What senior leaders could learn from Gen Y?

Senior Leaders


Managing Millennia’s:

Without question, times have changed and employee satisfaction has been one of the top challenges that many organizations are battling each day. Each day we speak to senior leaders in various organizations, we seem to stumble upon the same struggles. The generational gap and employers continuously being unable to satisfy their employees enough to gain true commitment, retention, and loyalty from their people. These days, great talent is hard to find and even harder to keep – though no doubt, crucial to delivering great customer service and in turn, business growth.

Leadership teams and business owners spend countless hours and dollars, developing bonus and incentive programs, pitching them to the teams, and even gaining buy-in; all to see little or no improvement, and sometimes lose their best employees when they are offered an extra dollar. So, what are we missing? And how do you create a real, lasting cultural change in your organization?

First, by learning what makes your people tick. For many millennial’s, their core needs are fundamentally different from those of other generations. In all areas of life, they seek environments in which they relish, grow and feel a sense of contribution and pride. Professionally, they seek a leader that they respect and may learn from, truthful compensation, and also the ability to balance their skilled and private lives.

There are distinctive attributes common among members of this generation. For one, they regularly crave feedback. To create an environment of inspiration and to foster passion and commitment from these employees, leaders must put themselves into the right shoes and analyze what their people are thinking. Questions such as:

  • What is my role, what impact do I have in the organization?
  • What contribution am I making in the world?
  • What am I learning/ how will this help me grow?
  • What are my dreams and how does this job help me to achieve them?

On-going communication is vital, great businesses have a structured approach for real-time feedback, as well as monthly communication sessions to allow for open two-way feedback. If your organization only plans for formal 6-monthly or yearly formal reviews – consider your superstar employees gone! They’re already signed up for new job notifications on LinkedIn or some other social channel.

When giving regular feedback, positivity is essential, even when giving constructive feedback, remember the goal should always be to improve performance.

In adopting a review system that allows for regular two-way communication, leaders sometimes need to learn to truly listen to their people’s feedback – and this means discussing plan of action, and actually keeping their commitments and executing on those. Millennial’s need to see and feel a certain level the hierarchy and have a voice in what happens both within the company, and in their day-to-day role. Organizations that take into account their people’s feedback generally perform better – not only because their people feel valued and heard; but because they better know the front-line efficiency or effectiveness problems than the front-line employees who deal with it every day!

Work along to focus on initiatives the staff feel are important, and if the idea is outrageous or impossible, manage their expectations by discussing the barriers and alternative solutions – if you listen as a leader, you may be surprised at the root cause of some of your problems.

By listening to your people’s goals and personal aspirations, you may find they are more valuable in a different position or that their skills may even be aligned better in a leadership role. Give them a chance by (for example) assigning them to mini-leadership positions on project groups. Nothing motivates a person like trust and empowerment.

Similarly, collaborate on distinctive instructional opportunities that may facilitate them build their experience and learn from completely different views -take an interest in what they want to learn about, even if it does not directly impact your organization, the opportunity for self-development may be the difference that keeps your employees feeling valued working for you.

Critically, ensure your technology and monetary systems are up thus far; the power to figure with the newest technical school tools will facilitate influence professionals once deciding whether or not to hitch and stick with your organization. If you don’t unceasingly upgrade your systems, you risk experiencing a talent outflow to your competitors. Remember, this generation grew up with technology and is deeply planted with social media, as well as other styles of learning such as kinaesthetic and more interactive to maintain attention span. Millennials perceive the facility of technology and acknowledge if you’re not current, you’re behind.

Grooming Y Leaders:

Give potential leaders you establish not simply the possibility to guide a project team however additionally the chance to manage key initiatives – with your guidance and advisory of course. This could transcend simply overseeing the regular aspects of a project and additionally embody setting strategy and creating choices. Fortunately for businesses, a powerful want for continuous learning is another process characteristic of this demographic. Give formal and informal coaching opportunities that specialize in the technical skills and your people ought to advance together with key technical attributes, notably leadership and communication. As they progress, incorporate those with the foremost potential into your succession plans. However, don’t stop there. Once you’ve selected succession candidates, sit right down to explain the opportunity and why you selected them. Your feedback will facilitate them to acknowledge their strengths and concentrate on up any shortcomings, golf stroke them on the trail to develop the attributes you look for in your organization’s leaders. Then, establish specific steps they have to achieve to advance, break it up into manageable and measurable chunks, and partner on ways for reaching every milestone.

Most people would like mentors. Decide whether or not you may serve during this role, or if you’ll raise a willing senior manager to take on this responsibility. Like worker development, the authority ought to facilitate them build each of their technical and untechnical skills. A keyspace of focus should be managing, as well as providing steerage on a way to inspire teams with differing personalities and preferences. Mentoring is also a great way to identify issues and find ways to resolve them before they escalate or end in a resignation.

Contemplate reverse-mentoring arrangements, where more experienced Gen Y workers will mentor newer colleagues, and show them the ropes of your organization, as well as address any problems – they can even play a role as the communication link between leaders and employees making it more time effective to gain perspective, plus they will know and feel pride in that they are making a positive impact on making it a better place to work. This arrangement shows staff that you respect their experience and provides them another chance to hone their leadership skills.

Focus on team-building with a staff of all generations. Offer your future leaders an opportunity to network and build rapport with contacts throughout the organization by encouraging a social hour or weekly group lunch/ coffee. There are loads they’ll find out about the business from colleagues with numerous backgrounds, work designs, and responsibilities, by creating a warm social environment.

The great thing about the millennial generation is once they are passionate and inspired by something, not much can stop them. They are innovative thinkers, trendy and resourceful. They can naturally take your business to new heights and their distinctive views and characteristics can bring a world of insight into your organization. Once you gain the loyalty of a Gen Y employee and allow for creativity, they can become a proficient, driven cluster wanting to contribute to, and elevate the business. By understanding their chief work considerations, you’ll facilitate them to reach their goals and, at the same time, build the pipeline of leaders for your business.

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