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Managing Remote Millennials

Updated: Feb 28, 2022

Job hopper or seeker? Everyone needs a purpose. Why do millennials move around so much? Think about how generations are built for just a moment? Each new generation learns from the previous and the knowledge that is accumulated by them. The dawn of the internet made information and collecting it infinite and instantaneous. So is it a surprise that the first generation raised with access to infinite data knows more simply by osmosis for lack of a better word that their precedent? This group don’t look up facts in a book, they “google” them. They have multiple sources to get the data that they want or need and it is then up to them to filter it. They have the luxury of taking for granted instant knowledge. Not experience or wisdom, but that is another conversation.


I come from Gen X, so I remember what no internet or cell phones was like. I can tell you honestly that I cannot add multiply or subtract as well as I could when I was younger. Why? Because I know that I can instantly use the calculator on my phone. Why remember useless skills and memorized figures? I don’t need to any more. Extrapolate this to all knowledge, not just basic math. We can now look up facts, places, history, landmarks, theorems and solutions with a swipe of our finger. So we learn to filter information and place importance on different things. It’s not so much how much we know but more what do we want to know.


  • The folks at MindSea recently conducted some great research on millennials and their relationship with mobile apps. In the study, MindSea found that 45% of millennials rely on friends’ app suggestions. As such, it’s important that you have channels in place that allow app users to easily and quickly tell your brand’s story.


Millennials do their research.



Banking

  • According to a Gallup poll, millennials are 2.5 times more likely than Baby Boomers and 1.5 times more likely than Gen Xers to switch banks.

  • In a Kasasa survey, 83% of millennials said they'd be willing to switch banks for better rewards, such as a higher interest rate on deposit accounts, cash-back on purchases, and foreign ATM fee refunds. 94% of millennials also said that no-fee banking was a priority, which is no surprise given that many 20- and 30-somethings are juggling substantial student loan debt, which could be eating up a large chunk of their budgets.

  • Money transfer to friends


Coaching in their careers-They want personal growth and purpose versus just a paycheck


  • “Millennials don't want to fix their weaknesses -- they want to develop their strengths.

Fixating on their weaknesses won't inspire millennials to perform. Naming and aiming their strengths will - weaknesses never develop into strengths, but strengths develop infinitely.”


  • https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236294/millennials-job-hoppers-not.aspx


So when you hire a millennial you are hiring an individual that has literally been raised with the expectation that information, and more importantly, feedback is immediate. So effectively managing and engaging these individuals must incorporate the speed of feedback expected.


I remember an employee who my company had hired for her intelligence and “go get it” attitude. She was a few years out of college and inexperienced for the job required but we decided to take a chance. We were just experimenting with remote employees at the time, so we let her work from her home in San Diego, California. Our offices were 300 miles away. Our phone system was internet based so calls were sent to any remote desk or cell phone.


About 6 months after we hired her, I called her to get some information that I needed. I spoke with her for a few minutes regarding work and then asked her how San Diego was. She laughed and said she was in Washington D.C. She had simply rented an Air BnB for a month during the summer. Her workload had not changed nor did her work suffer in any way that I had noticed.


She was a great employee. She made no promise hat she would stay forever, nor did we expect her to. We made lynda.com (purchased by LinkedIn) available for her and all of our employees. She used it very wisely and learned multiple skills in project management and different software platforms that helped her to do her job more efficiently. It also trained her for her next move. I always go back to the Richard Branson quote: “ Train people well enough to they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”


What I learned was that this way of working was her normal. She liked to bounce around and see new places and experience the actual place and environment that she had read about. Now this is fairly easy for anyone who does not yet have anchors in one geography, however COVID 19 will definitely limit the physical travel aspect. This generational world view fits well with this new set of circumstances that we face.


So the practical takes aways that I learned are:


If you are a Gen X or Boomer manager, understand the technology that your employees were raised on. You may not need to be an expert in all things hashtag #newtechnology, but know what it is and how it is used by those around you. I go into some of the opportunities of how COVID is forcing us to new adapt new technology in my blog here.


Accept the fact that remote working is pretty much expected and is now situationally being mandated by this global virus. Forget about the old days of going into the office.


Adopt new technology in your workplace and personally. Get up to date on all video connection platforms and implement them. Note: you may need match some specific platforms to match existing customers or vendor profiles.


Anticipate what new technology may be around the corner. When anything grows exponentially, then things are going to go fast, really fast. So the faster we accept, and adopt the better we will be at using what we currently have.


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