How IT Managers Can Manage Millennials

by drjim on November 13, 2014

Managing millennials requires IT managers with special skills

Managing millennials requires IT managers with special skills
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IT managers are working in a unique time. We have three very different generations working on our teams and the way that we go about managing them has to be quite different – do you have the IT manager skills that will be needed to do this?. In addition to the Baby Boomers and the Gen X workers, more and more Millennials are joining our teams. These workers require a special management style from IT managers…

Forget It

It’s not really very fair, but Millennials have been getting a bad rap even before they started to show up on our IT teams. As the story goes, the Baby Boomers who raised the Millennials spent way too much time trying to make them all feel “special”.

The thinking is that this has resulted in the Millennials having a feeling of entitlementlike the world owes them something. There have been countless articles written about how Millennials would all get trophies at events just for showing up and how this was going to make working with them impossible for the rest of us.

Good news – it turns out that this is not the case – no special IT manager training is going to be required here. Just like every generation before them, they are going to make a great addition to your team. Millennials show up ready to get to work and they are going to turn out to be great employees.

You’ve Got To Go Half-Way

Can you remember back in the day when you were young? Yeah, I know it was a long time ago but we can all almost remember what it felt like. Now put yourself in the shoes of today’s Millennials and you should feel a rush of old memories. You need to understand that Millennials are not just looking for a job, they really want to get started on a career.

What this means for you is that in order to attract the best and the brightest of the Millennials, you are going to have to create an IT that has ideals that match theirs. It’s not just all about the next big project that your team is going to be working on, but rather why your team is going to be doing the work. How will the world be changed by what your team does?

What you need to be doing as an IT manager is to create a social mission for your IT team. A higher calling if you will. By doing this you’ll find that you are able to attract the top Millennial talent that it’s going to take to make your team stand out.

It’s All About The Big Picture

I can’t remember, have we talked about the Millennial’s wanting to change the world? For the Millennials it’s all about making a difference. The one thing that they don’t want to do is waste their time.

This means that you are going to have to take the time to make sure that they understand that their contribution to the team matters. That their work is going to have an impact not only on your team, but also on the company as a whole. Consider this to be part of the IT team building that you were going t be doing anyway.

The best way to go about doing this is to make sure that you share the big picture of what is currently going on with your Millennials. This means that you need to let them know what your high-level insights are and what the objectives for both the team and the company are.

What All Of This Means For You

Every IT worker is created differently. What this means for IT managers is that we need to have a different approach for how we manage different types of IT workers. One of the newest types of workers that we are still trying to figure out are the Millennials.

These types of IT workers have gotten a bad rap in the press for being too entitled. They are good workers and they come ready to work hard. You need to meet your younger workers half-way by creating a social mission for your IT team that they can believe in. Millennials want to make an impact and so you need to be sure to share the big picture of what’s going on with them.

The good news is that Millennials are going to continue to be an even larger and more important part of your team. However, in order to get the most out of them, you are going to have to learn how best to manage them. Use these tips to help build a strong relationship with your Millennials…

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you have to give the big picture to everyone on your team or just the Millennials?

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