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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.

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You don’t want a staff filled with only millennials, Gen Xers or boomers, but it can be challenging to manage these groups when they are all represented on the same team. Following are some tips about how to be an effective manager to all generational groups.

Group hiring. Mix and manage your hiring by using a group approach. Instead of bringing in each candidate individually, bring in several for a group activity. The activity can be as basic as creating the marketing pitch for your facility. During the group work, managers should observe behaviors. Who are the leaders? The cheerleaders? The cynics? At the end of the day, you have a personality profile of each person and visual knowledge of how they work with each other.

Boomers and millennials butting heads? Personality pairing is a great tool to work out generational kinks. A lot of boomers may not be computer savvy, but, on the other hand, they have a level of wisdom and maturity that many millennials don’t. Create special assignments and enlist work groups to help the generations develop new professional skills while enriching their understanding of each other.

Continually grow your team. Having been told their entire lives that no one loses, millennials have a lot of pride and will not tell you they can’t do something. Regular evaluations are expected.

Personalize. Just as you do with raising children, when managing team members from different age ranges, it’s important to personalize rewards and incentives, and the incentive has to appeal to all ages. For example, give MP3 gift certificates to some and dinner gift certificates to others.