Millennials want to be heard – it is that simple. Young people, especially in the UK, feel that the older generations do not understand them or listen to them. If you want to grow engagement within your organisation I suggest you try not to understand millennials but rather focus on listening and giving them a voice.
Millennials have many great ideas and opinions and it is my view that many ideas go to the graveyard because other generations don’t let the young people have a voice. When being listened to they expect your full focus as they don’t take kindly to being ignored so it becomes more paramount that you act on their voice.
For this to be successful – everything between a leader or older member of your team and the young person must be two-way. Ideas, opinions and final say must be communicated and discussed both ways. To initially encourage this, you may want to start two-way mentoring between a leader and a millennial.
If you’re a leader, I suggest when you’re looking to develop a millennial you do the following: Listen, watch & act.
By 2020 Millennials will represent over 50% of the workforce – but people are still trying to understand what a millennial is and more importantly why do they do what they do? I have spent the last six months telling leaders and organisations my views on the complex force of a millennial but it’s time to be honest – they’re not complex at all.
Over the next few weeks I will tell you the main reasons of what millennials want and now it’s time for the first request.
#1 They want to shape where they work
Millennials want to shape where they work because they need the freedom to express themselves – they’re very anti-corporate structure. Millennials want a flexible approach to work with regular feedback and encouragement. The environment must provide a good work-life balance as well as creating opportunities for growth and change.
Millennials don’t believe in a 9-5 working week, in fact often they are willing to work later but they look to be rewarded and recognised for their work. They want their environment to be surrounded by technology – the millennials are the first generation that are digital natives as they have been absorbed by new technologies.
If you want to be successful and attractive for millennials – you must re-think your environment as each employee will want a workplace that engages, inspires and motivates them each day. Each person is different but you can listen to them ALL and you can act – that is the power you have as a leader.
To be a successful leader or coach: communication must be two ways. Two-way communication may occur horizontally or vertically in the organisation.
Leaders fear changing their message or admitting they’re wrong. These leaders are the losers – the ones who are watching the great leaders race past them. To be a great leader you must have strong communication skills – have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing. No one knows enough to have all the answers so you must shut up and listen. Listening means fully focusing on that person by listening to every word and making constant eye contact.
Two-way communication engages your partners by allowing instant feedback, seeking for clarification and interaction. It can help build trust, share ideas and promote increased comprehension of issues and concepts. You can understand your audience and how better to reach the people you are communicating with. This one change by listening and allowing your people to have a voice will be the start of a great culture providing better long-term results.
The final part to complete two-way communication is: you must act on everything that is said. You must not just delegate, you must leverage your control as an effective leader.