What Do Millennials Need To Thrive?

It is vital to provide conditions under which Millennails can excel in your organization. If you consider that Millennials will make up over 50% of the workforce by 2020, it quickly becomes apparent that providing conditions under which Millenials can excel is essential to any organization that plans on existing in the future. To that end, Millennials on the 2016 SMPS TME panel and those in the audience shared some vital additions their managers could make to their work environments.

  1. Challenge me
    Provide an objective with little structure and a crazy deadline that I can run with
  2. Give me room
    Let me attempt to reach that objective my own way. Let me fail, learn, and try again.
  3. Guide me
    Check in with me regularly but be open to the new ways I have approached the problem. Ask me questions, share your wisdom, but don’t prescribe.
  4. Listen to me
    I have ideas that I want to share because I want the same thing you want, my organization to be successful


How to best mentor and develop your younger team

One of the unique parts of the panel was that we had two pairs of colleagues who worked together as employee and manager. As a result, the managers were able to share their perspectives on things they have done that allowed their team to not just succeed, but exceed expectations.

  1. Invite ideas
    Ask your Millennial colleague how they would do things, or let them evaluate how you’ve done things in the past to see if they have any suggestions. Remember, this generation grew up with a mastery of technology at the age of 12.
  2. Push idea development
    If they want to change “how things get done around here,” push them to develop the idea so that it is justifiable, implementable and measurable.
  3. Share what you need
    Don’t be afraid to share with them what you need to be successful, and, in turn, what they need to do to be successful. Millennials need and want to learn from your experience.
  4. Be flexible
    Be willing to entertain new and unconventional ways of working, such as flexible hours or freelance instead of full-time. Be clear about the expectations then try something and evaluate based on their ability to deliver.


Wait a minute, I’m not a Millennial and I want this too!

If you look over the ideas above, is there anything here that is truly unique to Millennials? Aren’t these things anyone from any generation needs to be engaged and successful in their job? If we remove generational labels and the assumptions attached to them, then we can have constructive conversations about how to engage our teams and inspire them to deliver their best and not arguments about perceived differences.