There has been a lot of thought and ink spent trying to define the millennial generation. And while a consensus has yet to be reached, one thing is certain – millennials in the workforce are different than every generation that preceded them. As a result, they require a different style of management if you hope to make the most of their talents and retain them over the long term. Work these strategies into your management style as your workforce continues to fill up with millennials:

Provide Positive Feedback

Traditionally, managers have stepped in to provide corrections and criticisms and otherwise kept feedback to a minimum. Millennials tend to want and even require a regular stream of positive feedback in order to stay on course. This does not have to be extravagant, but a simple acknowledgment of a job well done goes a long way. Whenever you’re critiquing your millennial staff, don’t pass up the opportunity to praise.

Make Yourself and Your Office Flexible

Millennials are an independent and free-thinking group by nature. Many do not respond to highly rigid office environments. Being flexible in your methods and policies creates a level of freedom that helps to engage millennials. Consider offering more leeway in scheduling and relaxing your dress code. Small concessions like these go a long way to boost retention.

Offer Ownership

Members of this generation are used to being recognized for their accomplishments. In the same way you offer praise, give out credit where credit is due. Millennials will not be content to see their good work lumped into a general category of team or company accomplishment.

Make Yourself Clear

This may be an independent generation, but millennials still desire direction and instruction. If you are vague, unclear, or too open-ended when assigning responsibilities, you may be met with more confusion and frustration than you expect. Make it clear what you want, when you want it, and by what standards it will be judged.

Acknowledge the Individuals

There is a risk in adopting a one-size-fits-all management style. Millennials may share many traits, but like any generation, each person is an individual. What works with one of your millennial employees may not work with another. With that in mind, resist the urge to lump all your young employees in as a group. You’ll get far better results by adapting your management approach to each member.

Keep in mind that every generation is different, and when you entered the workforce similar changes were afoot. Millennials are not any less capable, and in many cases they have the skills and experiences you require to stay competitive. Be willing to adapt the way you do things if it means getting more from your staff. Learn more about recruiting, retaining, and managing millennials by working with the IT staffing professionals at RennerBrown.

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