Each generation wants different things depending on what stage of life they are in or what age they are. However, at the end of the day, anyone at any age wants to meet their goals and feel fulfilled from their work. The goals of a 22 year old may be completely different than the goals of a 46 year old, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to reach their goals the same amount as each other – they just require different levels of coaching!
Many people think that recent grads don’t want to work when in reality, they are just new to it. People who have just graduated try to find a balance of work and play because they are still very young. Meanwhile, life is throwing tons of responsibilities at millennials that they never had before. Having recent graduates on your team can be hard but it is important to take the time to understand the stage of life they are in in order to see where they are coming from. With a few changes to how you manage recent grads, you might be surprised by how much they impact your business.
Their life is different then yours
See life and work through their eyes. Imagine all the new work and responsibilities that is put onto their plate when they get their first full-time job. It is a lot to take in! Take the time ensure you are not overwhelming the millennials on your team by making sure that the goals you have for them are realistic.
Millennials are commonly said to be lazy and unwilling to work hard: this is not true. Recent grads are at a point in their life where things are changing and becoming more serious. They may not always go the extra mile because the regular amount of work is plenty. Once they become comfortable and adjust to the real world, they will improve and maybe even become major players in your company.
Experience comes with the years
Don’t set unrealistic expectations for your young employees. Recent grads can become easily overwhelmed because they are still just getting used to the 40 hour work week. Check in with them to make sure that they are not tackling too much work at one time. They want to make a good impression and do great things so they often times won’t say no if you keep putting more on their plates. This is one quick way to overwork them into exhaustion.
Older generations tend to think that Gen Y people just have no clue. Well, truth is that recent graduates who are new to the workforce don’t know what they don’t know! They are thrown into the working world and older generations typically have higher expectations for Gen Y because they assume that millennials know what comes easy to them. However, the mind of a recent grad is a blank slate; they may not know everything or even some of the things older generations think are basic, but they WANT to learn. Millennials need you to help them learn! Knowledge cannot be passed without sharing.
Take time to teach
Think of millennials as toddlers: toddlers are fairly new to the world and have to be taught everything from the ground up (literally). Would you set a toddler down among 5 years olds and tell them to go do what they are doing? Would you get frustrated when the toddler doesn’t act like the 5 year old or do the things they can do? The toddler maybe has an idea of what the 5 year old is doing by watching and observing, but that doesn’t mean they are capable of doing it. A toddler has to be taught to do everything the 5 year old does in order to get to their level of knowledge. Millennials need to be taught everything and many older generations don’t take the time to thoroughly teach and explain, especially the small details that can easily be overlooked.
Older generations often think that millennials are not committed to the work and give up too easily. This is because millennials may not understand the purpose of the work they are doing. Millennials need to feel a sense of purpose in the work they do and a lack of purpose will eventually lead them to seek other opportunities.
Explain why it always has worked
Show your recent grads why things are done the way they are because they have never been exposed to many of the even common experiences of the working world. They are used to expressing opinions and bringing in new ideas and creativity – that’s just how they’ve grown up and gone through school. Once millennials see the reasoning behind things, they will follow and achieve.
It will take time for your recent grads to adjust to the full time work schedule, but just keep in mind that they want to learn and want to improve and need your help and attention to do so. Make sure you are there to help them reach their goals rather than setting the bar too high.
About Colleen Carey:
Colleen is an HR Consultant with a focus on recruiting amazing talent for our clients. She can be reached by calling the office at (603) 518-8676 as well as at her email, [email protected].Learn more about Cultural Chemistry on our website.