Tips For Leading And Empowering Millennials
The following is a guest post by Cornelia Shipley. Her bio follows.
Millennials, and the unique skillset required to manage them, are THE hot topic across every industry these days. A simple google search turns up article after article detailing how millennials work, what makes them difficult to manage, and how they ought to be treated in the workplace. However, my years of experience in corporate America, as well as my work in professional development, have taught me that common sense gets you the farthest with this generation.
To grow as a leader, I believe you must increase your impact, income, and effectiveness. The following strategies will help you leverage the millennial talent you work with everyday and become the leader you were meant to be while empowering those around you.
Focus on the individual
While it is incredibly convenient to treat millennials as an impenetrable monolith, it is important to remember that you are managing a person, not a generation. Focus on the individual in front of you, and the unique strengths and weaknesses they present. Understand that while they might fall within the millennial age range, their behavior may be completely different from that of their peers.
Connect work to a cause
In general, millennials like their work to be connected to something meaningful to them. If the work your company does is not directly related to a cause, find a way to create opportunities for millennials to connect their work to a cause that has meaning to them. Maybe you do this through your reward and recognition program or give them paid time off to support a cause of their choice. Here is an example, a millennial employee might have expressed interest in eradicating homelessness, but have all of their workplace objectives tied to sales figures. The next time they reach a sales goal, allow them to take a week off to work with Habitat for Humanity or a comparable organization.
Foster collaboration and teamwork
In alignment with their commitment to social causes, millennials seem to do best in work environments where being in community is important, and collaboration and teamwork are valued. This sense of community, however, is built on individual contribution. Allow your employees to have their distinct voices heard whenever possible.
Create clear career paths
Take the time set expectations in an intentional and caring way. Millennials as a whole have been raised in a culture where they can “have it their way, right away” (Thanks Burger King) and may enter your organization believing they should be on an accelerated career track. It is your responsibility as a leader to communicate the future you see possible for your employees and to create a path with them that meets the business needs first and creates a sense of meaning and contribution for your team.
Statistically speaking, millennials tend to get a bad rap as employees; the truth is they simply require a different model of engagement. Show them that their individual values have a vital and dynamic role in your workplace, and they will reward you with their best work.
Best selling author, thriving entrepreneur, dynamic speaker and executive coach, Cornelia Shipley is known for empowering people to achieve their peak performance, strategically plan for the future, and ultimately create a life and work that REALLY work!
Committed to transforming the world one leader at a time, Cornelia created the Leadership Ascension™️ suite of programs designed to up your impact, influence and income while achieving your next big thing!
A sought after leadership development expert her strategies and methods have been showcased on FOX 5 News, Radio One, INC.com, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Healing Heart Journal, and workingwomen.com among others.