How to manage millenials in a company

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How to manage millenials in a company


By Enrique Morales


Having trouble with Millenials? Yes, Millenials, those young(ish) unpredictable people that are working in your company, those you yell constantly because they can’t stop looking at their instagram feeds during work hours; The greedy ones that think that with one big idea they can come to your company and change the process that has been “working” for years and why not? The world too.


The kind of guys that are like spies asking everyone how they do everything because they want to learn; those who propose ideas without you having to ask and refuse to do something that is not going to do a positive change in the company.


Well, if you feel identify with what you are Reading now let me tell you that you have everything but a problem. The only thing you have to do is know how to take advantage of all that energy and craziness in a way everybody wins.


Let’s start by defining briefly the characters of this story:


Baby Boomers
Generation X
Millenials
Specific work
Risky proposals
Multidiciplinary
Hierarchy
Competence
Team Work
Employment stability
Fast growth
Goals
Experience
Degrees obtained
Knowledge
Long-term Award
Immediate Award
 Chronic pleasure


These three characters can interact in a very interesting way inside an organization depending on the kind of organizational culture and structure you have in your company. Until now because of their recent incorporation to the real world, the ones with more bilateral complications are the Millenials; this is because of the way they act in life and work (they don’t see the difference between these two) means the need of a potential structural change in the business world and it can be a big pain for the Baby Boomers that don’t know how to deal with this.


What can happen with Millenials?


Let’s put 3 scenarios where the Millenials have to confront their integration in a new organization where they have to work with people from other generations and also their same generation. We´ll put sample problems and also sample solutions that can fix them.


Scenario 1: Conventional Hierarchical Structure


This company was created years ago by a Baby Boomer that within time was able to hire employees from generation X. The growth of the company was so big that soon added one more hierarchy, and this jobs were 100% operational and that’s exactly where Millenials without experience can fit, if they want to work for a consolidated company like this.


But why a Millenial would like to work in a place like this? Simple, there can be two reasons so opposite between them that you would think it’s a joke.


  1. Need. Bills don’t get paid by themselves and those vacations by the sea are not cheap, so they decide to sacrifice their passion for a bit in exchange of some financial stability.
  2. – To learn/Being passionate. Most Millenials are very limited by only wanting to innovate in a certain area that regularly is already dominated by some corporative giant created by someone who work day and night for it (yes, a baby boomer) , and so they want to learn from these people and make connections and then start their own path.


What a Millenial will find if he/she is hired?


A long list of rules and process; from wearing a name tag, having strict schedules, making reports and a long way to finally find a place where one of their ideas can be listened.


The main problem here is desertion. The millennial sometimes can’t handle the strict structure and decides to leave or in a very short time thinks that he/she already got all the knowledge that needed and leaves to start their way. This means a high rate of change of staff that costs a lot to human resources in the companies.


This only can be fixed or at least reduce the impact with accurate human talent management, generating strategies of talent attraction for the fulfillment of specific goals: intern innovation programs, etc.


A lot of companies have chosen to positively discriminate this generation by creating flexible work schedules and due date projects, and also constant rotation of roles and areas, adapting themselves to new human talent and taking advantage of it.


Scenario 2: Conventional Entrepreneurship


This company was created by a member of Generation X that probably came from a Baby Boomer company, a merely product of conventional entrepreneurship, generating some jobs for Millenials.


This structure is better for Millenials because it has fewer limits than a large corporation and less obstacles to make him/her self noticed and be listened, but also can be surprised by having a confrontation with the company’s philosophy.


A member of Generation X usually wants to replicate his/her idea without thinking about important facts that are key for Millenials like good marketing and quality.


How to manage a Millenial in this case? Get him/her involved, speak directly with them, listen to their ideas and mix them up with yours, soon you’ll see something good can result from this.


The relationship Generation X- Millenial is mutually inclusive because on the one hand the first knows monetize and the second knows how to go viral, also the first one knows how to do business and the second know how to create experiences.


Your market can become worldwide and the possibilities of expansion can be much larger and healthier than using conventional capitalist model to generate money at the lowest cost possible without looking around.


After listen all the new ideas they bring, make them your strategic partners, there is nothing a Millenial works better for, when they feel they are a key part of something.


Scenario 3: Startups


Let’s put it this way, usually an startup is an innovative idea from a Millenial or a Generation X that was able to adapt to the new trend of entrepreneurship (is not that a Baby Boomer can’t do it, but let’s assume that is less common).


These companies are very dynamic in every sense and tend to have a flat organizational structure where all have a job that they’re responsible for, but which is related with other departments and in constant communication.


It is clear that for all that we have said about Millenials we could say that a Startup is totally their natural habitat, but what about the more experienced? And even more so, what happens when you are a Millenial that has to lead other Millenials?


The answer is simple but the execution requires you to be an artist in talent management, you have to be a leader.


Let’s see it this way. We have 3 different types of people in the company, so we have two extreme sides and a half point, which should be the base of your interactive project.


The Generation X people in your company should be the connection between the Baby Boomers and Millenials. They will be the spokespersons and coaches of the young ones and also the interpreters of the most experienced.


Millenials will be the fuel and the spark that brings the most crazy ideas, the creative ones that aimed from the experience of others can make the company offer new products, find a new market and lead the company in every single way.


Baby Boomers should be your advisors, organize a little bit the mess Millenials left, bring new ideas and above all, to lead the others based on the experience the have lived.


Leadership is key for who has an startup company, even more than technical knowledge and experience, without doubt the success of this kind of organization is to create a good team work, adapt to the time of who works in a  free way, communicate, listen and create connections. Never impose unless necessary.


Manage the conflict, don’t be afraid to hire more talented people and above all to leave clear the aim of the company, motivate people and create a perfect mix with stronger diversity.


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