Tiffany Pham is the Founder and CEO of Mogul, a digital hub for women to connect, share information, and access knowledge from around the world. Mogul now reaches over 18 million women in 196 countries each week.
In Tiffany’s transition from Founder to Manager, she has now found herself with a crew of employees, many of whom are, like herself, Millennials. As a workplace strategist with clients always asking about this talent pool, I was excited to hear her talk on managing Millennials at the most recent Social Media Week Conference.
Here are Tiffany’s top five tips. And, it just so happens, this is great advice for all managers.
1. Never Eat Alone
All managers have to know who is on their team, and Millennials are particularly sensitive to feeling connected. Tiffany makes it a point to leave her schedule open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That way she can grab an employee or two from her office to have lunch in the company cafeteria. She believes that eating alone is a missed opportunity to connect and build important relationships, and I couldn’t agree with her more.
2. Walk Around the Office
The reason all employees, not just Millennials, typically leave a company is because of their manager. So Tiffany gets in front of that problem by walking around the office as much as she can, asking people, “How can I support you?” Not only is this personalized check-in showing her team that she cares about them, but she is also getting some exercise. After all, the Surgeon General says, “Sitting is the new smoking.” Bonding by walking is a win – win.
3. Conduct Weekly One-on-One Meetings
Millennials crave mentorship and teamwork, both excellent tools for building business. Tiffany meets with each department head every Wednesday to do a deep dive into the work being done, updates on projects, and to provide support in overcoming obstacles. This kind of standing meeting is important, even if it seems like there isn’t anything “mission critical” to discuss. Shorter meetings work, too, as a quick touch-in to build relationships.
4. Respect Personal and Professional Goals
Millennials want to work at a company where they feel a sense of purpose. In addition to creating such a purpose-driven company, Tiffany makes every effort to build employees’ personal passions into his or her role at Mogul. And if she can’t, at least she knows what these interests are in case an opportunity arises later. Showing such genuine curiosity toward people helps keep employees engaged, and also deepens her relationships with them.
5. Celebrate Wins
Millennials crave feedback. This we know. So every Friday, Tiffany brings her team together for “weekly wins.” This ritual closes out the week, makes people feel good, and sets them up for what’s next. An added bonus of ending the week on a celebratory note is that teams get to let go of any bumps from the week and prepare for a happy return on Monday morning.
Contrary to some, I happen to believe that Millennials are changing the workplace for the better. I think we should all be grateful that this generation is demanding that our work has meaning, that we honor relationships, and that we treat each other like human beings.
While managing Millennials is not complicated, it’s not easy. It takes hard work and discipline. But take it from me, a consultant who has spent the last twenty years talking to companies across the country, and from Tiffany, a Millennial manager extraordinaire—honoring relationships is the best (and most cost-effective…it doesn’t cost a thing!) way to grow any business.