Managing the Millennials

The times are changing, and the younger generation requires special treatment to perform well.

“When the Great Recession hit in 2008, Millennials saw their relatives downsized and people in general lose their jobs,” says Richard Avdoian, an employee development consultant in Metropolitan St. Louis. ( “There was a resulting mind shift, so that people under 40 now see themselves as ‘on loan’ to you rather than working for you. In effect they are saying ‘I will stay here and work hard as long as you invest in where I am going next.’ And they expect training to help them advance on their career path. If you do not provide that training you may not keep your best employees.”

Also, says Avdoian, you need to understand that Millennials have been pampered, protected and guarded, and given praise and incentives even when they were not doing so well. As a result, they need more parenting and encouragement and affirmation. “You need to treat them more parentally,” says Avdoian. “That doesn’t necessarily mean you should pamper them, but it does mean you should praise them. If you don’t they may leave.”

When hiring Millennials, says Avdoian, let them know how you praise your employees so they know what to expect. And ask them questions about their life plans. What kind of job are they seeking? Where are they going next? This will help you retain your high flyers as long as you can.

Finally, Millennials have preferences in how they work, so provide the office tools they are accustomed to. “Ask them what type of phone they prefer and what pens they like to use,” says Avdoian. “Do they like using an iPad or a laptop? Give them what they are most accustomed to using so they can hit the ground running.”

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