Leading Millennials in the Workplace: What To Know
When the median age of those in the auto industry is upwards of 40, it becomes clear that younger employees are needed- fast. Younger workers, especially millennials, can be valuable assets for your auto business, as they have a better understanding of digital and computer based skills, a longer potential work life, and are incredibly driven. Recruiting millennials can be a challenge of its own, but what do you do once you’ve hired them? How do you lead them and help them grow? How can you help ensure their success in your company?
It starts with recognizing that millennials will behave and work differently than your older employees- but that’s not a bad thing! A more well-rounded group of employees means a more well-rounded business. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few things to keep in mind when leading millennials.
First, it’s important to remember that millennials value a good boss more than a good job. This means that retaining your younger employees starts with you, the employer. Make sure you are hiring people who are capable and empathetic supervisors, and make sure you yourself are one too! This can be done by making sure your employees feel like they have an open line of communication with you (consider always having your office door open or responding to their emails as quickly as possible), taking the time to understand and know your employees, and letting your workers know you see them as people first, employees second.
Additionally, millennials tend to see failure as more of a learning opportunity instead of a setback. As an employer, continue to encourage this by always being open to teach your younger employees how to do it better next time instead of jumping to criticism. Millennials are also incredibly cause driven- they look for the ‘why’ and dive into it. Have a clear picture of why your auto business does what it does and explain this to your millennial employees. This can help them feel like they are working towards something, instead of working “just to work.”
millennials’ desire for consistent feedback
Related to end-goals and results are millennials’ desire for consistent feedback. It’s important for them to know how they are doing their job, and to know it more often than not, as this helps them feel like they are on track and makes them feel more sure of themselves. Informal quarterly evaluations or short conversations with them at the end of the day about that week’s performance can go a long way for your under-30 employees. As the employer, this is good news for you too! Millennials’ desire for feedback means you can help your employees be the most efficient and effective employee they can be for your company.
Finally, millenials value flexibility in what they do and how they do it. This means they may be okay with a more alternative schedule- working a few days for a longer period of time instead of working the normal 9 to 5, 5 days a week. They may also like more of a variety in what they do, so consider having your younger employees learn the ropes of more than one part of your auto business, like sales and mechanics, instead of just mechanics. This flexibility creates a more well-rounded work environment for you and satisfies millennials’ desire to have a less rigid worklife.
Millenials are the future of the American workplace, so it’s important to understand how to lead them right and how to lead them well. Incorporating these principles will allow you to have more effective millennial employees and retain them longer, creating a more cutting edge and valuable auto business for you.
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Millennials Rising”