The Millennial Approach to Project Work: Opportunities and Challenges for Management

In just a few years’ time, three-quarters of the world’s workforce will consist of Millennials — which is the section of the population born between the ’80s and the ’00s. While profiling such a large stratum is something people would stay away from, there is a sizable body of research that allows managers and CEO’s to be aware of the minute peculiarities of Millennials and their behavior in the workplace, compared to other generations. Thus, enabling them to calibrate their management styles. 

In this article, we’ll take a look into how Millennials work and the opportunities and challenges for project management that stem from the Millennial approach. 

Let’s dive right in, shall we? 

Management: Opportunities and challenges

Now that we have a basic understanding of this generation’s passions and fears, we need to outline the opportunities and challenges that Project Managers and management, in general, should be wary of. Professional help to students in research paper on project management subjects at

Millennials aren’t easily motivated by money

It’s not that they don’t care about income. To Millennials, money is but a means, not an end. Their work is a vehicle for satisfaction for them, which is why they seek professional mobility. Similarly, that is the reason why modern workspaces have changed so much in the recent years. Offices have become more comfortable and less stressful. 

This generation would rather have a few extra days off, student loan repayment assistance, or flexible work schedules, rather than earn more. 

Go beyond project management

As mentioned previously, the Millennials aren’t fond of hierarchies and the vertical distribution of power. They are brought up in a much more egalitarian and permissive environment, which explains why merely being a boss won’t cut it if you’re working with Generation Y. 

Millennials seek something different in a manager — they tend to work well with people that are approachable and are excellent communicators, rather than just people that give orders. 

As a project manager, you should be careful not to underline your authority too much, as this will end up defeating the purpose of motivating your Millennial colleague. Instead, consider engaging in a meaningful conversation with them and try to get to the bottom of their stagnation and search for ways to help them. 

The value of communication

Communication is an essential component of management in a Millennial team. Don’t hesitate to engage in transparent and meaningful conversations with them, helping them find out the reason of their stagnation. 

Create a strong company culture.

Millennials care about company culture a lot, which is why it’s imperative to not only have one on paper but also enact it. As we’ve mentioned previously, this generation doesn’t care only about money. Values are a vital component of their work. A well-paid job isn’t fulfilling anymore. There has to be meaning and contribution to a higher goal in their work. 

Not having a consistent company culture or not enforcing it properly might cause significant dissatisfaction in a Millennial worker, and it could eventually push them to reconsider whether they’re looking forward to working with your organization at all. 

Recognize their achievements

A quality that can also qualify as a shortcoming of the Gen Y is their continuous search for approval and recognition. They expect it from their peers and superiors in the workplace. Millennials have been conditioned to seek recognition due to their upbringing in the age of social media. 

Being able to how your recognition and appreciation for the work that they’ve done will allow you to connect with a millennial colleague and establish rapport. 

They need opportunities for professional growth

We’ve mentioned previously that due to the digital environment that Millennials have been brought up in, they’re used to a certain degree of immediacy. They want to grow quickly both in their proficiency in their field and the professional ladder. The potential to improve their skills is inspiring to them. 

“As a manager, you need to make sure that you provide your team members with an opportunity for growth.” – project manager Nick Terrin from BeGraded and Studyker is sure about.

Millennials are changing project management

The future is Millennial, we at least for a certain number of years, before the Gen Z replaces them. They bring a new perspective, principles, challenges, and opportunities to the workplace.

Organizations that have understood how to collaborate with Millennials and their predecessors will be able to extract most of the benefits that they can offer.

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