This was the phrase I heard over and over again during a recent mentoring discussion with a young professional. She was referring to her manager. And based on the information she was sharing, I agreed with her. This discussion got me thinking – what are the things millennials wish they could tell their managers?
A while back, I wrote a blog called Listen Up Employers, This is What Millennials Want From You. I polled some professionals that I respect and admire and asked them to share their thoughts on the workplace, their needs and wants from their employers, especially since so many companies are investing heavily in initiatives to attract and retain them. I learned that they were tired of stereotypes, they want to have an impact and a voice in the workplace, they want balance just like the rest of us, and they need our support to be successful.
Recently, I checked back with the group to see how things have progressed (or not) and to understand what is top of mind for them right now and what they’d share with their managers:
1. We expect (and deserve) equal treatment. “A lot of times people treat young professionals as inferior because we don’t have as much experience as older colleagues. This can be very demotivating.”
- Lesson for managers: Come on everyone…with only 13% of employees worldwide engaged at work, finding meaning and purpose in work has never been more critical. Millennials are looking for work that has an impact on the bottom line and on the world. Treat them as equal contributors – they have a unique view on the world and a valuable perspective to consider.
2. We will achieve more if we work together. Most millennials seek collaboration and harmony in their work. “Sometimes there is a fear of losing territory by combining efforts. Turf wars get us nowhere, collaboration and combining forces give us the power to scale success.”
- Lesson for managers: Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing. Make sure every key project has diverse representation and input so millennial voices are heard and considered.
3. You need to embrace change. In my original article I reported that millennials want a work environment that supports their needs for collaboration and flexibility. This is still the case. “I understand that collaborative tools and platforms are new to previous generations, but at some point everyone has to bite the bullet and adapt. For example, look for the answer in our collaboration tool before sending an email.”
- Lesson for managers: Let’s respect millennials’ needs for work-life balance and flexibility. Also, let’s get with the program when it comes to collaboration tools and make sure everyone is using tools to make our businesses run more efficiently.
What do you think? What advice would you give your manager?
Photo credit – Flickr Creative Commons