The number of millennials entering the IT industry is growing by the day. While this generation of professionals is contributing new and creative ways of thinking, they are also ushering in new attitudes, new modes of working, and new value systems. For those of us working in IT who are not millennials, this brings us new challenges.
Here are some tips for working with the increasing number of millennial team members in your workplace:
Talk about objectives when discussing projects. Millennials are purpose driven and are most motivated to perform when there is a clearly defined purpose statement – not only behind the company, but also behind specific projects. Be clear about how projects will contribute to the greater mission behind the company, and especially how the company is contributing to a worthwhile goal.
Get them engaged in the conversation. While most employees are traditionally used to having higher-ups handle the strategy development for projects, millennials can easily become restless if not given the opportunity to voice their opinion. Frequently giving them the chance to speak up and make suggestions will keep any team with millennials onboard running smoothly.
Delegate all social media-related tasks to them. If you’re working on a task that requires some communication or posting via social media, this presents a great opportunity to engage your millennial team member’s 40-characters-or-less communication skills.
Provide them with lots of feedback. Particularly when they are getting started in a new position, millennials expect fairly regular and honest feedback about their performance. Taking the initiative in this way – and offering tips to help them learn and improve – is a simple and effective way of engaging with millennials in the workplace.
Acknowledge their success. Millennials are used to quantified and public recognition (think of the number of likes a photo gets on Instagram) when they accomplish something. Providing millennial colleagues with a simple ‘congratulations,’ or any other sort of verbal affirmation, will help ensure they warm to their position within the group and can confidently move forward within the company.
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