In the first quarter of 2015, Millennials became the largest demographic in the American workforce.
As the oldest Millennials are moving into their mid-30s and into leadership roles, we turned to our friends at Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to get their feedback on this question:
How can a new team member impress their Millennial boss?
Here are some of the best answers:
Follow the Three “W’s”
We constantly need to hold clients accountable, manage expectations and tell each other what we’re relying on. I never want to wonder about the three “W”s: “What are you doing? When will I see that? Why are you doing it?” Communicate these constantly to your clients, team and me, and you’ll be golden.
Not Acting Entitled
Many days the newest college graduates assume that with little research and a degree, they deserve an $80,000 job right out of college. I think working hard and completing your tasks is really all it takes to impress a younger boss. The promotions and salary increases will come to those who continue to work hard.
I love seeing people enjoy their work. Motivation can be fleeting when work gets hard, but if you truly enjoy what you are working on then you will do a better job. This will make you stand out to your boss and colleagues. Enjoying your job is a choice, so why not be passionate about what you do day in and day out?
Go Above and Beyond
I have an employee that’s always using his free time to advance the company through extra projects of his own doing. While I certainly don’t recommend going overboard, the fact that he’s always thinking about what else can we do is remarkable. Showing the occasional initiative in this direction would impress your boss substantially.
Mind Map Your Projects
Tracking projects with mind maps can show a Millennial boss that you are interested, extremely organized and willing to go above and beyond. Mind mapping can show you can multitask effectively (a must when working with Millennials) and that you can keep up with multiple demands.
Do Nice Things for Your Team
Many of our teammates bring snacks, order pizza or bake cupcakes for the whole team. We’ve had teammates also go out for lunch and on their way, stopped at a frozen yogurt stop to pick up a few cups to give to everyone back at the office. Going out of the way to do something nice to for your teammates is the best way to impress.
New team members tend to be hesitant to voice their opinion, but if done correctly it can be a quick way to establish yourself as a leader while impressing your Millennial boss. Nothing impresses me more than when a new young and hungry team member offers a solution to a challenge we’re facing.
Be Active on Social Media
Many Millennial bosses are digital natives; they appreciate the power of building an audience online. Whether you work in technology, product marketing or customer service, continue to invest in your personal brand whether that’s on your blog, Twitter or Instagram. Then leverage that network to bring traffic and customers to your new company.
Millennial bosses didn’t get there following old school tactics; they got there by having a focus on efficiency and effectiveness. If you want to impress the boss, show the boss how you can add major value to the company and do it! Every boss wants employees who are exceptional and provide great value to the team.
– Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery
Show Up at Social Events
While contributions on the job will take precedence, sometimes remarks or insights shared about work at a social event are most memorable. We were recently at a hockey game and the discussion there was surprisingly productive. At every opportunity, be sure to reveal why you’re valuable by offering a unique perspective on a current issue.
Harness Your Creative Thinking
What impresses me about a new team member is when they aren’t afraid to contribute, speak up and share their ideas — I like to think of it as “sprinkling their magic pixie dust.” We work in a creative environment where collaboration and teamwork are key. New members should bring a fresh approach to showcase their unique way of thinking.
Ask Them Out to Lunch
It can be hard for founders to get an honest sense of what’s happening inside of an organization. The best bosses try to avoid this distorted view from the top, but it’s only possible when there’s communication from the bottom. A casual lunch can help convey a lot of information and is really appreciated for building a more personal relationship.
Speaking up with ideas can get you noticed — but supporting these ideas with trending research and examples from the industry (not your old textbooks) will show you’re strategically engaged and self-motivated. Don’t just say you have a good idea… prove you have a good idea, and we’ll act on it.
Share Your Networking Contacts
Millennial bosses (or really bosses of any generation) are not only impressed but also thankful when employees use their own personal connections to help in the growth, development and success of their company. If a certain piece of a project needs to get done and you have a friend or past colleague that can help or connect your boss with the right people, you are moving the company forward!
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.