According to a recent article in Time magazine, “Your ability to attract, develop, and retain young leaders will make or break your company in the coming years.” These young people currently entering the job force are known as Millennials, and they are very different from previous generations of workers.
The Millennial generation, also referred to as Generation Y (or, more snidely, Generation Me) refers to individuals born in the 1980s and 1990s. They grew up using technology as part of their daily lives, communicating with their friends using social media, and being rewarded for everything they did. They have extreme self-confidence and feel overwhelming pressure to achieve.
Millennials in the Workplace
Millennials want leadership opportunities in the workplace, but many of them aren’t prepared to assume leadership roles. They are achievement-oriented but in many cases don’t know how to create their own success. They were raised believing they were unique and special, but they didn’t have to work hard to be acknowledged.
Many Millennials employees feel a disconnect between the work they are expected to do and what they believe they should be doing. They don’t understand why they have to put in their time to achieve a position with greater responsibility. They think they are naturally qualified to do more. And, they have a great deal of trouble accepting feedback, because they think they already know the right way to do things.
Because of these characteristics, it can be very hard for Millennials to fit in to a traditional workplace environment – especially if they are working with older generations of workers. Millennials need to learn how to leverage their natural confidence, optimism, and drive to become more effective and successful employees.
Ways to Help Millennials Succeed
Here are three ways you can help your Millennial employees become better workers and leaders:
- Develop their self-awareness. Millennials’ perceptions of themselves are often a reflection of what they heard growing-up. These employees need encouragement and support to dig deep to uncover their own individual values, strengths, needs, interests, and goals.
- Provide coaching and feedback. Coaching helps Millennial employees understand organizational culture and their role within the workplace, and feedback raises their awareness of how others perceive them and how they can become more effective in working with others.
- Encourage their leadership ability. Millennials need to develop their ability to make change so they are prepared to assume future leadership roles in the company. They should be offered the opportunity to take part in any leadership trainings, such as those provided by HR, and encouraged to volunteer when appropriate leadership opportunities arise.
If you choose to make this investment in your Millennial employees now, your organization will be better positioned to succeed in the future.
Jene Kapela, Ed.D.
Do you want to offer a leadership training or professional coaching for your Millennial employees? Contact Jene at firstname.lastname@example.org.