the ceo magazine, workforce,
Leslie H. Kaminoff, Author, THE GREAT MANAGEMENT RESET:  27 Ways To Be A Better Manager (Of Anything)

As managers, we have all spent endless hours coming up with possible solutions to motivate our staff.

Let us assume that each employee has all the necessary tools to perform their jobs effectively. These tools include technology and supplies, as well as intangibles such as work environment, benefits and peer relationships. We seem to be fairly clear regarding these basic needs.  But examining these items in greater detail will reveal that most of the required tools are in fact, intangible items.

In the past, depending on the task at hand, a computer, back up historical data and a quiet work space might have been the only tools necessary to see a task through to completion.

The above makes perfect sense and has been at the cornerstone of management principles for quite some time. Now enter Generation Y, the Net Gen, Millennials, whatever you prefer to call them.  They are the people who were reaching young adulthood at the turn of the 21st Century.

One would think that the Millennials entering the workforce would have similar work requirements as the prior workforce. However, what we are seeing is quite the opposite.

The things our traditional workforce required differ greatly from the needs and expectations of Millennials. The Baby Boomers and their predecessors were looking for long term stability.  Growth wasn’t as important as a constant salary and the promise of a pension.  Millennials are not as interested in what they will be doing forty years from now.  They may not be interested in what they will be doing (in your company) four years from now.  Why this change in needs has developed, I am not quite sure. Parents of the new members of our workforce have been excellent role models with regard to the old adage “work hard and the company will take care of you”. Nevertheless, our current climate has bred a culture that rewards mere participation – one where parents intervene on behalf of their children in school situations even into their post high school years.  Everyone is “wonderful” and the “best” and pay for performance seems to be a thing of the past.  

Today’s Millennials bring a sense of what I would refer to as a more humanistic approach to management. Who ever thought we would see offices set up for today’s Millennials with massage chairs, game rooms and no dress code to name a few? What about the new trend of unlimited sick days or open vacations?  What about flex-time and working remotely?  The time is here and it is happening right now.

What do you think of the new approach of “leave me alone, don’t stand over me and watch me get the job done?  Why should it matter to you if I work at home every Friday if I complete the assignment?”

Millennials do not work for the gold watch upon retirement. The concept of a “company man” is passé.

The key phrase to encompass all Millennials is “Quality of Life”.  Toss out your old strategies and rethink how to cultivate, satisfy and develop this new workforce.

A stagnant manager is an ineffective manager. While you might not agree with a lot of the Millennials' thinking, they are the upcoming workforce as well as future executives. As a manager, it is your job to recognize and adjust in order to maintain a healthy well-balanced workforce for all.

[Image via StartupStockPhotos/Pixabay]

About the Author

Leslie H. Kaminoff is founder and CEO of AKAM Living Services (ALSI), which operates seven privately-held companies serving the real estate communities of New York and South Florida.  Kaminoff is also author of THE GREAT MANAGEMENT RESET:  27 Ways To Be A Better Manager (Of Anything).  For more information, please visit


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