From Depression Era to Baby Boomers, to Generation X, every generation tends to look at the next with a little bit of disapproval. Now that Millennials have entered the workforce, they seem to be taking the brunt of the judgment. However, if you want to motivate millennial workers, you’ll want to realize that they can’t all be grouped together in personality, work ethic, and goals. Just like every generation that has come before them, millennials are individuals. When you treat them that way, they’ll become the business rock stars you’ve always wanted.

Imagine a record label treating every rock star the same way. Those musicians would be looking for a new label in minutes. Millennial workers feel the same way. They don’t want to be stereotyped with others in their generation, they want to be treated as the unique employees they are.

How to Get to Know Your Employees as People

Sometimes, leaders forget that employees are people. Successful managers and successful businesses are the ones who see their employees as human beings first, and workers second. Here are a few questions that you can ask your employees to understand them and better manage them.

What Drew You to This Type of Work?

When you ask this question, your employee may give you some insight into their past, their family, or their passions. Perhaps they had a family member or friend who had whatever problem your company solves. Maybe they have had an interest in your industry since they were little. Understanding what makes your employees tick will help make the most of their role.

What Interests You?

Employees don’t cease to exist when they leave work. They go home to rich lives filled with hobbies, causes, and passions. Employees appreciate when you take the time to find out what they care about. You might even discover that you have something in common or that they have knowledge or skills that could benefit the company.

What Are Your Career Goals and Personal Goals?

There’s a very good chance that their current position is not the dream career that your employee is shooting for. Many millennials have a strong desire to improve their work and personal lives and to move up in the business world. Discuss their goals and find out how you can help move them towards those goals.

How Do You Prefer to Work?

This can encompass where and when they prefer to work, and can also include whether they prefer to work as a team or on their own, how they like to communicate with coworkers, and much more. Offering flexibility at work can allow employees to thrive in their positions.

How Do You Prefer to Be Managed?

Be honest, don’t you wish someone had asked you that question? Find out if your employee wants to be given freedom and space to work in their own way with little interruption, or if they want to receive frequent feedback regarding their performance and their accomplishments. Do they respond well to criticism or do they prefer positive feedback? Being open to leading on their terms will improve the experience for everyone.

Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that there is one thing millennials have in common with every other generation: they are all individuals. When you treat them as unique people with likes and dislikes, goals and aspirations, and personalities all their own, you create an environment for rock star productivity.

“I don’t work at being ordinary.” Paul McCartney

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

 

When it comes to your employees, do you consider yourself a good communicator?  Even more importantly, do you consider yourself a good listener? If you’d like to better motivate your millennial workers, one of the key strategies is to listen to what they have to say.

The millennials were not brought up in households where “children should be seen and not heard” but rather were valued for their opinions and ideas. Much like rock stars, millennials are a powerful segment of the population who want to have a voice and make a difference in the world. They are talented, creative, and motivated. If you listen to what they have to say, you just might find the answers to your most pressing business issues.

How to Listen to Your Employees

As leaders, you likely underwent a great deal of training in regards to communication: How you can best share your ideas, your grand vision, and your daily expectations with your team. However, a huge (and often ignored) piece of communication is listening. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your millennial employees by taking their thoughts and ideas into consideration.

Be Available

An open-door policy sounds good on paper, but do you actually live it? Are you available at any time (within reason) for employees to discuss their concerns or present ideas to you? When employees see that you want to hear what they have to say, they’ll be more likely to talk to you, and less likely to become a source of negativity at the water cooler. If your job doesn’t allow you to be available at all times, set up specific hours when employees can meet with you.

Be Open-Minded

Do you have to be the source of all good ideas? Often, the answers to your problems and the innovative ideas necessary to move the company forward don’t come from management. These ideas come from the front-line employees who are in the trenches. When you are willing to listen and implement these ideas, you’ll open up a new world for your company.

Be Aware of Non-Verbal Cues

Just because you’re doing your best to communicate openly and honestly, doesn’t mean that your employee will do the same. They may control their words, but it is much more difficult to control body language. Even when they are holding back, their non-verbal cues will likely betray them. Keep an eye out for obvious movements like leaning back or forward in their chair, crossing their arms in front of them, shifting their body away from your direction, not maintaining eye contact, etc. These may signal that they are uncomfortable or excited about the conversation. It may also mean that they are feeling attacked and feel the need to defend themselves. If you pick up on a specific movement, gently question how they are feeling at that moment and they may relax and provide more information.

Be Respectful

Not every idea is a good one and not every complaint is valid. That being said, you should still listen, verify, and validate everything brought to your attention. Let your employees know that you understand what they are saying and will take it into consideration. People just want to be heard. Often, this is enough to put the problem to rest.

Be Honest

While you should always be honest with your employees, this tip actually refers to being honest with yourself. When you listen to your workers, they may tell you something that’s hard for you to hear. Perhaps they have an issue with your leadership style or don’t like the way that you handle certain situations. Whatever the criticism is, you’ll want to be honest with yourself. It’s always possible that they are deflecting one of their issues onto you and you won’t need to change your behavior. But, the possibility exists that you are actually doing something poorly. Look at your behavior, talk to a trusted friend or colleague, and decide whether you need to make a change within yourself.

Marvelless Mark®  reminds his clients that millennial employees want to be heard and considered. They want to have their own voice in the company.  When you are available, open-minded, aware of non-verbal cues, respectful and honest with their ideas and feedback, you will see the rock star results you know they are capable of.

“I’m hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day. To get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about.” – Jay Z

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

 

While the latest generation of employees values freedom and inspiration, these cannot be achieved without one very important thing… structure. If you are looking to motivate millennial workers, you’ll want to create a well-structured environment for them to thrive in.

It may seem counterintuitive, but there is actually quite a bit of freedom in structure. Think about our rock star friends. They may be the wildest, most unique individuals on the planet, however, they adhere to their own type of structure. They practice their craft, market their “product,” and follow the schedule that’s been set in front of them. At least they do if they want to succeed. Millennials understand the need for structure and actually crave it.

Providing Structure in the Workplace

An office filled with employees running amuck is bound to fail. However, if you learn how to create healthy, positive parameters within which your employees can work, you will be rewarded with productivity, creativity, and loyalty. Here are a few ways you can create structure in the office.

Clearly Communicate Roles

When you hire employees, do you make it perfectly clear what their responsibilities will be? Or, like many companies, do you hand them a 3 line job description and send them on their merry way? If an employee doesn’t know what they are supposed to do, they will be anxious, resentful, and will always fall short of your expectations.

It’s better to help your millennial workers understand what their position entails (a clearly defined role), what is expected of them (goals), and how and when they will be reviewed (receive feedback). This gives them the opportunity to meet and exceed your expectations and thrive in their work environment. This can be done at hiring or at any time during their employment. These roles and responsibilities should be discussed and then committed to paper (or computer) so that they can be referenced by both parties at any time. An employee manual should be included to discuss company-wide expectations.

Create Standard Operating Procedures

S.O.P.s not only give your employees freedom to make decisions within their daily activities, they actually free up your time as well. These procedures can be incredibly detailed, providing what-to-do instructions for every situation they are likely to encounter, or it can be an overall culture that permeates every decision such as “the customer is always right.” If your employees know that the customer is always right, they can act accordingly and without interrupting you for every little situation that presents itself.

Determine the Disciplinary Policy

Marvelless Mark® reminds his clients that not every employee will be perfect all the time. No matter how dedicated, talented, or intelligent they may be, mistakes are human and inevitable.

“Make mistakes, make mistakes, make mistakes. Just make sure they’re your mistakes.” Fiona Apple

What will you do when they happen? The most important part of a disciplinary procedure is communicating expectations. If your employees don’t know what they should and shouldn’t do, you can’t punish them for missteps. This is where the role responsibilities and employee manual comes into play.

Once you’ve communicated what they should and shouldn’t do, you must let them know what will happen if they don’t meet the expectations or follow the guidelines. Will there be a warning before action is taken? Will they be put on probation? Are there grounds for immediate dismissal? Whatever you decide is fine, under one condition. Whatever you decide must apply to every employee in the business. If different employees are held to different standards or one is punished for something whereas another employee’s behavior was overlooked, you open yourself up to angry employees and potential lawsuits.

Creating structure in the workplace is essential to motivate millennial workers. Thankfully, it’s also fairly simple. When you clearly define roles, create standard operating procedures, and determine the disciplinary policy early, your employees will have an environment in which to thrive and create rock star results.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.