Millennials. A generation which, according to Deliotte, will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. A generation which is frequently being labelled as having high expectations for rapid career development, is hungry for feedback and a workplace founded on fairness and equality but is often critised for being loyalty-lite.
I agree with Simon Sinek’s view that many societal and technological trends impact this generation. Parenting approaches changed. Social media and digitial devices emerged and all of this has an impact on the way this generation live and work.
It was disconcerting to read in a popular study that leadership development of Millennials is not seen as a priority and that just 7% of organisations invested in offering Millennial coaching and mentoring, instead preferring to dedicate their time developing their executive board and other senior leaders.
Yet, surely harnassing the talent of this generational cohort will serve two purposes? Firstly, it will create loyalty and secondly it will be critical in the next 15 years as many Millennials ascend to leadership positions. Attracting but most importantly retaining the best of this generation is more important than ever before as the baby boomers approach retirement age and the Gen X’s need to spread themselves thinner. The flight of the baby boomers brings with it a consequent loss of skills and experience which could lead to a gap of skills – significant enough to impact any organisation.
This is why at Mindset Associates our focus is not on Gen X or Millennials or even Centennials or generation Alpha (heard of them?). The truth is our teams today are made up of multi generational teams that range in needs and expectations. This is why being truly Human Focussed is critical – because everyone is unique and whilst there are some broad brush strokes that describe the behavioural patterns of a generation it is far more important to get beneath the “stereotypes” and tune into the people in your business and what they want.
However, from our Human Focussed Leadership work, we do observe that millennials are most likely to respond to 121 or team coaching and mentoring type sessions since they see this as time invested personally in them. They don’t necessarily need traditional classroom-based leadership training. A mixture of webinar, some group delivery and 121 coaching works well since it is tailored and can easily be applied to their day to day. In short, they tend to respond better to approaches that allow them to practise their new found leadership behaviours without leaving the context of their day to day life.
Here at MA, we are able to make some recommendations for engagement based on our observations:
1. Paramount to employee retention is to manage performance on an ongoing basis. This allows you to create a framework for progression and proactively feed back.
2. Coaching Cultures are a must! Seek out an external coach or train your team to coach professionally. The value of this is discussed in a previous blog but take it from us, it’s non negotiable.
3. Build a compelling employer brand which reflects moral integrity and be clear on the company values. These values must then be embodied at every level so they are perceived as consistent and genuine.
All of this to say that the success of Millennials will not be a story told solely by profit and loss and strategic agility and how refreshing will that be…
If you would like to hear more about our Human Focused Leadership Programs, please visit www.mindsetassociates.com or contact us on Linkedin.