Published 20 December 2016 Category: Compass Tips

3 tips on managing a millennial team (even if you’re one yourself!)

While it might seem like millennials are drastically different from their predecessors, like most employees, they just want to feel valued, find job fulfilment and leverage their skills. As a leader, you can cultivate this feeling – even if you’re a millennial yourself!

Who is a millennial? Well, for one, millennials are born between 1980 and 2000. So even if you’re not one, chances are that a majority of your work force (especially incoming) employees are. Above all, this generation values technology, flexibility and mobility. Keeping this in mind will allow you to adapt your leadership skills accordingly. If you’re in a leadership position (or aspiring to find yourself in one), here are some tips on leading a team of millennials – even if you’re one yourself – just in time for the new year!

  1. Be a flexible leader – democracy not autocracy!

As revealed in our latest Compass survey, our respondents valued first and foremost flexibility at work. Whether this is in regards to office location, working from home and designated hours, flexibility is the key word for attracting and retaining millennials.

Gone are the days of rigid and authoritative rule. Of course, there are certain policies that can’t be changed, especially if you’re working at a big corporation. But it’s always possible to implement flexibility and shift your leadership to a more democratic and flexible style. For example, if you know there are members on your team that aren’t early risers, allow a flexible 1-2 hour window for getting to work and leaving. For those that love coming in early, allow flexibility in leaving earlier, provided that everyone finishes their tasks.

  1. Lead in many ways – not just at your job.

Leadership doesn’t begin and end at the office. Millennials are mobile and value being active outside of work. There’s a reason why tech companies like Google insist so much on creating an exist in and out of work, as extending work to social life often creates stronger bonds amongst colleagues.  If your office has community or social events, take the initiative to lead these. Show your leadership skills whether you’re the captain of the group’s basketball team or heading up the annual food charity drive. This will also not only allow you to see your colleagues outside of their field, but you’ll also see what other strengths they have, outside of work.

  1. Be punctual and reliable.

Millennials are not that different than the generation before them -- and this may sound like a given – but they value a leader they can respect. Your team will notice if you’re perpetually late to work, miss meetings, and delayed in replies. Like all employees, millennials need structure and value a leader that is fair, honest and reliable.