Six Steps to a Millennial-Friendly Workplace

Tips for today’s employers from a professional generational translator.

A significant number of Baby Boomers are gearing up for retirement. If things remain unchanged, years of invaluable experience, knowledge and wisdom will walk out the door with them. Organizations of all types are impacted by the leadership “brain drain”; many of them cite it as a key risk.

One way to replenish your leadership pipeline is to hire and develop the rising generation. It’s an obvious solution, but- if you are like most organizations I work with- the execution is where it gets tricky. How can you lead a generation that thinks (and acts) so differently than you?

Before you turn to this Millennial Training video for all your solutions, consider the following tips when integrating the rising generation into the life and future of your organization.

  • Set your expectations from the start. Many of the clients I work with are initially frustrated with young people because they do not follow the “workplace norms.” Do they know the “norms” and expectations? If so, then you have an issue. If not, then it’s on you to communicate them.
  • Establish primary communication channels. A professor recently came to me very upset about her students. She emailed them an assignment and only one of eight completed it. We investigated the situation and quickly learned that her students used Facebook messaging for their classes, not email. Make sure you are using the same channels when you communicate.
  • Help Millennials find their fit. How does a young employee’s work fit into the overall mission of your organization? Are their gifts and passions aligned with your business needs? Young people who understand their purpose are going to be more likely to stay…and to be happy in their job.
  • Offer coaching and feedback. Performance feedback shouldn’t just happen once a year. Informal conversations should take place as needed. Consider setting up consistent check-in meetings with your young workers. This will help them baseline their work and make improvements in real time.
  • Provide development opportunities. On the job training, webinars, podcasts, association memberships and cross-training are great ways to keep Millennials learning… and engaged.
  • Mentor. The Millennial generation is going to lead our organizations, intuitions and ideas forward. Are you doing all you can to equip and empower them for success?

Each generation brings unique perspectives, experiences and expectations into the workplace. Rather than seeing our differences as barriers and frustrations, what if we took time to listen to and help one another, embracing our unique strengths to produce outcomes that improve from generation to generation? What do you think would happen?

And for my Millennial friends: did I miss any good ideas? What other things do you think supervisors and companies could do to empower you in the workplace? Leave a comment below!

1 Comment

  • February 10, 2015


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