The Millennial Misunderstanding
Every week, we discuss how the World of Work is undoubtedly changing all around us. It’s simply inevitable, just like how millennials are reshaping how we must manage this new breed of workers. By 2020, millennials will account for 75% of our workforce. And they will have to be accounted for, with a different level of understanding and engagement than the generations before them. But it doesn’t have to be scary, these are exciting times. As we work to unravel how to keep millennials engaged through different management techniques, we are learning what motivates them is not much more different than what motivates non-millennials. This week our community was joined by guests: Jacob Morgan, author of “The Future of Work” and Co-Founder of Chess Media Group; Dr. Karie Willyerd, SVP Learning & Social Adoption at SuccessFactors, an SAP Company; and Christa Manning, Senior Vice President of Research at Horses for Sources (HfS), all who brought a unique and fresh perspective on understanding millennials.
Even though there are various myths about millennials, we are learning that what sets them apart from non-millennials is how much performance feedback and mentoring they expect from their managers. It’s only natural for millennials to want to hear feedback, but:
#tchat Fundamentally the human need for feedback, respect, inspiration is common. The sad news is we don’t give enough of that to anyone.
— Karie Willyerd (@angler) September 10, 2014
And it is sad, regardless of which generation we come from, there is a human need for all of us to understand whether or not our work is being appreciated and if what we do actually matters. When managers recognize their employees and offer them feedback, they’re displaying a sign of respect. The reality is:
Just like millennials, today’s managers need more resources and support to better understand employees and their fundamental needs to be understood, respected, and given feedback. Ultimately, millennials want career growth and opportunities to develop their skills. But since the beginning of time, it has been duly noted and mentioned that we have a widening skills gap in our workforce. If we want to keep millennials happy, and move beyond offering them performance feedback and mentoring. Obviously, we shouldn’t ignore either of these two important millennial needs, but we must add to their development through training and sitting down with them to plan their careers. What it comes down to, is:
When you roll up your sleeves and work side by side with people, there’s a significant difference that can be made and achieved with them. Millennials crave engagement, new skills, and investment in their goals. They’re not selfish, they just know what they want, and they expect their needs to be meant. Both leadership and employees have to come together to share and collaborate as a collective whole. If we work to:
A3: Connect millennials and all employees with each other and with information (via collab.) so learning can be democratized #tchat
— Jacob Morgan (@jacobm) September 10, 2014
Is this the key? Must we transform the way we work by bringing all factions together through the revelation of continuous learning and exchanging of information? Having information and giving employees more access to it, is what organizations must learn to share. Millennials want feedback, skills, and opportunities to grow. Giving them information about how they work is the first step. The next step, is teaching them how to improve the way they work and developing their current and new skills. The last step, is giving them the opportunity to unleash their skills and creativity. Don’t force millennials to sit back in idle. Give them the opportunities they need to prove why they belong. It’s what they want and it’s what they desire.
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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead
Thanks again to our guests: Jacob Morgan, author of “The Future of Work” and Co-Founder of Chess Media Group; Dr. Karie Willyerd, SVP Learning & Social Adoption at SuccessFactors, an SAP Company; and Christa Manning, Senior Vice President of Research at Horses for Sources (HfS).
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