3 Tips On How To Reap The Benefits Of Millennials Entering The Workplace
By Kelly O. on Everything Millennial
The word “millennial” seems to trigger many different opinions, especially in terms of their presence in the workplace. But why? (Millennials, also referred to as Generation X, are those born between the years of 1980 to mid 1990s making them aged currently anywhere from 18 to early 30s.) Okay, so yes this is the generation that does not know a world without the Internet or social media; but this is also the generation that has been conditioned by society to try their best with anything they do and then everything else should fall into place, right? Not quite. So while we understand that millennials are used to instant gratification, we also understand where the negative connotation of the millennial stereotype comes from in the workplace. However, with different outlooks comes growth, and that is something ultimately all employers should strive for. Here are three ways to reap the benefits of millennials entering the workplace:
1. Breakaway From The Stereotypes
Every generation has preconceived notions attached to it’s name. Traditionalists (born before 1945) still in the workforce seem to never actually retire. Baby boomers just cannot seem to grasp what Twitter is. Millennials are cynical and are only concerned for their own well being. This list can go on and on.
Stereotypes, especially within an office environment hold employers and employees back from having a clean view of who the person in front of them truly is. Look at these millennials entering the workplace as equal team members, (even if they’re not make them feel like they are!) they are as eager to learn as they are to share their knowledge. Perhaps they have another way of executing a task that could save time or maybe they know something about the latest emerging technology that can get your team ahead. Let go of these patterned thoughts and embrace the new member that is standing before you; by doing so, the office environment will become more conducive to the impending additions.
2. Create Collaborative Groups
Millennials only know the world with the Internet in it. The vast amount of information available at the click of a button is incomprehensible to older generations, but not to these tech savvy young adults. Gen X is accustomed to the instant gratification of getting a job done quickly with the help of their smart devices, while older generations understand work assignments and how to get to the end result without needing instructions (via Fortune). This does not seem to be a generational problem, but perhaps just the result of less experience – because hey, younger generations are younger.
To prevent this skill disparity, create a team of employees that can touch base periodically throughout the week or on a denoted day so that all tidbits of wisdom can be shared within the office. The twenty-something-year-olds can show more senior members on the team how the use of social media is necessary to a marketing plan and in turn, the more seasoned office workers can teach the ways of the executive world to the younger team members. This two way street of collaboration makes room for new ideas and relationships created by the heart of the business. In hindsight these work groups will also help with the disconnect between generations, ultimately strengthening the work team as a whole.
3. Mentor Program
Along with group work, a mentoring program can promote a tremendous amount of positive morale. By pairing seasoned employees with younger colleagues who show an interest in their work, both parties involved will be able to benefit from the relationship. Millennials can observe first-hand about the field of work he or she is most interested in, while the mentor has a renewed sense of motivation within the office to not only better personal work, but also the business dynamic as a whole – they are now viewed as a leader by their mentee! Of course a mentor program can work both ways; if there is a more senior employee who wishes to learn the ins and outs of let’s say social media, let them mirror your new employee and watch the learning collaboration unfold.
Mentoring programs can bring light to new strengths and passions of employees that may have not been previously discovered. By encouraging a mentor program, employers are challenging their employees to learn new things which prevents workers from becoming bored of the same ritual day in and day out. (Remember, people leave their jobs sometimes because they are bored with their work.)
With generational gaps comes forth different opinions on how tasks should be executed – and there will always be some people who are set in their ways. By remaining open-minded to the new wave of employees entering the workforce, generations can become intertwined, ultimately reaping the benefits of having millennials on their team.
(Image via Huffington Post)