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Millennial Mojo: How To Get The Best From Gen-Y’ers

Anneke Los. Erstwhile has been a babysitter to my three children over the years and is an extraordinarily talented commerce student at Sydney’s APM College of business and communication. In this post, Anneke shares some great tips for leading Millennials to perform at their best.

Anneke

Millennials in the corporate world are a hot topic. As a fellow ‘Gen-Y’er’, I thought I’d share with you a few ‘secrets from the horse’s mouth’, so to speak.

What are some of the ways millennials are affecting the workplace – and how can you lead us to perform at our best?

Here are 3 ways to get the most from millennials:-

1. Focus on outcomes, not mechanisms. It sounds like a paradox, but millennials thrive with both structure AND flexibility. For example, we need clear goals and outcomes – but we want the freedom to achieve them in our own way. Focus less on the mechanism or ‘how to’ and more on the end product.

This is where vision is key. Help us to understand and resonate with the vision – of the project, organisation or role – and then create regular check-in points (KPIs) along the way; but loosen the reigns and let us pave the pathway.

[Tweet “Give millennials structure and goals, but allow them the freedom to achieve them in their own way. “] 

2. Be the ‘driver’, not the ‘doer’.

A friend of mine (a paramedic) shared with me an interesting story about the supervisor he had when he was training;

“…when entering a patient’s house, he always used to sit down on the sofa or a chair. Patients realised how inexperienced I was, but if my supervisor was spoken to he just said “I’m just the driver, please talk to my colleague, he’s in charge.”

Leaders could take a ‘driver’ approach by delegating more, letting us make our own mistakes and then being there to coach us forward. This is where being a great coach is crucial. We respond more to experiences than being told what to do.

[Tweet “Leaders need to take a ‘driver’ approach. Let your millennial employees make mistakes, then coach them to grow from them. “] 

3. Embrace technological change. 

It probably goes without saying, but millennials have grown up in a technologically driven world that is changing by the second. Because of this, technology and the way we operate are inextricably linked. We adapt fast and use technology to help us do stuff.

[Tweet “Technological flexibility is crucial when leading millennials. Technology is hard-wired into every Millennial’s DNA. “] .

Leaders must be willing to embrace and adapt to the constantly evolving digital world, if they want to tap into the hearts and minds of millennials. Ask – “What do you need to perform at your best?” “Where are there opportunities for our team/organisation?” “What would you like to see happen?”

What strategies have you implemented for leading millennials in your teams or organisations? I would love to hear from you – please leave your comments below.

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Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

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