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Managing Millennials—A New Set of Rules

Mindy Terry September 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
three women discussing

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Regardless of what you call them—Gen Y, millennials or “Me First”—the younger generation of employees carries with it a new set of rules.

As the fastest-growing segment of today’s workforce, if you are not currently managing millennials, chances are that you will be doing so soon. Born between 1980–1999, Reuters reports that some 40 million millennials work in corporate America, a figure expected to hit 58 million by 2014.

Motivating “Me Firsts”

Millennials are not motivated by the same things that attract Generation X and the baby boomers. They are energized by doing work that they feel is meaningful. They want to make a contribution to the business and believe they have the ability to do so. They don’t have a mindset of, “I need to pay my dues first before I can get promoted.” Instead, they expect to walk in on the first day and be considered an important contributor to the team. This attitude sometimes leads older generations to believe that millennials are the entitled generation.

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Retail Tip: Managing Millennials

When it comes to retail, engage millennials in enhancing the technology and social media aspects of your operations. Assign them with a project to strengthen retail though social media. This project may include creating messages to offer daily and weekly retail specials on Twitter and Facebook, as well as managing ongoing programs to boost communication and loyalty within your social media channels. Millennials are also great at enhancing your website. Invite them to create an e-commerce section on the site and write brief online articles to boost product education for users.

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