Every rule has its exception. In the past few days I have worked closely with few members of what a lot of experts have labeled the most “entitled” generation ever in the history of mankind. However, my experience has been nothing but positive. I’ve been working side by side with creative, hard working and competent young professionals. Before you decide to fit everyone 20 year old in a high-maintenance and low-return box, consider this.
Every person deserves to prove his or her own merit. It’s easy to label someone but hard to change one’s preconceived notions. Give them the benefit of the doubt, expect the best. Simply, treat them like you want to be treated.
Give them guidance but let them perform. When you have young talented people working for you, let them be young. Point them in the direction you want them to go, but try not to micromanage. If you’re too heavy-handed you’ll lose the freshness and creativity a young professional brings to the table.
Wisdom is not age related. I’m currently working with wise young people who understand human dynamics way better than I did at their age.
Don’t judge, mentor. If you see potential and a willing heart, you should mentor them instead of dismissing what could become one of your best assets. I have learned a lot from some of the young people I’ve mentored over the years. I still do today.
Set them free. Sometimes the best thing you can do is let your young and talented and yet immature employee go. You’re the employer and not their parent. I have seen business owners suffer through non performance because they like the “kid” and wanted to help. Sometimes the best help you can offer is letting him feel the consequences of not meeting expectations. That’s a lesson we all need to learn. The sooner we learn it, the better off we are.
What has been your experience working with Millennials?