Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

View from the Frontlines on Managing Millennials

I received an e-mail this morning from a subscriber to this blog regarding yesterday’s posting on Why the Recession May be a Good Thing. I thought it was too good not to share. So, with her permission, here it is:

Hi there – Your predictions are spot on for our three millennials!  They were very thankful to find their jobs at the desk. I continue to like working with this group as they are a lot of fun but there certainly are challenges. None of them diss me. They challenge my decisions at times, but I have always welcomed and encouraged this. They do however respect when my decision is final.

One thing that seems to be a common theme is they do not have the writing skills our generation had starting out from college and they do not have the same speed in which we work. There is the underlining theme they already know everything, which I get a chuckle out of as I do not know everything and I have a lot more experience. I find it fun to challenge in all this and let them try and get one up on me. (they have and I bow gracefully!) To challenge speed, I give them a project and tell them since I can do in two hours I will give them 4 hours. I love it when they get it done in the two hours to prove to me that they can do things as fast. This is one way I found to cut their Facebook time. They use a chunk of their day for Facebook, internet time and all other communication non stop that they do with family, friends and strangers. I do not monitor or care about this as I believe it would be a losing battle. Getting them focused in other areas away from this during office hours seems to be a better way to handle.

My boss continues to want things quicker, and of course wants them to be held very accountable but they do not work as quick. Holding this generation accountable is also a whole new deal. I believe accountability at work is broader. If overall, they are getting the job done and we are profitable things are getting done. I have all the time management measures in place but since they are new to these measures the training (or sinking in time with them) takes longer. I hold them accountable for getting their jobs done in a reasonable mutually agreed upon timeframe. Progress is being made, but I find that basic management steps and training take longer with this generation. I am glad they are beginning to stop job hopping and wanting to stay longer. This should make it easier on companies that invest all the training time.

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