Millennial Monday: Back to School Blues

By Adam Robinson,
September 3, 2013

Labor Day is over. The days are getting shorter. And millennials are feeling the back to school blues. Whether they’ve been out of school for six months or six years, this time of the year can be difficult for those used to living their lives by the academic calendar. 

In a sense, we spent 17 years of our lives starting over every fall. We started new courses, tackled new projects and made new friends. We were guaranteed a change of scenery and were encouraged to try new things. Although it was nice to get out of that seemingly endless cycle and into the “real world”, it’s a difficult habit to break. 

The good news is that there are a few approaches managers can take to get their millennial employees back on track and out of the fall rut. 

Disclaimer: Some managers may roll there eyes at this, and understandably so. Their millennial employees are adults and shouldn’t need to receive special treatment or attention just because they’re used to something being a certain way. Although this is a fair argument, and I won’t try to prove otherwise, if you want your millennials to stay on-track and produce superior work, then you may just have “cater to” their needs. 

1. Assign New Projects

As a manager, you probably have enough on your plate to keep you busy for the next five years. So why not delegate some of that? I’m not saying to hand off the menial tasks to your millennial employees, but if they have what it takes to get a project done efficiently and effectively, then why not hand it over?

A new project will encourage millennials to get out of the fall slump and get back to work. They’ll like having something different to work on, and will help get those creative juices flowing once again.

2. Encourage Collaboration

Sure, every department collaborates on projects from within. But I’m talking about encouraging sales to work with marketing, product development to work with sales and so on. Why? Because a collaborative workplace makes for a more productive team. 

By working together, each department learns just what it is that the others do. More importantly, they can help one another to finish projects and get the company name out there even more.

3. Try Out a Lunch and Learn

Not only can lunch and learns be fun, but they’re also a great way to bring the team together to learn. Whether it’s something you organize once a week, month or quarter, lunch and learns give you the opportunity to brainstorm as a team. It can be something as simple as ways to increase your Twitter following, or it can be about ways to improve your product. Whatever topic you choose to focus on during the lunch and learn, it’ll bring the team together and encourage productivity. 

Don’t worry, in a few weeks time, your millennials employees will be back to their productive selves. But until then, give these suggestions a try. At the very least, it won’t deter from productivity. 

Don’t have millennials on your team? Read our guide to hiring millennials.


About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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