May is the month of Mother’s Day. June gets Father’s Day. July has Independence Day, it goes on and on… So I wondered: is there a Millennial Appreciation Day? There should be! I once had a talk called “I raised Millennials and they are fixing me!” I meant it then, and still mean it! Here’s how.
As I finished up my most recent degree, I realized I was getting educated right along side millennials! Kids the same age as mine! That’s when I realized I treated my fellow students just like my professional peers at work. I hadn’t ever seen my own kids in that way! This was a big Aha moment for me – as a parent and as a professional.
That is when I changed how I interacted with the millennials in my own family.
As I worked alongside fellow students, I was gaining huge respect for their smarts, the way their minds worked, and how easily they integrated technology into methods to overcome new challenges and gain innovative results.
REACTION VS. FEEDBACK
I also appreciate millennials’ demand for insight and information on how they are doing. Non-Millennials often mock this as needing constant feedback. I argue that, due to social media, understanding same time reactions of how their work is received is no different to them than a ‘like’ button on Facebook or Twitter.
They want to know what reactions are occurring as they evolve.
It’s very similar to wanting to improve the speed and efficiency of a train while it is chugging along. I grew to appreciate this quickly as it teaches all of us how to communicate and engage effectively, with Purpose.
POSITIVE: MILLENNIALS MAKE US LOOK IN THE MIRROR
Millennials are making us look in the mirror; helping us realize that what they desire is no different than what we have always desired.
While non-millennials just complain about it around the dinner table, millennials are expecting it to happen now. I applaud that.
I now realize that my own kids did this too. Yet, I hadn’t taken the time to look for ways to work together, support them, or have conversations around any of this.
I was stuck in “mom mode” and it was limiting how I needed to see and appreciate them as adults. It was truly limiting our success as a family by not tapping into their brains, abilities, and ideas.
ARE YOU APPRECIATING YOUR MILLENNIALS?
How ARE you appreciating the millennials you have working for you? Are you even taking the time?
Stop lumping all employed millennials into the negatively associated adjective used to mock their need for technology, autonomy, and feedback. That’s so last week!
Instead, realize that they want to be challenged, recognized, and praised for good work – and they may be your boss very, very soon! At the very least, they will be responsible for your quality of life as you age.
Knock off the mocking and create a way to appreciate them for all they bring to the table, regardless of how you see them personally. In fact, if you want to truly understand how to engage your team and employees, start thinking like a millennial!
80% of employees say they will work harder and stay longer in an organization when they are challenged and recognized for their work.