5 Tips for Managing Young Employees

May 18, 2012

Your latest hires are likely members of the millennial generation, people born between 1980 and 2000.

Managing these young workers requires the use of different tactics than you would use for the rest of your team, according to Michael A. Olguin, president of a public relations organization whose workforce is more than 60 percent millennial.

Olguin shared the following five tips he’s developed through his own experience managing millennials with Inc.

1. Reinforce the positives. “Millennials need constant affirmation and positive reinforcement in order to feel like they are doing a good job,” Olguin suggested. “Thus, on a regular basis managers should tell their millennial staffers that they appreciated their input, liked their thinking or were effective in their execution.”

2. Recognize that each person is different and must be managed differently. “The rule of thumb is millennials want to believe that you understand them and are not going to try and ‘old school’ them with the ways something used to be done,” he wrote.

3. Be flexible. “Millenials by nature don’t really like rules,” Olguin wrote. “If you press too hard on them to comply with the company’s position on things like hours or attire, you could very easily find yourself losing a good employee.”

4. Allow as much ownership as possible. “The best way to handle a millennial’s feelings of entitlement is to provide them with a lot of responsibility,” he wrote. “This doesn’t necessarily mean handing them an entire project, but clearly defining areas that they can own so they can flex their knowledge, expertise and decision-making ability.”

5. Don’t be vague. “Though they want responsibility and authority, they are uncomfortable without having some sort of framework for the task at hand,” Olguin suggested. “The best scenario is good instructions and a lot of flexibility in how you get there.”

To read the complete Inc. article, click here. For tips on working with a multi-generational team, click here.