December 11, 2018
Performance Management 05 December 2018
7 Productivity Lessons From the Millennial Work Style
Mary Whitman

There are more than 79 million millennials in the United States and many of them are joining the workforce. Some companies already have 50 millennial employees and by the year 2025, this generation will make up almost 75 percent of the workforce

With younger employees flooding the market, business owners need to realize this generation has perspectives and values that can help maintain a productive and engaged workplace. As you may have imagined, many productivity tips have something to do with technology, especially with mobile technology. 

Managers need to understand and adjust to this new generation. You cannot ignore the fact that the tech-culture is here to stay, so we all may as well embrace it. 


1. Gamification Seems To Work Well In Some Cases

Gamification only works in circumstances where a worker’s output can be accurately measured in easily quantifiable terms. For example, if you have employees finishing PVC windows, then you may give them a star ranking based on how many they finished in a day without compromising quality. The star rankings lead to a weekly ranking, which adds into a monthly ranking that determines the staff member’s bonus. A full year of full rankings earns employees an additional benefit or a promotion.

You have to be careful how you use a gamification - productivity scheme because it can backfire. In most common cases, the employee achieves a goal and only receives something small and some token praise, which then leads to resentment and a lack of motivation. 

There are also plenty of examples of rewards having a counter-productive effect. One such example is factory workers taking drugs to get more work done and the company was fined for allowing it and even encouraging it. Maybe that is why some recruitment agencies drug test their applicants before sending them off to work for client companies. 


2. Mobile Signups

Instead of pinning a sign-up sheet to a board and reminding employees about it, and instead of having an employee walk around with a clipboard, you remind people via your mobile app, and you have them sign up via their mobile app. It may not seem like a big time saver, but it dramatically reduces sign-up times and lowers the amount of fuss revolving around sign ups. Plus, such methods may also be used when asking people if they want to work overtime.

Even if you cannot have people sign up with their mobile, what about having them use their phones to sign up? For example, you may have a poster on your doors that has people sign up for half-week working patterns, and people may be able to sign up right away by scanning a QR code on the poster. 


3. Notes By Mobile

There are jobs where team announcements are not mere optional notifications, they are elements of a contract where rule changes and important news must be shared with all members of staff and have them sign off on it. Trying to find time in between meetings and responsibilities to get these contracts read and signed can be ineffective and time-consuming.Instead of having a supervisor personally read out the announcements to staff members before having them sign off on it (this actually happens in some companies), you send out the announcements to employee’s phones and have them send free texts back to confirm they received and understood the announcement. 


4. Peer Mentoring

Millennials are being taught more and more that the counterculture is the best way to live, and that any established traditions such as two parent families, having bosses, etc., are undesirable. Many conservatives are worried about the direction this will take society, but most children rebel from the norm, so where Millennials are disappointing parents by studying to become gender-awareness consultants, when the Millennials are parents, their kids will be disappointing them by studying to become doctors. 

Since Millennials are wary of authority figures, you can get around this problem by having staff workers teach staff workers. Instead of training supervisors and managers training staff, each staff member is trained by other staff members. This may help save money on trainers, and then enables managers to smooth out the rough edges once the other employees have taught the new hire the technical side of the job. There is also a chance that having employees teach employees will help bond a group or a team. However, you should monitor the situation carefully because employees have less incentive to teach correctly, which may make life harder for the new employee. 


5. Embrace Buzzwords

It seems like buzzwords went south after the year 2000. Words like re-engineering, conferencing, quality-time management, utilizing resources and asset-management assistance were replaced with words like diversity, equality, and safe spaces. However, it is almost as if Millennials have never heard productive buzzwords because they give them tremendous importance. Instead of asking an employee to visit your office for a meeting to talk about their disjointed work quality, ask them to attend a “one-on-one streamlining seminar.” Don’t ask your employees to work faster, ask them to "optimize their assets a little better so they may achieve a stronger productivity impact." 

Nobody is saying you should talk down to Millennials, but they have just been through college where they have learned how to label everything they do not agree with, so why not teach them the joy of labeling the things you want them to like? Even calling your new strategy something like “Project BrightHouse” will make Millennials feel more comfortable and more willing to buy into the scheme. 


6. Can You Allow Your Employees To Outsource?

Having your employees outsource may sound like a nutty idea, but if developers are able to do it, then why can't your employees? For example, a developer who was told to make a simple app may still outsource to graphic designers and musicians to help complete the parts of the app that he or she cannot. 

Are your employees able to create content within your company? Some students take jobs and they outsource their essay work to places such as Australian assignment help so that they may complete their college work and complete their jobs without losing out on grades or money. Are there any ways that your staff could become more productive thanks to the power of outsourcing?


7. Mobile Shift Swapping

Create an app that contains a shift-swapping pool. If somebody needs a day off, then he or she may enter that need into the shift swapping app. Other people then look over the shift swaps that are available to their position, and they create an agreeable swap with the other person.If correctly organized, the shift swapping function could use a slot-based mechanic where people wouldn’t have to swap shifts directly, they would simply enter a slot in which they do not wish to work and pick a slot where they are willing to work. 


Side Note – Where To Find The Apps

This article offers several ideas that require customized apps. You have two options where this is concerned. 

1. You may look for apps and buy licenses so that your employees may download and use them.

2. You may have your own apps created. 

Oddly enough, in most cases, it is just as expensive to buy apps as it is to have a student create one for you. Do not overlook the idea of hiring a cheap developer, freelance developer, or even a bunch of student developers to create your apps for you. There is no need for it to be a highly sophisticated app, and if you are not sharing private information on the app, then you need not worry too much about security protocols or app-store conformity because the app is only for the private use of you and your employees. 


Conclusion – Dealing With Modern Baby Boomers

Kids from the Baby Boomer age are in their 60s and 70s now, but if you leave out the prevalence of technology, most Baby Boomers had the same problems that Millennials have today. The way that school work has shifted from the days their parents were in school, and notions on what a child should and shouldn't do have changed too. 

Do not be fooled into thinking that the productivity methods Millennials use are any better or worse than what methods you use and used. The thing is, Millennials are just as confused as Baby Boomers were when they entered the job market. However, this article gives you seven ideas you may try that were inspired by Millennials. 



Mary Whitman is a Master of Arts based in Adelaide, South Australia. At her odd moments, she is taking full advantage of creative writing and blogging.