“We have fallen upon evil times, the world has waxed old and wicked. Politics are very corrupt. Children are no longer respectful to their elders. Each man wants to make himself conspicuous and write a book.” – The Assyrian clay tablet, 2800 B.C.
Even though this was written in the old times, it’s still applicable in today’s world. The youth seems to be rude and impatient. They frequently “inhibit taverns and have no self-control” as Jane Barker of the University of Colorado would say it.
And the millennial generation seems to be the worst example of this behavior. But the thing is that every new generation seems odd to the previous one. The special thing about millennials isn’t in them but in the times.
The world changed more in the last 50 years than it did in the previous 2000 years and that’s why we have a huge chasm between the older generations of business owners and the younger millennial workforce.
But the young ones aren’t lazy, rude or ineffective. They show signs of higher intelligence, better solution-orientation, leadership skills even though their future is uncertain as never before.
The millennial workforce is an unbrushed diamond which can elevate your business sky high. But to create that diamond, there are certain things that businesses today need to adapt to. So here are 13 things you should give up if you want to lead the millennial workforce.
1. Give up on Short-term Mindset
Millennials love the type of work that matters in long term. They want to have an impact on the company they work in and also their surroundings.
If they smell the short-term mindset in their boss, they will pick up their stuff and leave. 43 percent of them quit a job in 2 years.
To do this, show them how the things they work on provide long term benefits, not just a small short-term peak.
2. Give up on Unhealthy Lifestyle
Millennials love to take care of their bodies and they incorporate not only the daily exercise in their lifestyle, but they also combine that with mental health.
So it’s not just about changing the vending machines and have them bring in healthy snacks, it’s about providing (better) mental health care for them. This means more open and honest communication, feedback sessions on a weekly basis and health benefits such as team retreats, team buildings, and team bondings.
3. Give up on Playing Small
Millennials want to make an impact in the world. If they think that their work is small and creating a better world to live in, they will soon enough quit. To change this, you need to not only show them the future to which you’re heading but also provide them with the opportunity to do so.
4. Give up on Micromanagement
Millennials belong to the workforce which requires and uses creativity every single day. They need to innovate, change, and adapt almost daily and the one thing that stops them from doing this is micromanagement.
Millennials function the best when you give them the work and let them do it on their work time without someone else controlling every single move they make (or don’t make).
5. Give up on Fixed Mindset
The fixed mindset believes that people are born with fixed mental traits and that your capacity for learning is limited. This was debunked by the professor Carol S. Dweck, a professor at Stanford, by her great book “Growth Mindset.”
Growth mindset tells us that the capacity of a person can’t be measured because it’s determined by your actions, perseverance, effort, and deliberate practice.
A millennial who is a write can tomorrow become a great digital marketer and vice-versa. Give them the opportunity for growth.
6. Give up on Command-and-Control
The old ways showed us that the boss is always right and every decision went from top to bottom. Today, the world functions differently and decisions are mostly made from the bottom up.
Millennials are a workforce which doesn’t have blind obedience and will rebel against anything that they think is unfair or wrong. The workforce today functions on trust, not on command type of style.
7. Give up on 9-to-5 Mentality
Millennials don’t have a work-life balance. They have work-life integration. The thing is that they want to do things on their own schedule because they are no longer working in factories, they are working on laptops and there is no point in having a fixed schedule because they will still do the work, just on their own time.
A 9-to-5 job is always just a temporal stop for a millennial.
8. Give up on a “Cog in wheel” type of employees
Individuality matters to millennials a lot. If they start thinking that they are just being treated like another cog in a wheel, they will quit. They love to grow and develop themselves and the treatment should be catered to their personal preferences, style, and needs.
Show them that they are more than a working bee and they will repay you with dedication and trust.
9. Give up on fixed work arrangements
The definition of hell for a millennial is having the same job when you’re 19 and 54. This doesn’t mean that they will always quit the company, but the expectation that they will do the same tasks for 30 years is not going to come true.
Millennials need variety in their work and you need to show them that you can provide it at your workplace. This doesn’t have to mean that you need to switch people in different sectors or positions (vertical or horizontal mobility), but they need to have different tasks and responsibilities from time to time.
10. Give up on ignoring your purpose in the world
Millennials have been raised on the notion that they impact the world one way or another. And they want to be the force of good, the agents of change, the makers of heaven in today’s world. To do that, they need to find a way to live out their purpose in this world (and for this world).
It’s not just about money or perks, it’s about the impact that they can create through their work. If you show them that the best place for them to make their purpose come through is your workplace, you will have a loyal employee for the rest of your life.
11. Give up on the idea that cultures and values are secondary
Connecting to the last point- millennials are not only interested in money or perks, but they also need more. A millennial today wants to have his values not only respected but lived through in the work environment. The old work-life balance is gone and today’s workforce is all about integration.
You can no longer divide work from life and millennials have jumped on this train fast. The thing is that their values and the culture at the workplace need to be aligned with who they are. This is connected with the purpose of the business and the way customers and employees are treated.
12. Give up on the idea that they need a boss and give them a mentor
Millennials want to grow and learn. They learned that the market functions as a creative place so it’s no longer about nodding your head and blindly following and listening to your boss because he has all the solutions.
The workforce today brings many new challenges and it takes creativity, innovation, and solution-orientation on every level to solve problems that businesses face every single day.
For this to work, millennials need someone who will guide them in the right direction. Someone who will point where to look but not what to see.
They need a mentor, not a boss.
13. Give up on the disbelief that the millennials are the worst youth generation
The old always think that the young are the worst generation ever. That doesn’t have to do a lot with the young people, but more with the old generation which liked everything more when they were younger.
The today’s generation of millennials are one of the most innovative, creative, business-like, solution-oriented people who ever entered the workforce.
It’s just about figuring out how to work with them.
And now, you know.