Millennials are taking over not only the desks in legal departments, but across the entire workforce. While they bring strengths and preferences unique to their generation, knowing how to manage them effectively can be a challenge. Consider these management strategies to work effectively with members of this generation.
Who are the millennials?
Typically, they are considered to be those born between 1982 and 1995. That means the oldest among them may already be managers. You need to train them not only to be a good employee, but also to be a great manager. They will be nurturing the next generation of professionals while managing people of their own age and older.
Typical millennial traits include:
- Technological and social media savvy
- Comfort with multitasking
- Preference for ongoing feedback
- Measure results, not hours worked
- Focused on work-life balance
These young legal support professionals have high expectations of themselves and the firms where they choose to work. They are often driven by a desire for meaningful work.
How can you manage them well?
Set clear expectations. Millennials tend to be task-oriented. They want to achieve milestones and cross things off. This may come from a history of playing video games, but it gives you and your business a clear advantage. Tell them what you need to get done and they will do their best to achieve it.
Leverage technology. Millennials have a comfort with technology that comes from actively using it since they were toddlers. Provide training that can be accessed on a laptop or even better, on a smartphone. Because of their comfort with multitasking, they are more likely to work their way through training while standing in line or making dinner than they are to sit down and give it their undivided attention.
Provide feedback. Younger workers like to know where they stand. Yearly assessments do not work well with millennials. It’s better to let them know how they are doing on a weekly or daily basis so they can either feel great about their performance or work to correct where they may be falling short. It’s actually a smart way to keep employees of all ages on track.
Offer flexibility. Just because a millennial worker is not in the office doesn’t mean they aren’t working. If you allow them to work from home or a coffee shop or choose their own hours, you’ll probably get more out of them than traditional employees who are at their desks, but watching the clock.
Listen to their input. Because they tend to be on the job even when they are not on the clock, they frequently think about better ways of doing things. Some may be impractical, but others innovative and implementable. They are not mired in a “this is how we’ve always done it” attitude.
If you’d like to learn more about hiring and managing millennial workers for your legal firm or department, contact the legal support recruiting experts at Kent Legal. Let us do what we do best, so you can focus on your practice.