Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Generation M - Millennials

The Millennial Generation was born between 1977 and 1998 and are now entering the workforce. The 75 million members of this generation are being raised at the most child-centric time in our history. Perhaps it's because of the showers of attention and high expectations from parents that they display a great deal of self-confidence to the point of appearing cocky. As you might expect, this group is technically literate like no one else. Technology has always been part of their lives, whether it's computers and the Internet or cell phones and text pagers.

Millennials are typically team-oriented, banding together to date and socialize rather than pairing off. They work well in groups, preferring this to individual endeavors. They're good multitaskers, having juggled sports, school, and social interests as children so expect them to work hard. Millennials seem to expect structure in the workplace. They acknowledge and respect positions and titles, and want a relationship with their boss. This doesn't always mesh with Generation X's love of independence and hands-off style.

All Millennials have one thing in common: They are new to the professional workplace. Therefore, they are definitely in need of mentoring, no matter how smart and confident they are. And they'll respond well to the personal attention.

Provide lots of challenges but also provide the structure to back it up. This means breaking down goals into steps, as well as offering any necessary resources and information they'll need to meet the challenge. You might consider mentoring Millennials in groups, because they work so well in team situations. That way they can act as each other's resources or peer mentors.

Because they appreciate structure and stability, mentoring Millennials should be more formal, with set meetings and a more authoritative attitude on the mentor's part.

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