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Making Managers Out of Millennials

The presence of millennials in the workplace has become the focus of HR professionals across every industry. Despite this somewhat controversial subject, recent studies have shown that there’s actually little to no difference between the generations in terms of work ethic. Now that millennials have been working long enough to be considered for management positions, how can we utilize the characteristics of this generation as they become the country’s largest work force?

We’ve pulled together a list of four common characteristics among millennials, along with ideas on how you can transition them into management positions by making use of their strengths.

Thinking in steps

Millennials are inclined to think in steps and gauge their progress through the completion of tasks. Each finished task is another notch in their belt, another step of improvement they were able to make. This task-oriented approach provides them with a base for organizing and assigning, or completing tasks based on availability, efficiency, and time constraints to properly meet deadlines. It also benefits a growth-based mindset, making them ideal candidates for management positions with defined goals.

Exposure to diversity

Millennials are more diverse than Baby Boomers, and this number is only increasing with the younger generations. In addition, studies show that children are now more likely to be raised in nontraditional households. This means that as millennials continue to move into the workforce, their backgrounds will follow, helping to further foster an environment of cooperation, communication, and acceptance among coworkers.

A leadership position can give them the opportunity to use this exposure to increase company morale and keep everyone working together, as well as find new openings to improve customer relations and market to new groups.

Desire to make an impact

Awareness on how organizations use products and their environmental impact is bigger than ever and continues to grow with each generation. A recent survey shows that millennials feel most impactful in the workplace, and are likely to maintain loyalty to their organization if they feel that their work is meaningful and they can make some kind of difference. In an age where technology makes information so accessible and distributable, the idea of making a positive social impact is on the rise. One of the most important characteristics a manager can have is the desire to not only see progress but to also create it.

Technologically driven

It’s no surprise that the upcoming generations are more tech-savvy than ever. They’ve grown up surrounded by smaller phones, word processors, and computer advancements that earlier generations never had the opportunity to experience during childhood. Children in grade school know what Facebook is. They follow their favorite YouTubers and experiment with streaming.

Millennials had similar exposure growing up, and continue to use apps like Snapchat or manage to summarize a paragraph of 500 into 140 characters or less on Twitter. As this generation continues to move into the workforce, more organizations are beginning to put millennials into management positions that utilize these skills, such as social media relations or marketing.

Where do we go from here?

With these four characteristics in mind, how can we continue to transition millennials into higher positions? Unfortunately, there’s no standard formula to make this happen, since individuals and organization infrastructure vary by location. The best place to start is by taking a close look at the millennials already under your employment or candidates you’ve recently interviewed. What strengths do you see?

Consider asking them about their views for the company, or how they’d like to make an impact. Prompt them to think about the bigger picture, and then consider how you can best use these characteristics—in addition to those outside these main four—to bring more to your organization.

Remember that millennials are quickly becoming the country’s largest workforce, and studies show that they are the most educated generation. Find ways to invest in your employees now to grow your company and overall environment for the future.