If you’re a manager born in the age of disco or before, you’ve probably had a few water cooler discussions about what it’s like to manage Millennials, or Gen Y employees. No doubt they require special care and feeding – just like an aquarium of saltwater fish or a vegan boyfriend with gluten allergies.
Many Millennials are products of dual-career families with Boomer parents who indulged them in part to make up for the time they didn’t spend together, which led to the sense of entitlement characteristic in Gen Y. This generation also witnessed their parents lose jobs in the waves of downsizings, which created the self-preservation attitude Millennials often exhibit in the workplace.
As off-putting as these traits may seem on the surface, knowing more about who the Millennials are and why they tick will help our movement better manage their ability to add value. They are tremendous multi-taskers with strong technology and networking skills. Gen Y workers are also team-players and risk-takers with the confidence to take on challenges other employees may fear. If you manage them correctly, Millennials can be a huge asset.
Here’s an article managers may find useful: Managing Millennials: Eleven Tips for Managing Millennials. And if you’ve got a bit more time, check out these books: Generation We and Millennials Rising.