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Not Everyone Gets A Trophy

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Not Everyone Gets A Trophy

How to Manage the Millennials


15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Managing millennials may be a challenge, but hiring this top-performing generation also brings rewards. 

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  • Overview
  • Concrete Examples
  • Insider's Take


Management expert Bruce Tulgan researched what makes millennials tick and – generalizing, of course – he discusses how to bring out their best qualities while addressing some possibly less desirable traits. Millennials aren’t slackers, he says. They’re ambitious and want to understand exactly what they need to do to advance. Though he may exaggerate some millennial drawbacks, Tulgan offers solid advice for supervising new hires. If you manage millennials, you’ll appreciate his insights about getting the most from members of this high-maintenance, high-achieving generation while helping them find satisfaction at work.


Millennials came in two waves. “Gen Yers” were born between 1978 and 1989. “Gen Zers” were born between 1990 and 2000.

Millennials entered the labor market during globalization, big data and the end of lifetime jobs. Digital-native gen Zers grew up with instant access to each other and endless content. Gen Zers can seem immature, but they value technology and their personal brands. Their late-boomer or early-gen-X parents coddled them to build their self-esteem. As boomers retire, millennials and gen Xers will make up the majority of the workforce.

Millennials require attention but perform well.

Experienced managers say millennials are more difficult to manage than previous generations. They want to start at the top. They want to implement their ideas right away. They want to do only work that interests them. They can’t take criticism. They wander off-task if you don’t closely supervise them. They expect a trophy for doing what they’re supposed to do. But with sound management, millennials will perform better than any previous generation. However, their managers need to be strong leaders.


About the Author

Management expert Bruce Tulgan founded RainmakerThinking, Inc. and has written several management books, including Bridging the Soft Skills Gap, It's Okay to be the Boss and The 27 Challenges Managers Face.

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