Personal development for millennials is one of the hottest topics these days. Millennials are considered to be obsessed with personal development. In fact, when they look for a job, 65% of them consider personal development to be the most important factor.
Millennials expect constant personal development through learning in their personal and professional life. In their professional life, they expect to be coached and mentored from their managers. In personal life, they tend to learn as much as they can from people around them as well as from their own resources, and even the internet.
Who are Millennials?
People born between 1977 and 2000 are known as millennials. Also, known as Generation Y, millennials are the early adopters of technology. They care a lot about their personal development and most of them have some specific personal development goals set for themselves.
Millennials are generally perceived as lazy, fragile, entitled and narcissistic. However, they are more determined when it comes to their personal development as compared to all other generations.
94% of millennials made personal development commitments in 2015. Only 81% of Gen-X and 84% of Boomers made this commitment. In addition to making this commitment, millennials are anticipated to spend more than twice the amount as compared to Boomers on their personal development. All this was when the income of millennials was half of that of the Boomers’.
Millennials’ strategies for personal development included workout regimes, therapy, life coaching, diet plans, professional development and even apps that are meant to improve their personal development.
Personality Traits of Successful Millennials
While everyone has a different personality, there are some traits that are common to the generation of millennials. Many people call them the traits for success. If you are a millennial, then you should aspire to have these personality traits to be successful.
Millennials are the most confident generation we have right now. However, their confidence comes with a certain bit of humbleness and humility. Remember, we are talking about the personality traits of successful millennials.
Generation X and the Baby Boomer cannot stand arrogant millennials, and that is why you should try to be as humble as you can while also being confident. They go after their goals with plenty of passion, but they always remember to stay humble about their pursuits.
2. They Are Thick-Skinned
Successful millennials are thick-skinned. They have heard the word ‘No’ so many times, but it doesn’t stop them from pursuing their goals. They are mature enough to hear feedback and don’t react with insecurity. Feedback makes them improve themselves and they come back better and stronger.
3. They Care About Their Relationships
Successful millennials understand that success doesn’t come alone. They try to balance the pursuit of their goals and their relationships. Their personal goals and professional goals go hand in hand. They know that they need support, and that is why they don’t let go of their relationships while they run after achieving their goals.
4. They Are Compassionate
Successful millennials are compassionate. They are emphatic and don’t see it as a weakness. This is why most of the successful millennial leaders are loved by their followers. Others around them feel heard and important.
Being compassionate and emphatic is a sign of growth, maturity and far-sightedness. Successful millennials follow this rule and are becoming better leaders than their preceding generations.
5. They Are Highly Tactical
Successful millennials are also highly strategic. They understand where they want to be in a few years and plan everything accordingly. Millennials have a clear plan about how they are going to achieve their goals. They have their short and long term goals planned for them and they follow them to reach success.
6. They Are Fluent with Technology
Successful millennials know and understand the technology realm inside out. However, they are not addicted to it. They know how valuable their time is, and they try to invest it in things that are important.
Millennials use technology for their help and assistance. They don’t fall victim to it.
Managing Millennials – What Should Managers Do?
Do you know that by 2025, 75% of the world’s working population will comprise of millennials?
This means that employers must understand and adapt their management styles accordingly. Only then will they be able to make the most of the millennial employees.
Employers will need to make some changes in their policies and management styles if they want to make their organizations fit for millennials. Here are some guidelines that can help.
1. Give Ample Opportunities for Learning, Growth and Development
Millennials, especially the ones born in the nineties, have always been surrounded by stimuli. They have lived their lives in a culture of immediacy. Millennials are eager and impatient for new experiences. They set short-term goals and thrive for visible results.
Thus, the manager managing millennials must give them ample opportunities for growth and development. They should introduce new things that keep the millennials’ attention. Millennials should be given new and different projects so that they can improve their skills and learn more.
2. Offer Work/Life Balance
Millennials are very concerned about maintaining a healthy work/life balance. They are multi-taskers and expect autonomy and flexibility in their work. They don’t like an 8-hour job schedule where one has to work like a robot each day.
Millennials care about results. They don’t want long work-sessions within the confines of the office building. They want freedom and independence to work as they can still promise results.
3. Money Is Secondary
This doesn’t mean that they are not concerned about money or don’t understand its value. It’s just that they are more motivated by the attractiveness of the work itself than money. Money is usually not their primary motivation.
Millennials want to work in an environment that offers flexibility, mobility, a relaxed work atmosphere and the ability to network. They like to customize their compensation packages.
While their objective and motivations may differ from those of the previous generation, it doesn’t mean that millennials are not ambitious. In fact, they are the most ambitious generation. Many of them don’t aspire for particular job titles. But most of them are interested in reaching executive positions that can help them make an impact on the world.
Millennials are motivated by cross-functional and dynamic positions. They are interested in jobs that allow them to be in contact with other interesting people. They want to interact with professionals. Therefore, the job you offer millennials shouldn’t just consist of promotions; it must also offer a wide range of experiences.
4. Retaining Them Is Hard
If you have had the opportunity to work with millennials, then you must know that retaining them is not easy. Millennials make their decisions autonomously. They work hard and aim for immediate results. They don’t fear change, as compared to the preceding generations.
If you don’t give them a clear purpose or they don’t see enough development opportunities in the organization, they will not think twice before switching. As mentioned before, millennials are very particular about their work/life balance and want healthy professional relationships with their superiors. If your organization doesn’t offer all these things, they will switch to an organization that does.
If you want to retain millennials in your organization, then you must offer things that make them stay. Career conversations and goal setting can help. In addition, you must also conduct a personal exit interview so that you know where you failed.
5. Be Mentors
Millennials don’t really like traditional authority and hierarchy. Display of power and rigid protocols are not appreciated. They look for leaders who are approachable. They look for mentors who can guide them and encourage them when needed.
So, as managers to millennials, it is important that you don’t care about flexing your authority over them. You must set yourself up as a role model. This will help you earn the respect of millennial employees.
6. Strong Company Culture
As mentioned before, money is secondary to millennials. They want to work in an environment that gives them the feeling that they are doing something worthwhile. They want to be a part of something big and impactful. A strong company culture attracts them.
If your company culture is in line with their lifestyle and ideals, they will be happy to work with you. On the other hand, they will also immediately notice an inconsistent company culture and may switch if they don’t feel fit in this environment.
7. Need for Approval
One of the most distinguishing traits of the millennial generation is their need for approval. They want others to recognize their efforts. In fact, they are addicted to recognition. They look for it not only from their superiors, but also from their peers and everyone else in their life.
They want to convey a good image of themselves, and that is why they brazenly share all their work details on their social media. This shows how important approval and recognition is for them. So, if you have millennials working for you, make sure you give them ample recognition when they deserve it.
8. Marketing and Communication
Millennials are inclined to promote themselves publicly. This makes them a powerful tool for communication and marketing. This can both be positive as well as negative. Managers can identify these millennials and use them as their brand ambassadors.
They can be included in branding activities. Managers can take them to job fairs to represent their company. And, they can also be made a social media spokesperson for the organization. They can reach out to other millennials and encourage them to work for your organization.
9. Don’t Takeaway Social Networks
As mentioned before, millennials are adept at using technology and social media. In fact, social media is a part of their daily lives. And, they also like to use these social networks at work. An unconnected life is an inconceivable notion for them. More than 56% of millennials turn down jobs just because access to social networks was denied.
If you want good millennials to work for you, then you shouldn’t stop them from using social media and other technology. In fact, take advantage of it and build competencies in your organization.
The arrival of so many millennials in the work environment is a challenge for managers. However, things can become smooth if you give them space for personal development.
Top Tips for Leading Millennials in the Workplace
As a manager, you must prepare for the influx of millennials in the workplace. Follow these tips if you want to be a quality leader and mentor to them.
1. Offer Ample Personal Development Opportunities
Personal development for millennials is an important thing that they look for when they start working somewhere. While previous generations were okay with slow personal growth, millennials want to see growth instantly. Therefore, they want to work on projects that give them ample opportunities for personal development.
If you are working with millennials in your organizations, here are some things that you can do.
- Put them on high-visibility projects
- Assign mentors who can assist them in making better career decisions
- Give them work that offers experiential learning opportunities
Millennials are more likely to stay with your organization if they feel that they are given ample personal development opportunities.
2. Give Them Regular Feedback
While managers should allow millennials to bring in their new ideas and creativity to the workplace, they should also offer them feedback. Millennials usually own up to their mistakes. Therefore, they will be waiting for your feedback, positive or negative.
Millennials like to know if their work has made an impact on the organization or not. They like to know how they can improve. Not giving them feedback will only impact their success. Therefore, don’t slack on feedback.
3. Be a Great Listener
You must be a good listener if you want to be a great manager for millennials. Managers must embrace diversity and differences in the workplace. They must listen to the employees when they raise concerns and understand that every employee deserves to be heard.
If they are asking for a genuine change, try to make that change. Rigidness doesn’t go well with leadership. If you want to get respect, seek to resolve their issues and listen to them.
4. Hold In-Person Meetings
As a manager to millennials, you must make time for in-person meetings. Ask for feedback and give them feedback. This will allow you to engage and connect with them. Connecting with your employees is also a quality of great managers.
5. Keep an Open Mind
It is important to keep in mind that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to millennials. What one employee likes may be hated by others. Therefore, as a leader, it is your responsibility to keep an open mind. Each employee should be seen for who they are.
If you want to be a good manager to millennials, then you must be genuine and flexible. Only then will you be able to make it work with the millennials in your workforce.
Personal development for millennials is very important. They want to make an impact in this world and are willing to make as many improvements in their personal self as they can. Follow this guide to enhance personal development for millennials in your workplace.