Specific Tips for Managing Millennials That Make for a More Productive Workforce

Passion October 31, 2017

Specific Tips for Managing Millennials That Make for a More Productive Workforce

Garrett Penn
Garrett Penn is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about small business and technology. Having taken part in many small business startups, Garrett hopes to help others succeed through his tips and tricks. Follow his work on Twitter @Garrettpenn93.

Successfully training millennials has specific do’s and don’ts you must pay attention to.

One way to understand the needs of millennials is to consider that they have developed work tendencies from their experiences with living lives that are quite structured, receiving feedback from doting parents and coming into contact with diverse people.

Let’s discuss general characteristics of millennials before describing how to best manage this generation of employees.

About Millennials:

  • Work well with diverse people
  • Want coworkers to become friends with them
  • Work well with teams
  • Need constant feedback (yes, even daily feedback)
  • Possess a “can-do” attitude
  • Expect a clear path for career advancement
  • Want to be the best they can be at everything they do
  • Need variety in their work tasks
  • Expect to finish everything they start
  • Want to experience challenges often
  • Expect schedule flexibility
  • Want leadership from their older counterparts
  • Need their ideas heard and respected
  • Like to get involved in many types of activities that include work teams, friends, and even philanthropic activities

While older coworkers sometimes don’t understand millennials, it’s vital that managers do. The reason for this is that millennials are very connected through their technology and Internet skills. If they don’t feel their needs are met at your company, they’ll use their contacts to move into a different position elsewhere.

teaching millennials

How to Effectively Manage Millennials

Now that you have a global perspective on how millennials think and what they need, let’s give you tips to help you successfully manage them.

Give Them Leadership

Millennials want your feedback. They want to learn new skills from you and actually would like to be able to look up to you. This means you must be willing to take on more of a coaching role so your younger employees can get the big picture as you mentor them throughout their responsibilities.

Give Them Structure

Although they do enjoy a certain level of flexibility, millennials also need structure built into their daily lives. Provide them monthly due dates on projects and/or reports. Schedule certain items at the same time each day. Use minutes and agendas in meetings. Give out clearly stated goals and progress reports.

Use Teams

Millennials are very comfortable in teams. Take advantage of this fact. While earlier generations possessed more of a lone wolf attitude, millennials have been taught that working together as a team provides far better results. Help them grow within teams for better work productivity.

Help Them “Do It”

Millennials grew up with parents who constantly told them that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. Rather than squash their goals and aspirations, encourage them that they can do what they set out to do. Foster a positive self-image in them and they’ll go far with what you task them to do.

Multi-Tasking is OK

Don’t worry about giving millennials too much to do. They are used to multi-tasking. They can write an email and respond to a variety of instant messages all while having a full phone conversation. They get bored easily if they’re not given a variety of simultaneous tasks. Don’t be surprised to see them shoot off a text during your sales training session and then repeat back exactly what the class has been discussing.


This is a generation that grew up with parents who showed their love toward their children. Millennials are used to parents who scheduled the family’s entire schedule around the events and activities of the children.

The result is a group of employees with strong opinions and ideas. They want their voice heard and don’t enjoy being ignored. Simply listening to their ideas will go far in your managerial role.

Work-Life Balance

Your millennial employees will work hard for you. However, they’re not excited about 80 hour workweeks while their family and fun time suffers.

They expect to get involved with a multitude of work, family, and fun activities. Allow them the work-life balance where they work hard, yet have time to walk for a cause, play on a sports team, and spend time with family/friends.

Managing millennials can be fun if you get to know what they expect. They want to enjoy their work. If you provide them with what they expect and need, you’ll be satisfied to see a productive employee that makes your job easier to perform.