Every generation seems to get flak from the generations before them. This is not unique to our current situation of Millennials being in the hot seat and seemingly an easy target for criticism from Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers. The fact of the matter, though, is that Generation Y now makes up the bulk of the workforce. It is best to embrace their uniqueness and to employ management strategies that will both be most effective for their long term success and aid staff retention. Millennials are more loyal to people than to companies, so relationships with management and co-workers will influence whether or not an employee decides to stay with a company. This will often be more important even than their duties and pay.
There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but overall, this generation is very curious and collaborative and values open communication.
Millennials appreciate transparency and are curious to know the “why” behind policies and procedures. This demonstrates their engagement and helps them both to grow and succeed in their own respective careers and within a company. Another benefit of understanding the “why” behind something is that once the objective is understood, they are better able to offer alternative solutions to reach that objective that may be more efficient and effective.
Employing a management and training strategy that allows staff to understand the “why” behind something will not only satisfy the staff but will also assist in their career development and keep the company moving forward with the most effective procedures and strategies.
Because this generation is team-oriented and thrives on collaboration, a management style that is open to and values the feedback and suggestions of their employees will foster employees who are more engaged and satisfied in their work.
A few years back, Cadre started to do annual “kick-off” meetings where each employee sits down with both the CEO and the President together to discuss how they feel things are going in their positions – what they like, what they don’t, and areas of possible improvement. Every year, we implement policy and process changes that have been suggested by our staff members. This is one of the many reasons why Cadre has maintained such great staff retention.
Another approach that Cadre uses is that all offices have an open concept floor plan, which fosters teamwork and open communication among team members. Our organizational structure is entirely focused on teamwork and collaboration, as each staff member takes a different piece of the recruitment process. We refer to it as “passing the baton.”
Millennials genuinely care about the quality of their work and crave regular feedback and value open communication on their performance. All employees want to feel valued and appreciated regardless of their generation; Millennials, however, often seek out more frequent feedback than an annual or semi-annual review. They want to know more regularly how they can improve or what they can be doing better.
At Cadre, we make it a management practice to offer feedback, praise, and suggestions as soon as we see something versus waiting until a review. Our goal is that information discussed in a review should never be new.
I readily admit that I may be biased on why Millennials make great employees because we are fortunate to have such a great team. They objectively have a lot to offer the workforce. Companies that accommodate their needs will be more successful in the long run.