Written by Melissa Rebek, InitiativeOne Intern
InitiativeOne helps organizations breakthrough generational barriers in order to communicate effectively.
Millennials are changing workforce dynamics. They are different than the older generations – from technology use to communication to career goals – and many businesses struggle to integrate younger generations into their environment.
The struggle with Millennials entering the workplace is that there are a variety of myths about what they do and what they want. Older generations think the Millennials are incredibly different from themselves – causing issues among employees and for leaders.
You need to be prepared for Millennials to enter the organization and have different opinions on how things should be done. Not in a bay way – millennials simply have ideas. Communicating openly with Millennials is important – they are entering the corporate world for the first time, and need guidance along with freedom.
There are a few tips you should consider in order to communicate effectively with your younger employees or counterparts.
- Provide lots of feedback – While this may make the Millennials appear needy, they are still young to the work force. They appreciate feedback simply because it tells them if they are on the right track and doing what is expected – instead of working for hours on a project to find out they missed the main goal.
- Remember work-life balance – Millennials want to have a career and a family. They want to have a life outside of the office. Of course, they are more than willing to work hard for what they want, but they also want you to confirm that they are trusted to accomplish tasks without staying at work until midnight.
- Involve them in decision making – Millennials often are not in formal “decision-maker” roles – but they do have ideas and goals for themselves and their position in the company. Too often millennials are not presented the opportunities to share ideas and make decisions, simply because they are not in “decision-maker” roles. Bringing them into those roles helps to broaden the idea input, as well as prepare them for the future – when they will need to be leaders and decision makers.
- Keep up to date with how they communicate with each other – You will not be able to communicate clearly to millennials if you do not learn how millennials communicate. This does not mean change company policy – but if you know that texting will be the best way to get a response if they are working outside of the office, use that to your advantage. Millennials will respect that you can communicate in “their style” – and together you will be able to reduce response time.
Incumbent leaders should know that Millennials are joining them in the work world – and it’s much easier to work with them if you understand how they work. Communicating with the people you lead is key to success; without those who are following you, you cannot succeed in your role or as a company.
InitiativeOne teaches leaders how to communicate through and across generational barriers, making you a more successful leader and making a more productive and encouraging environment.