Managing Millennials – Everything you need to know as their boss

Managing Millennials – Everything You Need to Know as Their Boss 

In the past, career trajectory followed a well-worn path, looking a little something like this: Young person finishes university, gets first job, stays at company for entire career slowing ascending corporate ladder. Times have certainly changed. Millennials – the newest kids on the employment block, can expect a drastically different professional experience to their forebears. They are also in possession of a completely different set of values and expectations – demanding a totally new approach to management. Managing millennials, what do you need to know as their boss?

managing millennials According to a report released in 2015 by Pew Research, the majority of today’s workforce is made up of millennials. Therefore, it is of vital importance that senior managers learn how to work with them. Career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, published author, and founder and president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technology, Heather Huhman, says that although millennials have been hyped to be lazy, entitled and difficult to work with, they’re actually not all that much different to any other generation in the workplace.

What motivates Millennials?

Millennials want their work to mean something, to believe in the values of their employer and to feel respected by leaders. Ms Huhman says it best, “when treated right, you can expect hardworking and innovative team players. But when mismanaged, expect disengaged employees who won’t hesitate to leave for better opportunities.”

Millennials are hungry for new opportunities. They want to learn new skills and become better professionals. According to Ms Huhman, professional development programs are essential for motivating millennials. A recent Deloitte survey found 71 percent of millennials are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed and 63 percent believe their leadership skills are not being fully developed. “Empower millennials with the skills needed to move up in their career. When you invest in their development, they will be motivated to invest back in the company, delivering their best work,” Ms Huhman says.

What to avoid at all costs!

When it comes to Millennials – forget the old “earn your dues” mentality. “Avoid treating millennials like lesser employees,” Ms Huhman says. “Listen to their ideas and feedback, reward excellent performance at every level and award opportunities to those who deserve them, not those with the most seniority.” Regardless of age and level of experience, value the input from your team and recognise their hard work.

How to coach Millennials to produce their best work

Millennials are most responsive to a strong sense of purpose. This is supported by the Deloitte survey, which revealed that among millennials who said they will stay with their employer for more than five years, 88 percent said they feel a sense of purpose. “To coach millennials, inspire them with the company mission and values,” says Ms Huhman. “Show them the results of their hard work and let them know it’s meaningful and that they are valued.”

managing millenials



Important lessons to be learned from Millennials

According to a survey conducted by Gallup, Millennials access the internet from their mobile phones more than any other generation. “They’re truly a mobile generation,” Ms Huhman says. Learn from Millennials and become more mobile to make work easier for yourself and for your employees. Ms Huhman suggests using mobile apps and tools to enable working on the go, speed up paperwork and other HR functions and keep the team connected. “Streamline the office and make flexible work easier – your millennial employees will love you for it.”

Millennials are often judged harshly and stereotyped as being lazy, entitled and difficult to work with. The truth of the matter is millennials share many similarities with other generations. It is important to remember that millennials are most engaged when they feel a sense of purpose and that their work means something. Managing millennials requires a concerted effort to avoid the common pitfalls that can lead to disengagement and staff turnover. Rewarding outstanding performances, providing opportunities for development and inspiring with the company mission and values are some of the steps that you can take to encourage, engage with and get the best possible work out of your millennials.

Lucy Killip - Millennials


Lucy Killip is an in house career writer at Experteer, Europe’s leading career and recruiting service for senior talent.






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Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh

Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” ( She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.

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