Millennials vs. Other Duties As Assigned: 3 Approaches For Success
September 3, 2013 Leave a comment
Employees from all generations want work that’s interesting, rewarding and meaningful. But as one Baby Boomer parent (and boss), recently said to me , “Many Millennials feel ‘Other Duties As Assigned’ are a waste of their potential“.
The challenge is that there’s always uninspiring work that simply needs to get done in every organization and every department. So what can Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials do to help each other?
- As a Boomer or Generation Xer boss, this is where you have considerable impact as you help Millennial employees see value in even small tasks and grow into valuable, productive and happy employees.
- As a Millennial employee, how you shoulder these ‘Other Duties As Assigned’ may be one of the best demonstrations of your professional character. For example, do you complete these duties with professional confidence, pride and respect or do you choose a less flattering approach?
Here are 3 approaches how all generations can help each other ‘Lean In’ to ‘Other Duties As Assigned’.
Approach #1: Ask Millennials For Their Unique Perspective
Since Millennials instinctively look at situations from a fresh perspective, use this as an advantage. Ask for their ideas on how to get the task done better / quicker / differently? This will engage this newest workplace generation because they get to use their creativity and feel they’ve been able to make a real difference. Be warned – Millennials can see an insincere request from one thousand paces so if you ask, be sure you also consider their recommendations; if they feel they’ve been manipulated they’ll become even less motivated.
Approach #2: Engage Teamwork
Most Millennials place a high priority on workplace culture and love to work in teams. Also, when they see their associates participating they’ll be more inclined to want to join in. While Millennials are always on the lookout for ‘Important Work’, they certainly won’t want to miss an opportunity to gain experience or to enhance their reputation with their boss.
Approach #3: Respect Work/Life Balance
Work / life balance is very important to Millennials. If they have to do ‘Other Duties As Assigned’, these duties should be part of their expected working hours. Millennials will expect to be compensated if they have to work late/weekends (which is less common a need for Boomers and Gen Xers). Turn this Millennial expectation into an opportunity by positioning this time-off as a flexible perk your employees get to control (which translates to higher engagement and corporate loyalty). Note: As Boomers and Generation Xers get older and have grandchildren and financial freedom they also enjoy more time-off and flexibility.
With the number of Millennials in the workforce growing everyday, it’s critical to corporate success that organizations revise their talent management strategies as soon as possible. Every year this inevitable task is delayed will create exponential challenges in the future to attract and retain employees with key skills your organization needs… and your competitors want.
You can be the change your company or department needs. You can start this powerful change. Be the leader that will help your organization to become The Best Company To Work For in your market.
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