Managing Millennials: 5 Lessons that Social Media Can Teach HR

As Millennials pour into the workforce, HR executives and business leaders are struggling to adapt their management strategies. Glued to their smartphones and practically wired to social media, Gen Y, sometimes known as “generation we”, has gained an unfair reputation for being distracted, unproductive and self-absorbed. But rather than viewing their immersion in social technology as a negative, I would argue that business leaders need to view the social web as a guide to bringing the best out of young employees.

According to a study by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Millennials will make up 46% of the U.S. workforce by 2020. However, a recent study by Bentley University found that 68% of corporate recruiters say that it’s difficult for their organization to manage them. Businesses that fail to address this problem will be at significant disadvantage when it comes to recruiting Millennials and cultivating their potential. Thanks to websites like Glassdoor, potential recruits will know if your company is failing in this area.

To more effectively manage Millennials, we must look to social media for insights on what they value, how they operate and what will motivate them in a work environment. In a profound way, the dominant technology of an era shapes how kids, teenagers and young adults view their world. It’s easy to scorn Gen Y when we look at their obsession with technology from the outside, but when look at the world from their perspective, we’ll gain some the keys to improving their communication, collaboration and productivity.

Here are 5 lessons from social media that HR and business leaders can use to bring out the best in Millennials.

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