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Managing Millennials: Your guide to the new generation

Managing Millennials: Your guide to the new generation

Entitled, lazy, glued to their phones – millennials in the workplace get a bad rap. But how much of this criticism is justified and how much is just older generations struggling to understand the new wave of employees? With millennials set to make up 35% of the global workforce by 2020, now is the time to get with the program and discover how the new generation of workers can help your business thrive!

Money isn’t everything

Newsflash: money isn’t the only thing motivating millennial employees. More and more managers and business owners are coming to realise that younger employees aren’t just looking to make a quick buck; they want to be engaged and feel like they are making a difference in their work. Use this to your advantage! Find ways to involve your team in existing community initiatives or, better yet, ask them to suggest new ones! You’ll be amazed at the ideas that come from your staff when they feel like their opinion is being heard.

Annoying habits or unique talents?

Millennials use their phones a lot. They were born with Motorola Razr’s in their hands and raised in a world of Instagram and Uber Eats, what do you expect? Instead of getting frustrated if you see your team with their phones on the floor, ask yourself – how can I use this to my advantage?

This talent for tech means your younger employees may have skills you don’t. Why not give your team digital focused responsibilities like taking care of social media or becoming the go-to whizz for your salon software? As well as reducing your workload, this will keep your staff happy and engaged.

Growth is good

Up-skilling is instinctive to millinnials, which makes it an easy way for you to keep your staff engaged! Make sure you have regular catch ups with your team to ensure they remain engaged and eager to do well. Consider hosting training events for your whole team, not just younger staff, to keep everyone’s skills sharp. The important thing is to find what suits you and your team. While some staff may have great attention spans, others may be more suited to “micro learning” – bight sized training undertaken more regularly. Once you know what works for your team, you will be able to run effective training.

Earn their respect, don’t demand it

Young people can shy away from authority figures, that’s no secret. The trick here is using this to your advantage. Millennial staff are more likely to respect a manager who talks the talk and walks the walk. By letting your staff see what a passionate stylist and business owner you are, and how respectfully you treat your clients and staff, you’ll get more than a dedicated employee, you might just find yourself with a new mentee!

Work/ life balance is key

Many millennials have grown up seeing their parents slug it out at nine to five’s that have left them burnt out and unfulfilled. Repeat a generation’s worth of mistakes? No thank you. The new wave of staff may have different priorities, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work hard for you. Quite the opposite. Being flexible with staff will not only help you reduce turnover, it will have the added bonus of keeping your staff happy, relaxed and ready to do their best work!

James Hanlon

James is a freelance writer, social media manager and marketer, he's been lucky enough to work with loads of inspiring startups and small businesses.