What One Thing Do Your Millennial Workers Crave?

BY Kathy Crosett
Featured image for “What One Thing Do Your Millennial Workers Crave?”

The younger workers in your office, members of the millennial generation, have been resetting expectations in the workplace as much as any generation that has come along. If you’re new to managing millennials, you might need to change your strategy to succeed. The results of a new Gallup poll show what makes these team members happy on the job.

Millennials came of age in an era when it was customary to get an award just for showing up – at school or on the athletic field. It’s natural for them to expect regular recognition at work too. In addition, these team members have always enjoyed a social connectedness that earlier generations never had. You may be accustomed to keeping your head down and getting the job done. Don’t expect that attitude from most of your millennial workers.

As a result of their social experiences from an early age, millennials enjoy feedback. While they won’t necessarily ask for it, about 33% say they have communicated this need to their manager.  Millennials who regularly interact with their managers are more engaged at work, Gallup poll results suggest. Even if your millennial team members haven't told you they need frequent feedback, you should be offering it.

Part of your interaction with your younger workers should touch on performance feedback, too. Old school companies are still relying on an annual performance review to measure employees. This standard doesn’t work for millennials, nor should it. The old-​style performance review was established when the workforce was comprised of factory workers. Output could be measured in discrete units and employees who weren’t at their machines at the right time risked shutting down the entire assembly line.

Today, a team member’s tasks are wide-​ranging. They may vary as frequently in a quickly-​growing company. These kinds of changes are likely to make anyone feel vulnerable and anxious about how they're doing.

Take the time to talk and meet frequently with your younger team members. Provide them with meaningful feedback and in time, they’ll provide increasing value to you and the organization.