7 Ways to motivate your millennial

On the opposite end of things (I’m referring to my last post from a few minutes ago) – what can managers do to keep new employees motivated? Ryan Healy writes at Brazen Careerist about 7 ways to motivate your millennial employees.

What an amazing list! And a great guide for managers.

One that strikes home for me is #6, Be my friend. I had a manager once (long long ago) who sat me down and told me that we couldn’t be friends – yes, he actually said that – he said it wasn’t appropriate for managers to be friends with their employees and that one day, when I became a manager I’d understand. Well, I can tell you that just ain’t so! I’m friends with the employee I manage and it has worked out just great. Giving a little respect to those who work under you can make all of the difference in the way they complete their work.

Other great tips:

1. Be Spontaneous
You don't have to make any drastic changes. Something as small as going out for a long lunch with a few co workers could be enough to keep me from going insane in my cubicle. If you want to get a little crazy, tell me to go home at 1pm every once in a while – and really mean it. If I think you don't really mean it, I won't use it. Even holding a scheduled meeting in a different location, like a local coffee shop or deli can throw a wrench in the status quo.

5. Keep me in the loop
Not having any idea about major business events on the horizon can be really frustrating. I realize there is often confidential information that needs to stay in the hands of upper management, but I want to understand where I fit in. For example, if I'm on the iMac team then it's fine if you don't tell me about the iPhone. But if you want me to do work on the iPhone, you have to tell explain to me what I'm working on. If you don't trust me to keep confidential information confidential, you should fire me.

Read the entire list and share it with those around you (not just managers).

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More on Millennials

When I was at Internet Librarian I had a chance to have a very interesting conversation about the newest generation (GenY, Millenials, whatever you call them) with Stephen Abram.

He stated that I was a Millennial – but that my husband was a GenXer (even though we were born in the same year) – based on a few details I provided for him. At first, I was a little annoyed – because this meant I was lumped in with the younger generation – and I’m tired of being the young one, but I just started reading Abram’s article for the Texas Library Journal entitled “Millennials: Deal With Them!” in which he states:

First, we must discard the idea that this is somehow a damaged generation. It is largely a myth that they are performing more poorly in their education. As a matter of fact, their performance is ahead of previous generations. They may be underperforming on some fronts internationally, but they are not the lesser of the older peers. Secondly, there is a growing body of research that their IQ’s, their raw ability to access and use their intelligence has grown markedly and at a level of statistical significance. MRI studies of their brains show that they use a greater degree and balance of their brains and have greater physical capacity through increased ganglia and folds of their brains. The majority of their education has been reinvented and shows great promise. They have, among others, better team skills, speaking and articulation skills, problem-solving and process management skills. Alternatively, they have weak general knowledge and fact skills. This is not necessarily bad. Actual facts decay rapidly in today’s world. The Periodic Table is not the same as it was when we went to school. Indeed, the number of planets has changed; the maps of nations mutate on a seemingly daily basis; most knowledge is quite malleable in context today. Indeed, many Boomers believe strongly that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and all humans’ internal body temperature is 98.6oF. Since this isn’t true most of the time, it seems that building a generation to access facts and information on demand is a better solution n a complex world.

I don’t feel so bad anymore – you can all think I’m a young’un if it means I get to be lumped in with a group that has “better team skills, speaking and articulation skills, problem-solving and process management skills.” I’m off to finish the article – but so far, it seems like a worthwhile read.

Oh – and on a last note – Abram was also right about my husband – even though we were born the same year (me before him), we are part of different generations – and it’s probably due to the households we grew up in and the locations we went to school – or whatever, but he’d be the first to tell you that he does not quite fit in this mold the way I do. How very confusing it all is!

Keynote Day 3

For our last keynote of the week we had Lee Raine, Director of PEW Internet & American Life Project. Lee started out by asking us who was going to be blogging this and there were actually fewer hands than I had expected – he said it was a couple dozen, but it didn’t look like that from where I was sitting. He was asking as a segway into showing us what other bloggers had written – the funniest had to be a presentation where people were chatting live while he was talking – not too bad, except that the chat was up on the screen behind him, so when someone wrote “He’s older than I thought” the entire audience broke out laughing. After this Lee asked us to be kind — I guess it’s good that he gave a very interesting presentation :)

Apparently his speech was altered by the most recent Time magazine cover (which I saw at the grocery store today). The cover reads “Are kids too waired for their own good?” It’s an article about the Mellenials or Generation M (M for media). Apparently this generation spans 1982-2000, but I can’t see that it really spans that wide a time range – my sisters were born in 82 and I don’t think of them on the same level (technology and wired wise) as the people that Lee talked about – maybe we were in the minority growing up. Lee said that millenials “are not tech-savvy, they are tech-embracing” which is an interesting way to put it. Just because your 5 year old uses the computer more than you doesn’t necessarily mean he knows more about how it’s working.

There were other characteristics of Generation M that Lee mentioned that I thought – well that’s true for me too – like the fact that things like TV programs and radio programs no longer control their schedules. If they want to watch Survivor they don’t have to stay home – they can watch it on their mobile device (maybe) or Tivo it and watch it another time.

Millenials are observed to have “continuous partial attention” – they are always scanning for the best thing to do, see, buy – which is not to be confused with multi-tasking – which they are also very good at.

What does all of this mean to us as librarians? Well these are the people that a public libraries have to draw in – and the people that we (law libraries) will be dealing with in a year or two – if we’re not already. The way these people will approve learning and research will be shaped by their techno-world and if we don’t understand and embrace it they’re going to find another – probably less reliable – way to do their research.

Overall a very interesting presentation – rich with statistics and presented by someone who was obviously at ease on stage.

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