Tag Archives: Relationships

Managing Millennials: 4 Things We Want

Inc. Magazine produces some interesting content, whether in their print version or on their website. In the past few years, they’ve made a splash in the discussion on millennials, specifically helping baby boomers and Gen Y figure out how millennials need and want to be managed.

Michael A. Olguin offers five tips for managing millennial employees (published back in 2012). He had this to say about twenty-something employees:

Before we get too far down the road, it’s important to clearly define the term millennial. By most definitions, millennials were born between 1982 and 1996. These individuals’ personalities were shaped by the personal technology era combined with parental guidance that was nurturing to a fault (i.e., an “everyone gets a trophy” mentality). These two influences created a sometimes confounding workforce that is at best difficult to understand and at worst entitled.

His five tips are:

  1. Reinforce the positives.
  2. Recognize that each person is different and must be managed differently.
  3. Be flexible.
  4. Allow as much ownership as possible.
  5. Don’t be vague.

I would probably put “Don’t be vague” on the top of the list. I think millennials are generally skeptical, so they often worry about the inner-workings of an organization. Being vague only reinforces those negative feelings.

Those tips reminded me of another article I read, 5 Ways Your Boss is Killing Your Morale.

The five ways highlighted are: Scheduling mandatory fun, requiring employees to punch the clock, not showing gratitude, making a big deal out of a small mistake and not listening.

That gives us ten suggestions for managing millennials, and here are four more from my perspective:

Tip #1: Meet regularly (but not too much) and update the entire team on how things are going.

We want to hear from you. We want to know what you’re working on, how we can help you, and what you think of the work we’re currently doing. We also want to hear about overarching strategy and we like to make our work line up with that strategy. It makes us feel useful. We understand that you can’t tell us everything, and we don’t expect you to, but we like to feel valued.

Tip #2: Make your expectations as clear as possible.

If you want us to be at work at 9:00 am every day on the dot, but tell us we can be flexible in the mornings, then we think you don’t care about what time we get to work. If the time needs to be 9:00 am, make that abundantly clear. If you want us to be the first person to answer the phone when it rings, but tell us whoever can answer it answers it, tell us that on day one and you’ll never have to pick up that phone again. We don’t speak your language, although we’re trying to. We like clear expectations, and we like to exceed them. Vague expectations leave too much room for you to get frustrated at us for something that we can easily fix.

Tip #3: Help us define our career path.

We are thankful that you decided to give us a job. You took a chance on us, and we are blessed to work for you. Still, we are constantly thinking about what’s next (and that doesn’t mean we want to move to your competitor). We’ve got families to raise, houses to buy and differences to make – and we want to move up in your company as soon as you think we’re ready to do so. Help us get there. Nothing is set in stone, but we are looking for a clear path forward. If there isn’t room for growth, help us learn as much as we can so that when our skills and experience outweigh our current position, we can move on and benefit you in other ways. It’s not all about the money and promotions, it’s about feeling grounded.

Tip #4: Seriously, nix the mandatory fun.

We love you. We really do. But we see you for forty+ hours a week, far more than we see our wives/husbands in the daylight. If there isn’t work to do, we want to be with our friends and family. Please. We don’t want to bowl with you, eat with you, or see a movie with you. Because even when you tell us something is optional, we assume that you expect us to be there and we change our personal plans to make it happen. Don’t make us do that. Please note that we are perfectly willing to meet after work for professional outings, just don’t act like it’s all fun and games. If we’re with our bosses and co-workers, it feels like work and it is work.

A lot of companies have figured this stuff out and are actively managing millennials in a way that will likely retain them for many years. Others aren’t quite getting it yet, but they’ll be forced to get there soon.

Am I being too harsh? What am I wrong about? Agree with me? Let me know!

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Your Today List

Boom. That’s the word I use when someone puts me in my place. Chris Brogan really knows how to put me in my place.

Instead of a todo list, make a today list. Make the word “today” synonymous with how you live your vision. Make your view of the future your lifestyle, not a project.

We spend so much time talking about what we’re going to do. We love to tell ourselves that – at our age – we can wait. Here are a few examples:

  1. I’ll start going to church when I get a wife/husband.
  2. I’ll save for retirement when I make a little more money.
  3. I’ll work out more when I can afford a gym membership.
  4. The housing market isn’t going anywhere, I’ll save for a house later.
  5. My job is o.k. now, I’ll wait until “blank” before I look for a new job.

Or on a smaller scale:

  1. I can clean my bathroom later…I’m the only one that uses it anyways.
  2. I’ll make that budget next week…this week is an exception to my normal schedule.
  3. I’ll wake up early tomorrow…I had to work late last night.

I think you get it.

We have to get out of the mindset that the future is in our hands. As we all have probably experienced at least once in our lives, the future isn’t promised to anyone. Turn that To-Do list you’ve made in your head for the “you” that you want to be into a Today list.

Me? I need to work out. I need to find a church with my wife. I put these things off every week, assuming I can work on them when I have more time. The truth is, there just isn’t any time quite like the present. In fact, I probably have more time right now than I will ever have until I retire. What are you holding yourself back from this week?

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A Gentleman’s Guide to Pinterest: Four Reasons Why It’s Ok to Sign Up

PinterestMemeFrom Xanga (yeah, I had one) to MySpace, Facebook to Twitter, SnapChat to something I haven’t heard of yet, our generation knows its way around a “share” button. We get social media in a way that others just don’t.

That’s why I signed up for Pinterest when I first started hearing people talk about it. I quickly realized that I was one of a few of my male friends to actually have an account. So, instead of closing it down immediately and acting like it never happened, I decided to investigate. I got made fun of by my guy friends. A lot. And that was fine with me. Here’s why:

Pinterest is for dudes, too. Don’t believe me? Look at the brands that are pinning on Pinterest as we speak: Southern Proper, Onward Reserve, The Tie Bar, the list could go on for hours. College style just isn’t the same as style when you graduate, and Pinterest has you covered.

If that doesn’t have you convinced, here are four reasons why I recommend all males, guys, dudes, gentleman and the like sign up for Pinterest today:

1. Your wife/girlfriend/main squeeze/love interest is on Pinterest.

This one is really the most obvious to me. You are a man who is constantly trying to figure out women. Either you spend countless hours figuring out what to get your significant other for special occasions, you ask her mom/friends, or you buy something at the last minute that you didn’t want to buy and she didn’t want to receive. Enter Pinterest. Girls are literally pinning hundreds of things on “boards” that they want to get. It’s a gigantic wish list of the things she wants to eat, buy, receive and do. And you are a stud and you want to give her all of those things. So get on Pinterest, follow your girl, and be the stud you claim to be. If you don’t have a significant other, that’s ok too. Let me continue…

2. Your apartment needs to look better than the fraternity house/dorm/hell hole/bonus room at your parent’s house that you are used to living in.

I am guilty. I thought my Led Zeppelin posters, fraternity plaques and Starry Night prints would be just what my bland-looking living room walls at my first apartment needed. I was wrong, and if you think that way, you are wrong too. You need to step up the decorating and turn your apartment into your home. Nobody wants to come over to your place and sit on tailgating chairs eating Ramen noodles on a paper plate. Pinterest can assist you in finding cheap, manly ways to make your apartment look like you actually made an effort to spruce it up.

3. You are expected to provide food when you throw a party.

Once your apartment is looking nice enough to have guests, you need to prepare for a post grad party, which involves appetizers and finger foods. If mom hasn’t lent you all her old church cookbooks, Pinterest is here to help you. Search for tailgate foods or light appetizers and find things that wouldn’t be too difficult to make. You can even search terms like “Five Ingredients or Less” if you are really trying to save time and money. This is much easier on Pinterest, especially if you follow a few people who have opinions that you trust.

4. Things in your apartment break. You probably don’t know the easiest ways to fix them.

I am not mechanically inclined, and even if I was, there are things that happen when you’re living on your own that will baffle you. Few males probably know this, but many people “pin” ways to fix things or solve problems. One of the best examples I found on Pinterest occurred when I wanted to transform my foggy headlights on my 2001 truck into newer-looking headlights. Many a snake-oil salesman markets a product claiming to fix this, but the price of these products for me was outweighing the benefit of the change. I found on Pinterest that rubbing toothpaste on your headlights actually cleared up the fog.

So, there you have it. If you’re not convinced, that is ok with me. But I would highly recommend guys adopt Pinterest. Make it your own. Use it to your benefit. Be confident enough to do something out of the ordinary or unexpected. You’ll get more respect for that then you’ll ever get for that Led Zeppelin poster that everyone already has.

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