Baby boomers are getting older. The millennials are taking over. Millennials are the new buyer, and theyre the new seller.
All the talk these days seems to be about millennials
How do you hire them?
How do you manage them
How do you motivate them?
How do you work with them?
Why are they so different?
Why do they dress like that?
What makes them tick?
Why are so many of them ticked-off?
AUTHORS NOTE: I am a millennial who considers herself a non-millennial.
Unlike most millennials, I am only entitled to whatever I work for, I pick up the phone, Im all about face-to-face, I dont snapchat as much as I YouTube, I do text a lot, but I also follow through with personal connection. I do Instagram, but I try to keep it out of my backyard, more on a business/personal level, not backyard barbeque. I dress professionally when Im going to a professional event. In short, Im responsible for myself and Im accountable to myself.
Im creating a new generational category of non-millennial-millennials.
Im defining myself because Im in that millennial AGE group well, Im in the cusp of it. And its not fair for me to give my age because women dont like to give their age, so lets just say I was born somewhere between 1983 and 1983.
But clearly I dont fit (or should I say misfit) the definition.
Ive had a leadership position since college where I ran a program with 200 students and I recognize that I dont consider myself a millennial, but I am friends with and understand the mindset of millennials.
My good friend, Jeffrey Gitomer, reminded me that millennials encompass an age group, not a type of person. Unfortunately, millennials have been typed by age. Yes, many of them deserve it, but the majority of them do not. And just like all newsworthy issues, the smallest percentage of anybody gets the majority of the press.
FACT: The biggest misnomer is calling someone a millennial. Id rather give them a title a nurse, a doctor, whatever, Id rather give them a title than try to describe them by their age characteristics, and you should too.
You cant judge an entire generation or group of people in a sentence or two. All millennials have a sense of entitlement, is false some of them do, some of them dont. Its like saying, All women are bad drivers. Or All athletes are stupid. Or All people from Scotland are cheap. One size does not fit all. Well, maybe Scotland
Its about individual judgement without pre-prejudice.
Knowing how I feel about this (my) generation, here are some tips for you, the employer and how you can best work with millennials.
How do you hire them? Millennials know they have options. Your option has to be a place where they can learn, grow, and feel inspired. Sound familiar? Millennials arent that different from the rest of the working world!
How do you manage them? Dont manage. Lead. Lead by example. Lead by reputation. Social reputation. Millennials are used to choosing people to follow (its innate on social media), and they want a good role model. If you set the right example, they will follow in your footsteps. Let them teach you a thing or two. Theyre likely sharper with technology and its okay to let them show you how to do something they will feel pride. Invest in them. Millennials want formal training.
Keep your emails, information and lessons to short-spurts. No 30 minute lessons. My Sales in a New York Minute YouTube channel is a hit because of the short lessons. Millennials have a short attention span and want information in bite-size chunks.
How do you motivate them? They want to achieve just as much as anyone else. If you give them a challenge, tell them how or show them how, and then give them the tools to do it, they will be resourceful and get it done. Give them some freedom and watch, they will do it. The millennials I work with want to own their projects because they have immense pride in their accomplishments. They want to feel like theyre making a difference. Make them feel appreciated.
How do you work with them? By setting a leadership example of being technologically advanced- theyll respect you more. Be on social.
Why are they so different? In reality, theyre not that different. Theyre just using the tools of the internet and social media in ways that you may not be used to, and that may be frustrating for you. Dont let it be. You know the old saying? If you cant beat emjoin em!
Why do they dress like that? Millennials dress more casual, but I dont think thats a factor of their generation. Its a factor of the times. The world is moving to a more casual state a more real/sincere state of this is who I am.
What makes them tick? Digital clocks that dont tick. Electronics. Doing what THEY want to do. Games and gamification. Look at the explosion of Pokmon GO. See any Boomers playing it?
Why are so many of them ticked-off? Low technology. Speed of response. Millennials expected to join a workforce that was just like their growing up lives. The workplace is different than their (safe-high tech) home environment. And they may come to the realization that theyre not as good at everything – even though they were told they were growing up (they may even have a trophy for it).
ANSWER: Help them become the best they can be with training and coaching. They love to learn.
If you take advantage of the hard work, strong work ethic, devotion and passion, that millennials CAN bring to your table, then you have a great chance to harmonize and win (a trophy) together.
Stay tuned for more millennial mojo next week: Tips for the Millennial salesperson how to become the best and stay there.