When it comes to working life, it is clear that millennials are very different from the generations that came before them. In order to support and manage this type of new talent, it is essential to address the generational differences in order to better understand their motivations and behavior in the workplace.

Millennials share a common goal: They want to make a difference at work. Given the significant motivational differences with this generation, current leaders must consider a new approach to managing millennial employees. Work forms a strong part of Generation Millennial’s identity — and this needs to be accounted for in the way they are managed in several key ways.

Focus on Advancement

Millennials consider promotion and career advancement fundamental to their existence in the workplace and an opportunity to develop their skill sets. Managers need to focus not just on what these employees can bring to the business, but how the organization can support millennials in the next stages of their professional growth.

This generation is not only interested in their own advancement, but the idea that everything is progressing forward collectively. Tasking millennials with creating innovative solutions to existing processes and problems will increase job satisfaction while contributing to the wider growth of the organization.

A recent study also indicated that Millennials value compensation in their top three most important factors in choosing their career. There are some incredibly hard-working people out there, and this generation may be regarded as arguably one of the more entrepreneurially-driven groups of the last 50 years. All that being said, be mindful that millennials don’t want to wait years for their next promotion.

Encourage Feedback from Management

Millennials like to know where they stand and how they are performing in relation to their goals and aspirations. Whether it is constructive criticism or just praise for a job well done, this group appreciates feedback. A continued dialogue and feedback on their work is critical to their self-development. The mentality behind this is similar to that of advancement: Millennials like to feel that they are always moving forward.

To a millennial, a job is not just about money; they want to know that they are learning and developing throughout their career. Regular meetings and feedback are likely to boost performance, creating a more productive, and motivated team. We live the age of constant and instant communication, and therefore this generation craves constant lines of communication.

Strive for Diversity

Millennial talent around the world has identified diversity and inclusion as important when it comes to their workplace. It is vital for organizations to build diversity into their employer value models and communicate those incentives to potential hirees.

Diversity is not only important for attracting millennial talent, but also retaining it and keeping millennials engaged with the organization. This diversity of talent creates diversity of ideas, and this a great thing for any organization.

Promote Flexible Environments

One of the central priorities for millennial workers is flexibility. This generation prefers work when given detailed instructions and set KPIs but would prefer to have a flexible working arrangement to being micromanaged.

Flexible working environments are also attractive to millennials looking to keep a work-life balance. Millennials value the potential to work from home or remotely with the emphasis being on the quality of work, rather than the location where the work is performed.

Empower Millennials for Leadership Roles

Millennials value certain principles over others when it comes to leadership, and those include areas such as wellbeing and employee development. Qualities such as the ability to envision and inspire are earmarked as vital characteristics for a strong leader.

The majority of millennials also want to be transformational leaders who disrupt the status quo and inspire their team. The nature of leadership is evolving, and the more traditional model of the hierarchy has fallen in popularity, with collaboration and innovation being the key priorities. Millenials want to be heard and know that their ideas are valued, so a truly collaborative leadership style tends to work better than a more traditional autocratic style.

Millennials have a different take on management, both in how they prefer to be managed and the types of manager they aspire to be. The central factor lies in their inclination towards leadership, and they desire to be inspired both by their managers and their team around them.

As they now make up such a large proportion of the workforce, it’s likely that these changes will result in a long-term evolution of the nature of leadership in the workplace. As the traditional definition of leadership begins to change, it’s important for organizations to keep an open mind about the changing relationship between management and employees and adapt processes to make way for these shifting priorities.

Oliver Cooke is the Executive Director and Head of North America at Selby Jennings, which specializes in financial recruiting.

millennials Millennials share a common goal: They want to make a difference at work. Photo: Pixabay