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Managing Millennials: Does It Really Need To Be So Complicated?

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Why are millennials the target of much discontent? This demographic is responsible for much of the technology disruption but are they really that different than earlier generations or is it older workers worry they will soon lose their jobs and be locked out of the workforce. Younger generations embrace change and millennials love the innovation that businesses so rely on today. Older generations take longer to adapt and accept technological advancements.

Snacknation provides insight that adeptly explains the phenomenon of cutting down millennials in the workforce. This reproachful outlook on a younger generation is nothing new, but merely the way it’s always been.

For centuries, older generations see threats to their way of life and go out of their way to remove them. At the same time, younger generations carry all the baggage of previous generations and work tirelessly to improve upon traditional and ineffective methods.

The only difference between millennials and earlier generations is that technology has significantly accelerated the rate of change. That said, understanding the ‘why’ that drives animosity toward millennials doesn’t make managing them any more comfortable. What does? Understanding what motivates millennials.

Managing Millennials Involves Change

Eyal Gutentag has worked in upper management for companies like Uber and ZipRecruiter, and he says the traits that millennials routinely get knocked for, like entitlement, restlessness, and waywardness, may actually be positive attributes.

The change that’s required is team culture and when you build a team culture that encourages continuous change and growth; it embraces the attributes typically associated with millennials. The focus is on evolving the business and that of the organizational chart, so individuals get an equal opportunity to step up and with it comes a buzz in the atmosphere that excites and motivates people to grow in a much more organic fashion. This aligns well with the “restlessness” of this generation. So, what should your new org chart entail?

Stimulating Work

Contrary to popular belief, millennials thrive off of a good challenge. If the work is mundane and repetitive, you’re unlikely to keep young, top talent.

They’re used to moving around too with more flexible jobs offering more motivation to seek more challenging roles. Millennials are likely to have had more jobs by the time their thirty than older generations will have in their lifetime.

In addition to a good challenge, young people need to know that their work matters and that it is contributing to the company’s overall mission, values, and goals.

Good Work/Life Balance

Millennials do not want to be slaves to the clock, and neither should older generations. Yet, many organizations cling to the old nine-to-five model as if it’s the only thing keeping them from going bankrupt.

Technology has made it possible for workers to complete more work in shorter amounts of time, and, more significantly, from just about anywhere. If companies hope to keep younger employees happy, they should reconsider their workday and offer a schedule with a little more flexibility.


By no means should companies give out trophies like they’re candy, instead they should give credit only where credit is due and reward excellence. Something small, such as a handwritten ‘Thank You note or a bonus goes a long way toward encouraging millennials to focus on what matters.


Rewards are similar to recognition but differ in that they should be doled out when an employee goes above and beyond the call of duty. Did an employee stay late on a Friday night to complete a last-minute project? Did he or she come in on Saturday morning to complete a task or meet with a client?

A small show of recognition for commitment may be a gift voucher.

Managing millennials is like many anyone, simply seek to understand what motivates them.