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How to Build Healthy Competition Between Millennial Employees?

How to Build Healthy Competition Between Millennial Employees?

Millennials have been portrayed as the laid-back, entitled generation that doesn’t want to work for what they want. With this kind of reputation, many may wonder whether it’s possible to get this generation to compete with each other in the workplace. Turns out, it is! Encourage healthy competition between Millennial employees with these tips:

Consider the end goal.

When Millennials are asked to compete with each other for promotions or special assignments at work, they may not respond well. Millennials value collaboration, so turning against each other to get ahead is not natural to this generation. Instead of making a promotion or new job the end goal, try making it something fun such as a “leave a day early” pass or a front row parking spot. This way, the competition can keep a lighthearted, friendly tone while still motivating employees enough to work hard.

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Group Millennials together.

Instead of having each employee compete against each other, group the department into separate teams. Make sure that you think carefully about the teams. Teams should have members with very different strengths and weaknesses so that each member has a chance to shine. Millennials love to collaborate, so competing against another team, while getting the chance to work with their co-workers is the best way to keep them motivated and engaged in a little healthy competition.

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Talk about the journey.

Even if some of your employees don’t reach the end goal, you should still take the time to speak with them about the journey that they took in their attempt. Pull them aside for a one-on-one conversation to discuss what could have been done differently, what they succeeded at, and where they should improve. If they were in a group, be sure to single out their individual contribution to the assignment. This open and honest conversation will keep that employee motivated and competitive, ready to fight in the next office challenge!

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Encourage self-improvement.

Even when there’s no specific project or competition currently taking place in the office, leaders should still encourage Millennial employees to improve on their own. The mindset of stepping over people on your way to the top is not widely accepted by Millennials. Instead, this generation prefers to challenge themselves and believes in empowering employees to be independent. The best way to do this is to always create a culture that fosters self-improvement. Have employees train with co-workers from other departments to learn more about what they do, encourage their involvement in community organisations, and alert employees of any upcoming networking opportunities that may help them professionally. If you get employees to start thinking that they should always be on the path to improvement, then an atmosphere of healthy competition will soon follow.

Recap as a group.

Challenge Millennials in your office to solve a problem that has been plaguing the business for some time. Once the challenge is over, pick the team or single employee with the best solution. Then, bring everyone together as a group and go over what each team came up with. Lead an open conversation with everyone about the pros and cons of each. Let the group leaders talk about how their team came up with the decision, and why they thought it was the right way to go. Sometimes, competition can be viewed as cutthroat and secretive, but when you hold open discussions like this with everyone involved, it helps Millennials understand how to compete in a healthy, team atmosphere.

Do you lead a group of Millennial employees? How have you managed to create healthy competition in the workplace? Share your strategies in the comments below!

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Joel Goldstein

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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