5 Conversations Your Millennial Employees Are Longing To Have

Morgan (a family friend who also happens to be a millennial) was practically screaming in frustration as we began our mentoring session, “Arghhh, Karin, I’m just so frustrated. They want me to do all this crap… none of it seems important, and it’s getting in the way of my real work.”

It would have been tempting to just take Morgan’s word for it– that the “crap” she was being asked to do made no sense.

After all, I suppose I should be on Morgan’s “side,” but as I dug below the “crap,” I could see a logical explanation for almost everything she was being asked to do.

K- “Has your boss explained why these things are important?”

M- “Nope.”

K- “Do you think your boss has your best interest at heart?”

M-“Sometimes.”

K-“Well let me try to explain why I think they’re asking for all this.”

She let out a palpable sigh as I went through the possible explanations. (Keep in mind that I have no idea if these were the real reasons… but just connecting her dots with my experience.)

Imagine how much better that would have been coming from her boss.

I stand by my view that millennials are just human beings doing the best they can, like the rest of us. The more I work with this generation, however, I realize that it’s not that they their needs are that different, it’s that they are more vocal when things don’t make sense.

Thank goodness.

Asking more “whys” can be powerful, positive disruptive force
in our organizations, communities and world.

And of course, the flip side of this conversation is that there often is a very good “why” worth listening to. We need to all get better at explaining and listening, even if we don’t like what we hear.

Five Conversations Your Millennial Employees Are Longing To have

If you’re running into frustration with your millennials questioning everything and not “getting with the program,” consider tackling one of these five conversations.

  1. How can I show up authentically (be true to myself) and still be effective? (Help me navigate the politics.)
  2. Why do we have to do it this way? (Explain the why behind all these policies and processes that seem to be wasting my time)
  3. Why does my work matter? (Help me find the greater meaning in the work I do.)
  4. When you say “I’m not ready” for a promotion, can you be more specific? (And how do I get ready beyond just putting in my time?)
  5. I’ve got some ideas for how we can do this better. (Please listen to me and take me seriously).

The best way to bridge the generational gap is open dialogue. Let’s have more.

Who Leads Next? What Every Employer Needs to Know To Develop Your Millennial Employees

As David Dye and I prepare for our Winning Well Asia Tour this Spring, we continue our dialogue on with Michael Teoh, author of the Potential Matrix and founder of Thriving Talents. To hear more, you can listen to this recorded webinar in which we discuss:

  1. How to Build a Culture that Develops Leaders before they have Titled Responsibility
  2. Ways to Talk with your Younger Talent to keep them Engaged and bought into the Development Process
  3. Key Mistakes to Avoid – Don’t Push Your Leaders Out The Door!
  4. A Process to Identify and Draw Out the Best from Your Emerging Leaders

 

Three Critical Steps to Developing Your Millennial Leadership Talent

A guest post from Elisha Yeoh, Thriving Talents, Malaysia.

You’ve seen them, you’ve heard of them, and some of you may even be working with them. These them I’m referring to is the Gen-Ys. Regardless of what you may currently think of them, the presence of these young individuals have definitely changed the realities of workplace dynamics, especially now that Gen-Ys are slowly being reviewed to fill in managerial positions.

More and more organizations are beginning to tear down walls (both metaphorically and literally) to keep up to date with the current trends of building up great young leaders who will one day assume more responsibilities. However are these young people in your organization ready to make the hard decisions and lead a team?

Step 1: Understanding The Way They Work

For years experts have been trying to understand millennials, to find out what makes them tick, and what drives them to want to do great work. And after all that research and with all the different clashing views, the general consensus to this finding is that this generation of young people is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Team Dynamics

In the work setting, Gen-Ys are vastly different from the generation before them. Although they seem to be confident and want to stand out from the crowd, they actually value the opinions of their peers especially when it comes to making decisions. They aren’t shy about getting opinions be it about work or other personal related matters from their peers and are more likely to take their peers advice more seriously than those higher up in authority.

Roles in Leadership

The Gen-Ys today do not place a very high importance on leadership as they believe that they do not need to be placed in roles of authority to lead. They prefer to work in a group in a democratic setting where the decisions made are derivative of the values added by each person member of the group.

 Step 2: Providing A Clear Purpose

Unlike the other generations, the Gen-Ys are no longer only motivated by monetary incentives or added perks and benefits that an organization provides them, rather they need to be intrinsically motivated to want to perform at their very best.

Organizations need to give the Millennials a reason to want to be involved, to want to commit their time effort and energy. One of the best ways to sustain their dedication is to provide them a greater purpose to the tasks they are currently doing. Make them part of something so much bigger than themselves and keep them inspired as well as motivated by telling them of the impact that their work creates for the people outside your organization.

Step 3: Provide Them With Avenues To Grow

The Gen-Ys are painfully aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, they may seem like they are unaffected by their shortcomings, but growing up in an environment where they are so used to having their actions and ideas being validated can cause distress whenever they are faced with a problem they aren’t able to get over.

Organizations need to build an environment in which these Gen-Ys are given the chance to work on their strengths and learn to cope with their weaknesses. Provide them with a support structure in which they are allowed to continuously work on themselves as they become more invested in your organization.

Empower them with the necessary skills and training that will lead them to make better decisions. Allow them to test their limits, set them up for defeat in a safe environment through team building exercises and simulations for them to really know themselves and identify their leadership styles.

Join Us: August 19th for a FREE Webinar The Great Millennial Hoax Why Most Millennial Experts are Wrong and What to Do Instead

Malaysia Webinar blackDavid Dye and I are partnering with Michael Teoh, Author of The Potential Matrix and Founder of Thriving Talents on a series of events in Malaysia and the United States, beginning with this FREE webinar– register here. 

Whether you’re a veteran leader or a millennial recently promoted into a leadership role, leading your younger team members can feel like an endless struggle. Why don’t they understand? Why aren’t they motivated? Why won’t they put in the time?

To make it worse, instead of making life easier, much of the advice you get from generational “experts” can actually make the situation worse. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Your younger team members can be an incredible source of talent, energy, and productivity.

Join three internationally recognized leadership experts for a conversation that will answer your questions about getting the most from your millennial team members. You’ll walk away with:

  • What you really need to know to develop your millennial talent
  • How ordinary people have transformed their lives to achieve success
  • Keys to cultivate motivated, energized teams that get more done, solve problems on their own, and make everyone around them better.
  • And specific answers to your questions!

We are so excited about the opportunity to combines experience, wisdom, and perspectives from across generations – and across the world!

Register today and be sure to submit your question and get the answers you need!