The New Generation of Teachers and Personnel

Source Newsletter for Business and Operations Header Image
Source Newsletter for Business and Operations Header Image

Business and Operations//

December 9, 2009

What makes this generation different from their predecessors, X-ers? Susan M. Heathfield, HR expert for, defines Millennials as having the following traits:

  • They have developed work characteristics and tendencies from doting parents, structured lives, and contact with diverse people.
  • They're used to working in teams and want to make friends with people at work.
  • They have a "can-do" attitude about tasks at work and look for feedback about their performance frequently—even daily.
  • They want a variety of tasks and expect that they will accomplish every one of them.
  • They're positive and confident, and ready to take on the world.
  • They seek leadership, and even structure, from older and managerial co-workers, but expect that you will draw out and respect their ideas.
  • They seek challenges and do not want to experience boredom.
  • They're used to balancing many activities such as teams, friends, and philanthropic activities.
  • They want flexibility in scheduling and a life away from work.
  • They need to see where their careers are going and exactly what they need to do to get there.
  • They're always waiting for their next challenge (and there had better be a next challenge).
  • Are connected all over the world by e-mail, instant messages, text messages, and the Internet (and can network right out of their current workplace if their needs are not met).

Heathfield offers the following suggestions for managing Millennials.

1. Provide structure. For example, reports with monthly due dates, certain activities scheduled every day, meetings with agendas and minutes, goals that are clearly stated, and assessments of progress.

2. Provide leadership and guidance. Millennials want to look up to you, learn from you, and receive daily feedback from you. They want the "in" on the whole picture and to know the scoop. They want and deserve your best investment of time in their success.

3. Encourage the Millennials' self-assuredness, can-do attiutude, and positive self-image. Millennials are ready to take on the world. Encourage—don't squash them or contain them.

4. Take advantage of their comfort level with teams. Encourage them to join. They are used to working in groups and teams. Millennials gather in groups and play on teams; you can also mentor, coach, and train your Millennials as a team.

5. Listen to the Millennial employee. This generation are used to loving parents who have scheduled their lives around the activities and events if their children. These young adults have ideas and opinions, and don't take kindly to having their thoughts ignored.

6. Provide challenge and change. Boring is bad. Millennials seek ever-changing tasks within their work. What's happening next is their mantra. Don't bore them, ignore them, or trivialize their contribution.

Millennials are said to be those born between 1980 and 2000. It's fair to assume that this generation will be seen for the next several years entering the work force. Learn more about Millennials (Generation Y).

Learn more about Generation X-ers.

Learn more about the Baby Boomers.

Learn more about managing multiple generations within your school.


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