3D – Managing The Millennials – Discover the Core Competencies Managing Today’s Workforce (Part 2)

continue on Part 2.


16. Three behavioural competencies needed to effectively managing the Millennials employees:

  1. Adapting – willing to accept a Millennial employee doesn’t have same experiences, values or frame of reference that you had when you were the same age. You got to suspend own biases and adjust your management style.
  2. Communicating – ability to make a connection at a relational level. Able to stay engaged even when both parties are frustrated because sometimes tension can escalate to emotional conflict.
  3. Envisioning – ability to create both meaning and accountability for the Millennials employee. Able to connect their personal goals and aspirations with the organization objectives.


17. Negative stereotype can adversely impact the willingness of a managerial leader to mentor or help young person – particularly when the older employees sees the younger as an economic threat. Managerial leaders may also put off by attitudes and behaviours that are not consistent with their own. And the worse is the managerial leaders decided not to engage at all or do it condescendingly. Studies show that people who receive constant negative feedback often show lower levels of effort as a result.


18. The Millennials work to live – not live to work. That does not mean they are lazy. It does not mean that they do not want to work. They want to work that is meaningful. If there is a disconnect between the experienced and the young, odds are that tacit knowledge will not be retained in the organization.


19. Millennials value being rewarded. Not just the usual ones like increase in pay, bonuses and promotions. They also want time-off and the opportunity in community projects during company time. The stress that you have has to do with perceived unrealistic expectations on the part of the Millennials. Here the three keys to incenting Millennials:

  1. Create incentives that twentysomething value
  2. Clearly and thoroughly state desired outcomes and expectations
  3. Provide timely and fair assessment of their performance

20. Millennials value self expression. They have both a desire and a need to make their mark on the world. They enthusiastically embrace change and thrive on brainstorming, creating and problem solving. Creativity doesn’t generally fit a mechanistic or efficiency model. Many managers struggle with cultivating the imagination of Millennials because they manage job description rather than people. In fact, talking about working together you are better off being an autocratic than faking collaboration.


21. Millennials has a lot of need for an audience. Simply because they are used to it already from their childhood days. You got to be emphatic, get closer, be curious and grow them. And you don’t have to; Try to like them, not be like them and rethink what you have been taught.

22. Some of the things managers have been taught by their superiors on managing younger ones:

  1. Don’t get close to them, because you may have to fire them someday.
  2. Don’t think it is wise to fraternize and become drinking buddies with them.
  3. Familiarity breeds contempt, and sooner and later they will use something against me.
  4. You have to keep clear lines between staff and management or else they will get confused.
  5. HR won’t let me hang out with them, they it is too risky. 


23. Achievement is the intrinsic value that drives the Millennials need to be affirmed. Feedback that is not being interpreted as being affirming is met with anything from incredulity to counterattack – not only by them by sometimes their parents as well. This explains the new mix of defensive young employees and interventionist helicopter parents confronting managers today. This is attributed largely to change in parenting style. Defensiveness can also manifest such as taking offense, unwillingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions, guardedness, resentment, and anger. In the workplace these are often seen in response to criticism and evaluation.


24. Previous generations may have used “why” to signal defiance, but more often than not, Millennials really do want to know why. They have been encouraged to ask why at home, at school, and now they are asking why at work. The reality is that resistance is closer to commitment than compliance. Resistance can be anywhere between compliance and commitment. It is common for lifelong friendships to start with a conflict. Managers who accept compliance as a sign of commitment will find it difficult to develop others or to lead organizational challenge.


25. Applicable advice when managing Millennials:

  1. Resist the temptation to argue, be fair
  2. Acknowledge their feelings, their point, their competence and your differences
  3. Shift the encounter away from positional bargaining to joint problem solving
  4. Help them to save face
  5. Ask them for constructive criticism
  6. Reaffirm the relationship
  7. Aim for mutual satisfaction, not victory


26. To be without emotionally hooked so you can effectively manage the Millennials, you need to become self-differentiating. This is important because poorly differentiated managerial leaders find it difficult to continue a relationship with people who disagree with them or who are not considered to be on their team. If you are a manager, you must know that your technical skills allow you to be promoted into management, but your ability to self regulate and relate to others will determine your level of success. Relationship is not merely a function of structure and power but dependent on a manager’s ability to relate to others. Self differentiating may be the hardest competency to do well because it demands the most of you. It will also be the most fulfilling because it will impact every area of your life. Many people confuse their role and their person. You are much greater than your role. It is part of who you are, but not equal to who you are. When your role is over you still exist.


27. To get the Millennials understand the big picture is to engage in a learning process that is involving, presents complexity, and allows the learner to challenge institutional assumptions. The best managers intuitively know this and create orientations, provide training, and teach through learning activities. Simplicity is key to Millennials, but not simplistic. As a manager you can also use broadening – teaching consequences and helping to connect the dots. You can also share the information you get such as what is going on in the company or at your own level of responsibility can help them to think beyond their own cubicle.


28. To the Millennials high achievement is important. They want to know exactly what they have to do to be successful. They fear taking a wrong step or making bad decision. In fact they would rather not make a decision at all than make the wrong one. Their ability to work in teams often masks their fear of making bad decisions on their own. Working on a team affords Millennials the psychological comfort of sharing the burden of making a mistake. Great managers anticipate when their Millennials need a new challenge and try to create opportunities for them before they become unfocused. Simply because Millennials they are easily bored with their job description. At the same time, you got to allow them to make mistakes and learn. A point of caution, while you feel they know what is expected and equipped to do it, most of the time they don’t know what to do and where to begin. A simple way to direct and ascertain readiness:

  1. I explain what I will do
  2. I do it and you watch me
  3. We do it together
  4. You do it and I watch you
  5. You do it on your own
  6. You explain what you did


29. Millennials need to find meaning in their work. It is a poor quality of discontent when employees feel they are not safe at work. We would say that the quality of discontent is high when employees complain of not seeing their imprint on product or service. We have to reinvent our management systems, so they inspire human beings to bring all their capabilities to work every day. The following are human capability that contributes to competitive success i.e. value creation by Gary Hamel:

  1. Obedience – Taking direction and following rules (nevertheless, when it comes to value creation or competitive success, rule following employees don’t contribute because it is a product of passion and creativity)
  2. Diligence – Being accountable and not taking shortcuts
  3. Intellect – Smart, eager to improve skills, and willing to borrow ideas from others
  4. Initiative – Do not wait to be told and seek out new ways to add value
  5. Creativity – Inquisitive, irrepressible, and not afraid to say stupid things
  6. Passion – Climb over obstacles and refuse to give up

30. As a manager, you need to engage the massive middle group. This group is the group of neither here nor there. They are lost but yet productive in some ways. They are the occupants of the middle part in typical bell curve. These are their general characteristics:

  1. Often feel unable to commit to tasks that hold little meaning for them.
  2. They have strong reservations about jobs they are asked to do; as a result, they approach them half-heartedly.
  3. Rather than acknowledging a problem and taking steps to correct it, they convince themselves that the problem does not exist.
  4. They are often plagued with feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, anger, frustration and alienation.


Hope you will benefit and gain as much as I do. Reading the full content of the book definitely give you extra understanding of Managing The Millennials. Cheerz! 🙂


Brickbats please send to [email protected]