Move over Baby Boomers. According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials (ages 18-34) have surpassed Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) as the USA’s largest generation. And with the baton passed we say goodbye to “old school” leadership, it won’t work with the “King of the Hill.”
Gallup’s recently released report, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” announces how Millennials will “change the world decisively more than any other generation.” The disruption in how we communicate, shop, travel, and experience the family has begun. And yes, they will change business, too.
More than half of the Millennials say they’re currently looking for a new job. You understand that future success requires change whether as a leader, business, or organization. So, how do you connect with your Millennial employees?
Change in Leadership
Here are the “Big Six” areas of functional change Gallup has identified. Are you ready? Here’s what Millennials want from their workplace:
- Connect to Purpose: Millennials don’t just work for a paycheck — they want purpose. The good news: work must have meaning. How clear is your organization’s purpose?
- Leadership Development: Millennials are not pursuing “job satisfaction” — they want to grow. Be encouraged: they want help getting better, not a ping-pong table, at work. How will you develop this generation of workers?
- Coaching: Millennials don’t want a boss — they want a coach. Old school, old-style, “command and control” does not work. You must see the people and value them as individuals, support their personal growth. Who helped you get here?
- Feedback: Millennials don’t want your annual performance review — they want ongoing conversations. Consider the effect of 24/7 connection, it’s real-time communication (texting, tweeting, and FaceTime.) Good news: the most efficient delivery of feedback is sooner than later. How comfortable are you giving and receiving feedback?
- Build on Strengths: Millennials don’t want to fix their weaknesses — they want to develop their leadership muscles.
- Life Harmony: It’s not just a “job” — it’s my life. Everyone wants a good job, but now, they want an opportunity to do what they do best. Who doesn’t? (Go here for more on the “new work-life balance.”)
Millennial Connection Assessment
How well-connected are you with your team — Millennial or other generations for that matter? Rate your leadership and/or organization on the following 1 is low to 6 is high.
- We are a purpose guided organization
- We provide leadership development opportunities for our employees
- We encourage a coaching culture
- We provide ongoing feedback, set clear expectations, and provide accountability
- We align employee strengths with work roles
- We encourage “work-life harmony”
Creating Space to Think
There’s really good news here. Millennials are given credit for wanting these “Big Six” in work and life. But let’s get real, who doesn’t want this from their workplace?
Perhaps it’s time to thank this generation for bringing our need to change to the forefront.
If you’re “old school” where will you begin?
And if you need some ROI around the “Big Six” consider how employee engagement and productivity improve as these changes in leadership are implemented?
- How will you lead The People Project at your company?
- How will you develop self-managed teams and leaders?
Here’s to your Next Level Leadership,