do I give the best to millennials workforce?’. Luckily many kinds of research and studies, interactions and day-to-day experiences have given a much-needed insight on rewards and recognition for employees.

Make sure that your recognition program focuses on performance rather than tenure. Traditionally, recognition programs are based on service tenures, employees servicing for 5-years, 10-years etc are recognised with coupons, salary hikes, awards etc. While this suited for Baby Boomers who stuck with one workplace all their life, Millennials do not work that way. Most often they are not aware of the recognition awards of their workplace. Bringing about a change and making it more performance-based recognition program is essential. With a focus on career growth, these millennial workforces strive to get ahead sooner. They are ready to change and taking risks for their career, and when they do, they look for a pat on their back.

Meeting the needs of these millennials is all about getting personal, and giving your time. Stepping aside from the idea needing to parent your younger employees – spending time effectively matters.

Millennial Recognition tip 1 – ‘Directional’ Mentoring

A generation that is still figuring out what they need, and growing up with excessive guidance from their parents; they need open communication about their performances on a regular basis – the good, the bad and the ugly. Since they are accustomed to change, a positive criticism is taken on with the same enthusiasm. This breaks the one-way street of all good and no bad. Spending meaningful time and helping them build their career will not only help them connect with the organization, but also build concrete leaders for tomorrow.

Millennial Recognition tip 2 – Personalized the recognition

Millennial workforce is not big on monetary compensations. They need quick, real-time recognition for meeting their personal performance agenda, team’s performance agenda and then exceptional performance agendas. While these seem simple, managers wonder how to incorporate these into their organization.

Managers can start by sending e-mailers congratulations

  • Arranging for a dinner with the CEO/regional head who are otherwise difficult to meet, would give them a chance to pitch their ideas. This will help them get an insight and connect with the next-gen leaders
  • Best spots – starting from option to use the managers’ cabin for outperformance to best parking spots for a week or so would boost morale
  • Providing them with work-day flexibility, or encouraging them to take the day off, or step in later on a Monday morning are small but very effect ideas
  • Giving tickets to experiences – sporting events, performing art shows, culinary treats, other get-away sponsored by the company is also a great way to put them in a spotlight

Recognition Tip 3 – Get Personal

Getting personal is taking a moment of your time to do something that speaks volumes about you as a manager and make them look up to you. Giving them a handwritten thank you note, or maybe a hi5 at the office lobby from a CEO sends a message across the office about them. It might be that simple, but it works.

While non-financial rewards and recognition sure comes a long way, a little more cash will always add more cheer! This lot differ here as they prefer having a pre-loaded card given rather than a sum transferred into their account as it gets spent easily. Having said all these, share with us your experiences and what has worked for you over years!