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5 Things Learned About Managing Millennials

Over the past few years Simon Sinek has become a great inspiration to me and his insights and approach to leadership and management have really changed how I view the business world and my teams around me. 

Recently a talk that he did went viral around managing millennials in the work place…… This whole concept and craze struck a chord with me as a large chunk of our team fits into the Millennial demographic. It got me thinking, as this group of people are the future top billers, and leaders in our recruitment world, what had I learnt and how can we as a company keep evolving this generation? Here are my thoughts:

  • Millennials want to contribute

A typical millennial wants to contribute and feel part of something bigger and that they are indeed ‘adding value’. Tapping into this is key and knowing how to engage our staff and give our teams autonomy to contribute in their own ways empowers them to achieve the fulfilment they crave.

  • Millennials need support and to be patient

Even though Millennials are smarter and better equipped for life than I ever was at their age, our rapidly learning and agile skilled millennials need our support and the ability to be patient. This feeling of practicing patience may be as alien as a fax machine to Millennials but trust me it‘s true. Gen X’s role in this changing world of millennials is to teach them patience by creating an environment where they can enjoy short, medium and long-term fulfilment in their career. Supporting them through the phases where their impatience grows bigger than some of their Instagram or Facebook accounts is vital to getting the best out of them and to them seeing the bigger picture.

  • The 12-month hurdle…..

This is the biggest challenge for our up and coming generation and our future leaders.  Our world of instant gratification now spills into our work life with a craving of  “I want to earn that much now” or “I want to be the best now “when in reality Millennials have been with us in career terms as long as we’ve been walking upright on this planet. What I have discovered is keep them engaged, supported and as patient as you can for 12 months and when they are over “the hurdle” you will have a loyal and genuinely bought-in individual.

  • Collaboration and respect goes a long way

Working together and respecting each other seem pretty common sense right, but it isn’t and far too often we dismiss our less experienced colleagues because of our own insecurities. The ideas and confidence that exude from our future stars sometimes leaves me sitting back and admiring what they really have to offer. I say ask their opinions, genuinely listen and you never know what great new plan or strategy will come of it. 

  • Gen Y have a lot to teach Gen X about life and relativity

My final lesson that I have learned is more about our job or current role in business, it’s about life and making sure we don’t waste it.  The old me would constantly get frustrated with how our ’rookies’ would so easily give up or go and take the route of least resistance but striking the balance of being happy in ourselves and having a work/life balance can never be under estimated. Giving our teams the confidence and freedom to enjoy life and make the most of it will always make them better employees for us as well as the wider working world. Happy life happy…. you get the picture.

The reality is managing millennials is not easy but heck, managing anybody is never easy…….. but millennials certainly make it interesting and I am excited about what the future holds with this Gen Y/ Gen X combo we have in the Rolf Berryman office.

Gareth Lautenberg is a Partner at Rolf Berryman Consultancy LLP who specialise in the recruitment of Legal, Accountancy and Finance, E-Discovery and Construction professionals, across the UK. If you would like any additional advice please do get in touch via 01273 900 733. 

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