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Managing Millennials—A New Set of Rules

By: Mindy Terry
Posted: August 23, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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.

One way to help them contribute from the first day is to put millennials in charge of social media. Social interaction is critical to this generation, and they have mastered Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. Let them put together your social media plan and lead the team in understanding the importance of virtual relationships to your spa.

Their need for social interaction means millennials also want a great deal of personal contact with their supervisors, resulting in more demands on the manager and less time dedicated to the rest of the team. Managers will have to work smarter to give every team member equal time. The time spent with millennials will ultimately save time, however, because there will actually be fewer fires to extinguish.

Spa managers and millennials