KEY CHALLENGES FOR MILLENNIALS
Millennials are currently faced with two key challenges:
They must overcome the pervasive stereotypes managers have about their generation.
They must identify and address areas that impact their ability to work effectively in the professional world.
As older generations tend to hold opinions of Millennial employees that sharply diverge from the attitudes Millennials have about themselves, it’s important for managers to work with the various generations in their workplace to set a positive example and work to increase understanding of this generation. While research showed us that Millennials and their managers agreed that compared to older generations, Millennials are more likely to exhibit an inability to receive criticism as well as ineffective communication skills, these weaknesses must be viewed as a learning opportunity for both parties.
MOVING FORWARD, TOGETHER
Millennials and their managers have come a long way in understanding one another – though there’s still a long road ahead. That road, however, is more quickly paved by each group doing their part to move forward and understand the other.Millennials, for example, must be proactive in seeking mentorship from senior leaders, setting goals with their managers, and participating in company-sponsored training opportunities.In addition to the tips mentioned above, managers can also start taking steps to better understand and effectively work with Millennials:Give timely and constructive feedback.Keep an open mind and learn from young professionals.
Teach by example to set expectations.Implement two types of training into your organization: The first, a session or course on inter-generational dynamics that provides Millennials and their managers with concrete strategies to build a better sense of community within their teams. The second, soft-skill training provided by the organization for Millennial hires that includes instruction on 1) assimilating into a new workplace culture; 2) working with team members assertively and diplomatically and how to receive and process feedback; and 3) approaching a supervisor to seek mentorship and set long-term career goals. This type of course would also help Millennials combat misperceptions about their generation and teach them strategies (like reverse mentoring) that use their digital comfort, ability to multi-task, and multiple other strengths in a positive way.
As managers become more open and tolerant, and Millennials continue to adjust their expectations and make visible and appreciated contributions to organizations, we will continue to see a wider understanding of the Millennials generation – as well as the great additions they can make to a rapidly changing work landscape.
Read the full report here for more statistics, thoughts from both Millennials and managers, and advice on managing the Millennial generation, or listen to my recent discussion with Lisa Johnson Mandell.
About The Career Advisory Board
Established in 2010 by DeVry University, the Career Advisory Board is a panel of leading career experts and authors from business and academia who provide actionable advice for job-seekers. The Career Advisory Board generates proprietary research and commentary, and creates tools, insight and resources to prepare job-seekers for success. Its members include executives from CareerBuilder, Cisco, DeVry University, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Microsoft Corporation as well as nationally recognized career experts.