To get the best out of millennials for your organisation to get a return of investment, you must give them your total attention. Attention sounds very negative when people use the word in relation to providing attention to another individual however, all negative stereotypes can be turned into positive attributes when understood.
If you’re in a leadership position to millennials: the first thing you must do to show them attention is to be a coach; not a boss – they want access, they’re looking for a mentor and they want an environment where they can have a platform to be successful.
Perhaps even more so than other generation, Millennials want to feel that their work is making a difference and they would like to be recognised for it. For this to be achievable they need constant feedback (weekly minimum) and the feedback must be critical, best using the Sandwich Technique, to get the best out of their potential. You may also be surprised to know that while they’re brilliant at navigating the digital landscape, they prefer face-to-face communication so when you feedback ensure you sit down and have a conversation about it.
The final part on attention is to give the young person a significant role on a project – this responsibility will provide a lot of confidence in the person to go and progress further and feel like he or she is valued within the organisation. This one move could significantly increase loyalty and performance to generate further returns to your organisation.
Millennials want to see a pathway within the organisation they work in or have been offered by. They expect a rapid progression in a varied and interesting career – the latest figures suggest a graduate in this generation will likely change their job 8-10 times in their life.
Millennials have ambition, a desire to keep learning and see the job as a development opportunity. Millennials value development more than other generations do which is a key difference. Gallup’s, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, reveals that 59% of millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job.
My recommendation to develop the millennials within your organisation is to show them a potential pathway if they can achieve the goals you have set them – this will drive focus, productivity and profit. The second recommendation is to build a two-way mentorship programme between a senior member of staff and a millennial to ensure that development is ongoing for every individual within the organisation.
Millennials are inpatient and don’t want to wait – it’s simple either develop your young people or they will leave to develop.
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.
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.