Managing Millennials


Millennials make up more than fifty percent of the workforce these days. Some managers are finding it complicated to navigate the choppy waters of this new age employee. Understanding that millennials are very different than past generations will not only smooth the choppy seas, you’ll learn the best ways to manage and support them. PrideStaff Financial has some tips on how to manage millennials.


The first step is to redefine what managing means.

Most “managers” understand management as, “A person responsible for controlling or administering all or part of a company or similar organization, and/or team within an organization.” Millennial personalities have been described as open-minded, self-expressive, liberal, confident, technologically superior, self-focused, in need of constant feedback and prioritizing work-life balance. Because of this gap between personality and traditional management style, team leaders have often noticed clashes with millennial employees. This has led to questioning why their style of management is ineffective. When it comes to millennials, managers have to look at management differently. According to a recent Forbes article, more onboarding practices are framing the word “manage” in a different light in order to accommodate and change with the movement of millennials into the workforce. More offices are incorporating tactics of “leading” in place of managing employees. Looking at how you lead a millennial employee can vastly change how productive and responsive the employee is. To lead an employee, one must be able to build a relationship—professionally, create constant communication, guide instead of micromanage, be open to suggestions, and inspire and allow an employee to innovate.


Offer meaning and purpose.

Millennials will thrive in a work environment where their work has meaning. If a millennial feels they are good at their work and the work is good for them, they will see it as good for others and want to do more of it. By allowing a millennial employee to see the meaning in what they do, how it benefits them as an individual and how it helps others, they will be more apt to continue working with the organization because they see the purpose of the role they play in the company.


The Sandwich Technique.

Millennials must feel they are being treated with respect, even when it comes to communicating a problem or “soft” criticism. Millennials do not view respect as something that is earned along the way, but is given due to understanding the skills they bring to the table. When communicating and leading a millennial employee, the Sandwich Technique—an organizational social work tool used in effective communication skills—can easily guide both leader and employee through any situation. Here’s how: Picture a sandwich with three layers. You have bread with a slice of cheese, some meat, and another piece of bread at the bottom. When communicating to a millennial employee, start the conversation with something positive about them—what it is you respect about them or something they recently accomplished that helped you out. Then move into the “problem” that needs to be discussed. Explain your point of view as to why it’s being addressed. Then move to the last layer; a task they are doing well. This Sandwich Technique works with any employee and allows them to receive criticism without feeling they are being attacked or mistreated.


Managing or leading any workforce can have its challenges, but also brings great rewards.

PrideStaff Financial is a 5-star diamond award recruiting firm. Our staffing consultants can offer guidance and tools to effectively onboard and work with a new age of employees. Contact us today to learn more.