News flash: Millennials want it all…they want a great work/life balance and the opportunity to text their work in, too. The digital age has dramatically changed the old model of business culture and workplace environment. Today, flexibility is paramount to millennials. As a manager, the ability to adapt to this shift, effectively managing millennials remotely is the ultimate key to success.
Here are four strategies you can use to help you successfully manage your millennials remotely:
1.) DO NOT Micromanage
It is hard enough to micromanage in-person, but even more difficult and taxing to try and do it remotely. DO NOT try micromanaging remotely.
Instead, lean in and trust, work to create a relationship of trust and transparency. Focus on clear and concise, collaborative expectations so you don’t have to constantly nag and breathe down the neck of your workforce. Direct your focus on the result, not the approach. After all, we just want delivery of value, right?
Millennials are savvy with technology and have different ideas about how to get from point A to point B. They also manage time differently. They would rather go to yoga right from work, eat, maybe even drink and work from 1 – 4 am. Let them be creative. Show that you trust your millennials and give them the opportunity to prosper without telling them what to do every second. Kind of like parenting, no?
2.) Connect and Engage with Your Millennials Early and Often.
Millennials crave and need guides, they want and love feedback; unfortunately, they just do not know how to engage their boss or ask for it. A poll by Gallup revealed that only 19% of millennials routinely receive feedback and only 15% of millennials routinely ask for feedback.
Make yourself trustworthy and authentic; be a guide. Guides are open and approachable. So be it, live it, stay open 24/7 so your millennials can ask you anything. Text them, Snapchat them, Facetime them or Skype them. Act in a way that’s relevant to them (the audience, the internal customer) If you meet them on their terms they figure you care about them. (And guess what, you will.) If you care and don’t judge the how, this will strengthen your relationship with millennial workers and make them feel more comfortable.
3.) Ask them what they want and how they want it
Asking questions like, “How can I help you accomplish your work and our common goals?”, or “What can I do to help YOU be successful?” Make it about them, again, the audience, the internal customer. Questions like these will reveal how you can best communicate, receive updates and progress, and offer coaching or other possible help.
By asking the friggin’ question yourself, your millennials will feel more involved, respected, collaborative and trusted. Those words are the foundation for you to connect and engage with everyone, including millennials. Work hard to make sure those are the words your team uses to describe you and your management style. Regardless of whether they’re working in the office or remotely, we all win.
4.) Have a “real deal” no-nonsense repeatable plan
Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, having an established plan for the team works towards increased productivity and success, especially for innovative and questioning young folks at the start of their careers.
Set and communicate the expectations and deadlines. With this type of system in place, everyone can accomplish their goals and keep track of their tasks. A clear, concise and communicated plan allows millennials to deliver large volumes of great work remotely and effectively without you holding their hand every step of the way. (And if you do all this and they don’t deliver, you need to re-evaluate your hiring process, because 90% of folks managed like this can, and WILL deliver.
Millennials currently make up 40% of your employees, and within this decade that percentage will grow to nearly 75% of your workforce. Do something now, and use these practical strategies to stay relevant and successfully manage your millennials from a distance!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Need help understanding, engaging, and retaining your millennial workforce?
Dan Negroni, author, speaker, attorney, kick-butt business consultant, coach, and proud dad of a few Millennials delivers actionable solutions.
Different from all other millennial experts, Dan’s empowering business approach at launchbox, creates quick value and seamless connections with millennials and management each on their own terms.
Using unique content and delivery methods that audiences respond to immediately, he leverages results from the inside-out.
Allow millennials to be your secret weapon and maximize your commitment to them to innovate, create a culture of engagement and grow your businesses today.
To start, click here to grab your copy of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace or call 858.314.9687 for a free coaching assessment.
 Adkins, Amy, and Brandon J. Rigoni. “Managers: Millennials Want Feedback, but Won’t Ask for It.” Gallup. Gallup, Inc., n.d. Web.