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Not everyone gets a trophy: how to manage the Millennials


’It will help you get the most out of your team and you also can help your team develop their careers.’

Title: Not everyone gets a trophy: how to manage the Millennials

Author: Bruce Tulgan

Publisher: Wiley

Reviewer: Jenni Middleton. Editor, Nursing Times

What was it like?

A really brisk canter through why millennials behave the way they do, what they expect from their employer, what they don’t expect and don’t want and some really clear ideas and tactics for getting the best out of this generation at work. It’s not heavy going, very readable and gives you instant takeaways.

What were the highlights?

There were some excellent stories about different millennials and how they had responded in different kinds of workplace. These anecdotes supported and introduced the author’s points beautifully and made funny and humorous additions. For example, one story was about a newly qualified nurse who was being told by her ward sister how to ensure she didn’t make a drug error after nearly making a mistake. The newly qualified nurse told her manager: “You’ve given me that feedback wrong, you are supposed to say something nice first.”

The ward sister paused and then replied: “I like your shoes. Now about those drug errors.”

The book isn’t just about healthcare though, and there are some interesting anecdotes from hospitality, retail and technology industries.

Strengths and weaknesses

The strengths are practical tips on how to manage the millennials – the author gives you excellent advice on what to say and what to do. There are some really positive pieces of wisdom, such as expose millennials to rotational schemes and new experiences, give them reward programmes, and make sure you give plenty of feedback. He talks about giving them an opportunity to shine, while advising them how to behave appropriately with senior colleagues.

Bruce also encourages you as a manager to learn new skills – and stop and reflect on how you manage this new group. What you definitely get out of this book is a sense of what you can do to move what he calls “sub-standard behaviours” into “superstar behaviours”.

The best piece of advice he gives is that you need to teach your millennials how to be managed by you – and be brave enough to shine a light on poor performance.

As mentioned above, it’s not all about healthcare though so be prepared to do some lateral thinking about how the anecdotes he gives may manifest themselves in your environment, but this is pretty easy.

Who should read it?

Anyone managing millennials or anyone in management who wants to be an authentic and better leader. It will help you get the most out of your team and you also can help your team develop their careers.

not everyone gets a trophy

not everyone gets a trophy


Readers' comments (2)

  • Millennials act the way they do as they value themselves enough to not be subjected to the same kind of mistreatment and oppression which the previous generation have gladly accepted. Millennial refusing to accept poor working conditions are our only hope of change, they have absolutely the right idea.

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  • Anyone who can offer insight into the behaviour and needs, wants and aspirations of other generations is a useful aid to furthering understanding. I once attended a lecture and read the book on comparisons of the 'net' and 'baby boomer' generations at work which was eye opening and invaluable. I admire, as the above commenter and the review say, their ability to speak out as long as it is done politely and with mutual respect as my generation never dared.

    I remember our amazement and amusement during my training in the mid 1970s when we had one such American student among our more reserved cohort of 20 at a London teaching hospital. We had gathered in class to share feedback on our first experiences of being sent to observe on a ward for one day early on in our training. Our American colleague reported that she had berated the ward sister for telling her off in front of a patient to which the sister had hautily replied they all know you know nothing! ...belied, perhaps by the colour of our belts!

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