Simon Sinek, expert in “the millennial question,” has explained why millennials are labeled as lazy and entitled. However, millennials can be impact-motivated, passionate and driven - but like the generations that came before, it takes a bit of work to manage them successfully.
The contracting industry is no exception. We must make the most out of this generation by implementing strategies that ensure success, and it must be done if companies want to survive and thrive. Below are three concerns about millennials, paired with ways your contracting business can respond, in order to effectively manage this workforce.
Millennials are a result of the environment they grew up in - some are told they can have anything in life simply because they want it, or are awarded participation trophies for last place, which devalues hard work and commitment. The most successful results will be achieved when you start new employees properly, give more responsibility right out of the gate and provide clear and honest feedback along the way.
As a veteran, we greatly respected our “boot camp” periods, where we were thrown in the fire immediately. Millennials can benefit from similar strategies as they begin at your company - implement detailed training, provide them with obstacles they’ll need to overcome, and put them through a variety of solutions right off the bat.
This generation craves mentorship, guidance and responsibility from their superiors, but don’t know how to ask for it. Find ways to give it to them. Try weekly one-on-one feedback sessions to provide them facts and a chance to adjust. Be honest about your expectations and their productivity.
Inundated by technology
While the evolution of technology continues to benefit industries around the world, it can also be a detriment. Millennials oftentimes have superficial relationships, and turn to their phones and social media for temporary satisfaction. This lack of human support can negatively affect many aspects of their lives.
Contractors can aid their millennial workers by creating a sense of purpose and community. These workers need to feel that what they do is worthwhile beyond making money for themselves or for the company. Remind them that they are building and reconstructing homes for homeowners to live in and to protect their families. Pair them with like-minded individuals on important tasks, and build relationships with your team that extend beyond the contracting work. Not only can your business benefit, but your employees’ confidence will grow, too.
Millennials have grown to expect everything instantaneously, from text messages to TV series. Gratification is practically instant. But not all things happen in one click - love, job fulfillment and self-confidence take time.
By providing freedom, employees are responsible for their own choices and learn from their mistakes. Teaching them that failure is okay, and that success doesn’t happen right away, will help them improve and understand patience in the real world. Let them make their own decisions and solutions while learning from their results. The journey is long and arduous, but it's worth it.
It’s on us to invest in millennials professionally and personally. By following these three responsive strategies, you’ll give them the (power) tools to greatly impact our future