This infographic demonstrates why this is such an important topic since more millennials are not only entering the work force but are also advancing in areas of greater responsibility in terms of purchasing, operations, and sales.
Key Point: They are who they are, and effective leaders must have the emotional maturity and behavioral flexibility to meet them where they are to lead them to where they need them to go. Complaining and trying to impose approaches that worked with aging baby boomers and Gen Xers is simply a waste of time and source of increasing frustration.
In summary, be the leader you would want to follow, regardless of age. Provide team members with meaningful opportunities to demonstrate their abilities and apply their unique skills and abilities. Reward and praise initiative and quality of effort. Perfection is unattainable.
Set clear expectations and then measure performance and provide frequent feedback in terms of things done well and areas for improvement. And, yes, give them an award. Praise in public – coach and counsel in private.
Albeit painful for the seasoned command and control baby boomer or Gen X leader, try walking around every morning and simply asking millennial staff members 1 simple question and then listen without judgement or specific instruction: “What are working on today?” followed with “You know I’m really glad you’re here today and our team as we couldn’t get it done without you”. Yes, I know to many this sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard (millennials don’t even know what a chalk board is) but do it. I guarantee you’ll be surprised by not only the answers that you’ll receive, but moreover the shift in attitude and engagement from your millennial team members.