Millennials and Baby Boomers in the Workplace

3 Ways to Better Manage Boomers and Millennials and Ensure Mentoring

As more and more Millennials graduate and enter the workforce – while Boomers begin to retire – HR professionals and employers seek to understand how to effectively manage both generations while ensuring a smooth knowledge transition. But with generational stereotypes, a modern workplace and a potential skills gap, effective management and mentorship can be a challenge.

Craig Malloy, Cofounder and CEO of Lifesize Communications, recently guest wrote for Forbes and discussed the challenges and opportunities that come with managing Millennials and Boomers in the workplace. Three stand-out pieces of advice closely relate to Millennial findings that ConnectEDU and Achievers found in their recent study, Class of 2014. Learn how these three pieces of advice that Malloy recommends for better management and mentorship in the place can be applied.

“Part of mentoring means letting go, and giving younger employees larger, more responsible roles in a project.”
Millennials are entering the workforce with strong internal values – and they’re looking to work with companies that share these ideals. A common need among this generation is having the ability to work with a sense of autonomy. Millennials want to feel like bottom line contributors and can only do so with both the independence to own specific projects and the mentorship of their more experienced peers and managers. Let Millennials make mistakes – and empower your Boomers to help the Class of 2014 learn from them.

“Recognition gives [Millennials] the drive to contribute with passion and stop being so focused on themselves.”
One of the most critical components to coaching is effective, meaningful and timely feedback. If your managers and leadership have not established a recognition rhythm and are still in the habit of reserving feedback for annual performance reviews, this is just not enough for Millennials. Coaching and recognition needs to happen in a timely manner at every opportunity in order for Millennials to feel passionate about their work and a contributor to results. Recognize wins individually and at a team level to encourage the positive behaviors Millennials exhibit that your business wants repeated.

“Boomers: Remember your institutional knowledge, market experience and ability to spot a trend are fundamental to business success.”
Boomers are retiring from the workforce at a rate of 10,000 per day, and they’re taking years of experience and knowledge with them. That leaves the workforce with a higher percentage of Millennials who are extremely driven but inexperienced, making it difficult to recruit top talent that have skills and experience HR Professionals and employers seek. Boomers hold the wisdom and should be equipped with the coaching and training required so that they can better mentor future leaders.

Understand Millennials better and improve your mentoring skills. Download our Class of 2014 whitepaper

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