New Generation: New Expectations

September 26, 2014 Kleon Van


Manage Millennials the right way. It’s a new time, a new workforce, and a new generation. More and more Millennials are breaking through into the professional world ready to begin the workforce transition-are you ready to take them on? Managing this new generation requires a completely different mindset, and you should be prepared.

It’s no easy task communicating with someone who speaks a different language, just as it is difficult communicating with a generation that has completely changed the rules of the corporate game. According to a recent HR Magazine UK article there are some general generation characteristics that apply to most of these young adults. Here’s an adapted list of such distinctions:

1) Millennials are social beings.

Even if they happen to be more reserved, you better bet your bottom dollar that they use some sort of social networking site and have at least a couple online profiles set up. This generation incorporates technology into their daily lives and use it as a way to connect with friends and family- whether that be: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine,  Pinterest, the list goes on and on. It’s important for you to integrate some sort of online platform into your daily work routine to build that social, gamified aspect-as most Millennials actually prefer companies that incorporate such elements. For example, a gamified incentive program platform could allow your workers to feel more engaged and recognized within the company, all while experiencing familiar online social elements that motivate them get more involved.

2) Millennials need their space.

There is a reason why Millennials are nicknamed ‘Generation Next’. There is a demand and an expectation that these new workers are: responsible for a variety of tasks, ready to accomplish these tasks in a timely manner, and prepared to deliver the highest quality results in the process. Competition is fierce; this new generation knows that all too well.  In order to manage these fast paced, multitasking individuals, a certain laissez-faire attitude and a pinch of trust is needed from management. Something I’ll never forget is a statement I heard from Eugene Cernan while at a Purdue University Astronaut Reunion this past year. He said something along the lines of, “Put a couple young engineers in a room, and there’s nothing they can’t figure out.” Isn’t it true? Nowadays with the technological resources available and a generation equipped with the knowledge and capability of using such tools, the possibilities are endless. This generation just needs a little wiggle room to make that happen. This leads us to the next point: Millennials don’t mix with micromanagement.

3)  Goodbye Micromanagement!

This is a thought leader decade; more and more young adults are working independently with greater responsibility than ever before. There should be no stopping innovation or harnessing talent. This generation has new information, updated perspectives, and a confidence that is undeniable. While it may be hard to take your hands off the wheel, it is necessary at building trust with your younger workers and unleashing ideas that may have never come to mind.

4) Emotion is not a taboo for Generation Next.

In the past it was looked down upon to bring in your feelings, opinions, or mood to work-but once again the rules have changed. These individuals are more emotionally attached to their work and find greater purpose in their daily tasks. It’s not about money, it’s more about owning up to what has their name on it; they are proud of their work and take responsibility for both their successes and failures.


At the end of the day it’s important to remember that every individual is different. Not every Millennial is going to take on each and every one of these characteristics, but the overlying message does ring true. This is a new generation with new thought processes. Their education, training, and background is widely different than that of previous generations due to increased technological advances and a societal emphasis on self-sufficiency and innovation.

Tell us, what is the largest difference between your Millennials and other generational groups you work with?

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About the Author

Kleon Van

Kleon Van is a Marketing Operations expert at

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