Top 10 tips for managers working with Millennials

Here’s the top 10 tips for managers working with Millennials:

10. Put yourself in their shoes.  Remember what it was like being 26.  Did you understand why your parents and their friends did what they did?

9. Rewind 20 to 30 years.  You’ve had years and years to learn.  They haven’t.  Start there.

8. Delegate using the Tell, Show, Watch, Give model.  If all you do is tell them and then give them the task, you’ll be back again and again.  Instead, tell them, show them how you’d do it, watch them do it, then give them the task.  High initial energy, but low long term energy.

7. Use their communication methods.  You learned to write long professional, dry status reports every week.  They just don’t understand that.  They work in frequent sound bites of 140 characters or fewer (the limit on sms, text messaging and Twitter). 

6. Imagine how their ways of doing things could actually make business better.  Wouldn’t it be great if all communication was 140 characters or fewer?  And if you could get realtime updates?  How long would it take you to do email in the mornings!?

5. Learn to love social networking.  It works if you give it a try.  And in the end, if you don’t learn to love it, you’ll be left behind.

4. Understand that the environment in which they grew up taught them to believe in themselves without having to get results.  “You’re all special” in grade 5 translates into “you’re all special” in line management.  Remember kids getting promoted to next grade even after failing?  

3. Check your perceptions.  Are they really a challenge or is it you?  How did you feel about your first manager?  Were you a challenge?  Did he think you were?

2. Take the time to coach them.  You had lots of time and training.  These days, most companies provide technical training to Millennials, but not teamwork, communication, time management, etc.  You can fill the gap and build trust by coaching them yourself.  That relationship you build will be worth much more than the time you spend.

1. Be the change you want to see.  Have integrity about what you’re asking for.  If you want more communication, more accountability and more maturity, model those traits every day not just with your boss but with your employees! 

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