“They interviewed so well, everyone liked them . . . and then after a few months, something happened.”
I get this comment a lot from sales managers who go through a rigorous interview process in bringing on new talent. After multiple rounds of interviews, they are convinced that their chill, educated, innocent, trustworthy new Millennials are going to be the perfect fit with their seasoned team.
And it’s true — for the first few weeks and months, they are so mild-mannered that everything is working smoothly. But then a switch seems to go off, and every time they come to work with new unpredictable behavior.
Pay attention to these emotionally charged warning signs:
1. Too close, too soon. We are not in the age of great, deep conversations, we are in the age of 140 characters and that’s it. However, on those few occasions when you do have a real conversation with one of your Millennial team members, they can be awkwardly personal and lack some of the social graces you might expect.
2. TMI. Managers must put a lid on it when there’s waaaaaaaaay too much over-sharing all over the office. We don’t need to know that Jenn’s roommate was caught naked out front of her ex’s apartment because she locked him out after a huge fight.
3. Friending clients and company honchos on Facebook. Networking with prospects on LinkedIn is fine. But when they send the CEO of a company a Facebook friend request saying, “Your wife is really hot!” that’s when you need to step in.
4. YOU wore WHAT to the office? It’s still the office. Leopard mini-skirts on casual Fridays and guys wearing jeans hanging way below their butt is, uh, sending the wrong message.
5. Splitsville. Romantic relationships can be all-consuming and serve as a major distraction for team members. A single breakup text can send your Millennial spinning out of control and completely ready to quit their job because they got dumped.
Managers: don’t be so quick to put them on plan and start looking for their replacements. You can’t let this behavior go, but you also don’t want to discourage their spirit and creativity. They do need a reality check and perhaps the message to get Back to Black on expectations.