I confess I am not a fan of articles about generational differences, but whereas I generally scoff at the idea of spoiled kids who think the world owes them something, millennials are now adults who have proven that standing up for worker rights and job-hopping clearly aren’t impediments to career growth.
So, what do you do with employees that always seem to want a bit more? Marc Petitpas, an expert in business coaching, shared some helpful insights:
“Millennials need to know they have purpose and potential and that you see them and appreciate them. The biggest mistake you can make when managing a millennial is trying to shut down their wild aspirations rather than challenging yourself to change and meet them there. This is called “Servant Leadership,” and it’s all about closing the leadership gap by taking accountability, asking employees what they need and then delivering.”
Do you see why I like this guy? Employees need purpose. With purpose they can move mountains, and sometimes we need to bend to move it with them.
“If you want to thank a millennial, heaven forbid you gift a bottle of wine to someone who doesn’t drink or a mall gift certificate to someone who hates crowds. You’d do better to give them nothing than something that says you don’t know them and don’t care to find out. Now say you know they’re passionate about mountain biking, so when it’s time to recognize them, you send them and their family to the mountain biking championships in Tremblant. That says, ‘I know you, I see you, I get you.’”
I’ve been sent a bottle of wine to drink on a team-building call. I don’t drink. I left the event early. If you want to get people to move, you begin by showing them you care about them personally. When we get personal, we open the door to create purpose.
“…no matter the generation, a manager’s job is to provide the environment, the communication model, the learning opportunities for the employee to be as good as they can be. Millennials expect a personalized approach, and once they get it, they’re a lot happier and more fulfilled and they’re gonna stick around, and they’re gonna bring that level of leadership as they move up the ladder. Millennials have set a high bar, and it’s a good thing, and you should too.”