Developing the Millennial Workforce

All businesses, whether ‘Blue Chip’ Multi Nationals or SME’s, employ millennials these days and we thought it useful to share with you some opinions that we hear fairly regularly about them as seen by the business community. Against each opinion we have supplied some suggested action, if faced with the issue, that should help in resolving it:-  

Perspective 1:

'Millennials sometimes struggle to appreciate the bigger picture and their role in it. This can hurt their workplace performance significantly'.

Employer Action: 

Make sure you share your company vision clearly with all employees, undertake a proper induction that positions the employee’s role in the ‘big picture’. Letting any employee know early in the piece how their ‘cog’ helps the company wheel operate is a great way to start on the right foot.

Perspective 2:

'Phones and computers have pre-empted the need of millennials to develop good face to face communication skills'.

Employer Action: 

Ensure the team are trained on the important aspect of people interaction. Everyone can learn the dynamics of good communication. You can still allow the millennial to learn in their preferred way – online/ tablet/ phone etc. (see the end of this article) and can teach them interpersonal skills through this medium.

Perspective 3:

'Depression and anxiety are serious issues that affect millennials more than any previous generation'.

Employer Action: 

This is a serious matter and it is where real, high quality Line Management comes in. Take time to talk to employees and spot unusual moods etc. Talk openly with them on how they are feeling. Identify actions that need to be taken.

Perspective 4:

'Millennials, particularly those who had helicopter parents, may be unused to accomplishing things on their own, and therefore suffer from poor self-esteem'.

Employer Action: 

While confidence comes from within you can boost low confidence by praising someone when they have done something well. It is too easy to fall into the habit of catching somebody doing something wrong rather than right (we tend to do this quite a lot don’t we?) – praise before (constructive) criticism in personnel reviews is also a great tactic. If you give millennials both freedom and ultimate responsibility, you can find a sweet spot that works. It's a lot better than having to constantly hire and fire unhappy employees with the ensuing costs and loss of time and momentum that occurs when this happens.

Perspective 5:

'Millennials treat jobs differently than their predecessors'. For past generations, a job was a career -- a vital part of their identity that often lasted until retirement. Millennials don't see it that way. Most of them plan on changing jobs every three years. Thought process could be ‘If I am leaving anyway, why worry about sucking up to a boss or trying to make everyone happy'?

Employer Action: 

Recognise the real talent you have in your millennial pool – do you want to keep them? Of course you do! You will not do this though unless they see themselves and their careers being developed within your business. Training and development programmes for the individual are essential as indeed are the career paths in your business, if you want to keep the good people who can help you take your business on in the future and can form the next management team.

Perspective 6:

'Millennials are over confident and sometimes egotistical'. (This contradicts (4)) but this is so true of some millennials too. 'Some millennials act entitled. Some refuse to take instruction. They think their way is the only way that works. Those that expect all the perks for half the effort are the ones losing their jobs'.

Employer Action: 

This (once more) comes down to training and development in helping the employee understand that productivity is what business relies upon and that for every investment in equipment or people business needs a return. Understanding the basic principles of commerce should not be taken as a ‘given’ with the millennial community, make sure they understand how the world of commerce functions and what it takes to have a successful business.

Over-riding all of the above in relation to the millennial employee is what YOU see as their potential. While their current performance might need improvement or their behaviour may need to change this can happen if you set in place the right programmes to develop them. If these are in place and you are getting no reaction, in a positive sense, to the training, you may need to think again about whether the individual has a longer term future with you. That said if you have a good millennial employee with lots of potential – go for it and give them every support that you can. With successful training you will get a huge payback in how well your business develops.

Tinderbox Learning Management System

This might just help!! We have recently launched our award-winning technology based Learning Management System to great acclaim. This allows SME’s to oversee their employees training and development easily and objectively. Easy to use and easy to personalise to your exact needs it is particularly valuable to millennial employees who prefer learning via tablet, laptop or mobile phone – the system remains completely under your control but the employee can learn in their own time and at their own pace. It covers many business topics including (for example) improving face to face communication skills and in all has over 200 courses available to your employees for one affordable payment per month.

For a free trial/ demonstration of the system just get in touch at: or on 0116 232 5231 or contact me personally at the contact points below.

David Turner

Managing Director

07747 023610



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