Crucial Skills for Managing Millennials

It is helpful for leaders to learn more about managing millennials to bring the best out in them. Millennials had parents who gave them a great deal of attention. Parents encouraged them, gave them heaps of feedback and consulted them. Parents also heard their children, saw them as important and treated them with respect. With the result that Millennials had more say at home than some of the previous generations.

So this has important implications for managing millennials in the work place. Let us explore some of the factors:

Need to be heard

Millennials had parents who allowed them to voice their opinions. Millennials speak up and in fact have a definite need to be heard and have managers act upon their input.

This means when managing millennials give them an opportunity to raise issues that concern them. But then it is crucial to actually act upon their input. Unless you do millennials become frustrated and  may even look for other work. They like to see their ideas implemented

Need for feedback

Parents gave their millennial children a great deal of feedback. There were on-going conversations. Parents went out of their way to find ways to support and help their children.

Therefore millennials crave regular feedback. Sticking to quarterly or half yearly performance management discussion is unacceptable to them. They want continuous feedback on their work. So in managing millennials give them regular input. At least on a bi-weekly basis on what you see. Compliment them on work done well.

Build and encourage

Millennials thrive on attention. They also look for support at work. So if you need to give negative feedback focus on what they can do to improve. Work out what support you or others can give them. Remember their parents were very encouraging.

When managing millennials, find ways to guide and coach them to better their performance. Refrain from being critical or prescriptive. Instead follow a consultative approach on how they can develop further.

Offer growth opportunities

Millennials love to use all their skills. They may have skills outside of their existing role. Find ways to make use of as many of their skills as possible.

So find opportunities to rotate them to different areas in your company if you wish to retain them in the company.

Casual style of interacting

To follow an authoritarian or prescriptive approach with millennials is counter-productive. Instead follow a more conversational style with them. Interact with them in an informal and easy going manner. This is how their parents treated them. This creates a safe space for them to express themselves.


Millennials love working in teams but also like to have their own responsibilities. So look for projects where they can work within a team context or in a partnership with someone else.

Leaders they look up to

Millennials have immense respect for leaders who are people focussed as opposed to purely task driven. At the same time as with other generations, they want leaders who have a strong vision and who can lead the company to success.

This means leaders need to be actively involved with ensuring effective service delivery. This is a factor that is inherent to all previous styles of management.

Provide structure

It is important to provide millennials with structure. Clarify what they need to focus on as well as the parameters within which they work. Part of this structure is being clear on how delivery is measured.

As a leader you cannot sit back and give your team complete free reign. They need to know clearly what you expect of them. Ensure that the team delivers on time through on-going management and monitoring.

Many people are complaining that millennials seem to assume that once they have sent off an email a task is done. It also seems as if millennials fail to monitor progress or do quality checks. This has in some cases lead to companies losing clients because of poor focus on the details of delivering a good service.

Be transparent

Millennials had parents who were very open with them. Therefore they have the same expectation from their seniors. Refrain from keeping them in the dark. Communicate openly. In this way they will feel that they can trust you as their leader.

If you would like to learn to manage the millennials in your company more effectively consider business mentoring.


Posted in Business, Management.