There is a lot of talk about what Millennials want and don’t want in the workplace. While there might be a lot of aspects people don’t agree on, one that Harvard Business Review found most do agree on is the need for FEEDBACK and COACHING in the workplace.
In a recent article, “Millennials want to be Coached at Work,” Millennials shared what they appreciate and found valuable as part of the culture of the organization. They crave — and respond to — a good, positive coach, who can make all the difference in their success. They conducted a survey of 1400 Millennials and they told them they wanted more feedback…not less…from their managers. In fact, they want it 50% more of the time than other employees. However, only 46% thought they got enough feedback from their managers.
There was a great quote that summed up how most Millennials felt about feedback and coaching…
“I would like to move ahead in my career. And to do that, it’s very important to be in touch with my manager, constantly getting coaching and feedback from him so that I can be more efficient and proficient.”
There were 3 things that they told Harvard they wanted from a manager…
Inspire me…Most Millennials like to work for causes and people rather than companies and institutions. As such, they want to have managers inspire them with their leadership and motivation. They clearly have demonstrated more of a need for praise than most other generations. In their analysis, there were four traits of inspiring leaders…
Providing a Vision
Serving as a principle role model
Surround me with Great People…the audience of Millennials constantly told them, “Help me up my game by working with people who are talented and better than I am (now).” The job of a manager is to coach a new person while they are most fragile, rather than fostering a sink-or-swim environment. Putting them in groups and surrounding them with people that are better than themselves is a positive in their opinion. They see it as a way to grow rather than a super competitive environment.
Be Authentic…they want to hear about both the successes and failures of their managers so they know they are real and authentic. The best coaches and managers are the ones that aren’t intimidated by their past defeats but can use them to help their team grow. Millennials love this approach and want managers who are willing to share this without intimidation or insecurity.
When managers and coaches use these techniques they find far more engagement and loyalty from their Millennial employees. Find a team of managers that can deliver these elements in their style and establish a culture of inspiration and motivation and you will win them over.
There are lots of lists and do’s and don’t’s about “Leadership” from Leadership experts…but what about from their employees? So when I saw this article by Success.com it made me think about it a bit more and some of the insights were quite thought provoking.
The article, “15 Traits of a Terrible Leader” was sharing feedback from the YEC (Young Entrepreneurs Council) from different members. I thought it was a list worth sharing and discussing with your leadership team to see how well you would grade yourself and your team in these areas. In a time where more and more companies are hiring Millenials and others, this is a perspective we could all use…
Lack of Transparency
Dismissing Ideas other than your own
Valuing Experience over Potential
Lack of Empathy
Forgetting about Leadership Development
Being Overly Conservative
Permitting Negative Gossip
Poor Communication Strategy
Being too Slow to Adapt
You can agree or disagree with this list, but either way, I think there is value in discussing each of these to see how you, as the leader of the organization, believe you are doing in these different areas. You may choose to dismiss some based on your business but I believe this is a worthwhile group exercise to have a lively debate among your leadership team. But as I tell the CEOs/Business Owners I work with all the time, the value is in the “Process of doing” as much or more than the actual outcome. Meaning, you might not change everything, but having a healthy discussion about where you stand and “why” in each area has tremendous value.
I believe it is also valuable to “assign a score” to each item on the list. A “current score” and a “desired score.” This means you might only have a desired score of a 5 in one category and a 10 in another category (on a scale of 1 – 10) but it is how well you think you and your leadership are doing that really matters. Look at the gaps…this is a classic “gap analysis” of where you want to be and where you are. Wherever there is a big gap, schedule a time in your next management meeting to discuss “Why” and this will make for a great…and helpful…discussion.
The typical standard resume review and interview practices commonly used to select sales candidates only gives you a 50:50 chance of selecting the best candidate.
“Easy to find, hard to hire.” is the answer Lisa Pike, CEO of ScribeRight provided when I asked what are some of the key challenges in managing a sales force. She is right as it is not hard to find candidates to interview for sales positions but hiring the right candidate is a challenge. Sales candidates do much more interviewing than most managers and are more skillful at presenting themselves than many managers are at seeing through the “front.”
The existence of the multi-generational workforce poses unique challenges to today’s business leaders.
Being a member of the Baby Boomer generation (ages 50 to 68) I assumed there is a log jam of Generation Xers (ages 28 to 49) waiting in the wings to breakthrough the “gray ceiling” for their turn to lead – WRONG! At the July CEOtoCEO Breakfast speaker Anna Liotta shared that over the next 10 years the demand for leaders between the ages of 35 to 45 will increase by 25 percent while the supply of eligible and interested candidates will decrease by 15%. Whats the leadership transition plan in your organization look like?
A lack of understanding regarding generational differences contributes to conflict within working relationships, lowers productivity, and increases turnover.
As a leader are you experiencing:
Frustration about how to recruit and retain quality talent?
New hires who resist corporate policies and procedures?
Younger staff that think their managers are rigid and inflexible?
Mid-level staff who prefer the status quo to climbing the ladder
Senior staff frustrated by the lack of work ethic in the younger generation?
If these questions are familiar and you are looking for answers I suggest you connect with Anna Liotta, CEO of Resultance, for her expertise of the multi-generational workforce. Earlier this year she wrote a book, Unlocking Generational Codes, that is a great handbook for understanding what makes the generations tick and what ticks them off.
The panel on the right featured a pick-up truck collecting day laborers — in the
I asked CEOs attending the CEOtoCEO Breakfast, “Building a New Work Force for the New Economy”, why not all of the laborers in the panel would find paying work? Answer some don’t have the job skills employers are looking for. As a matter of fact in 2009 25% of Washington State companies had difficulties finding qualified job applicants with the critical skills they needed.
Jean Floten, Chancellor of Washington Governors University and breakfast speaker, presented new innovative programs that offers employers and employees flexible, affordable access to quality higher education. Knowing of Jean’s reputation of a recognized leader in higher education I would encourage employers and employees to investigate this new education model.
A significant portion of the CEO table discussions revolved around the frustration of employers to find employees that are skilled in the areas of communication, problem solving, and collaborating with others.
With the economy improving and baby boomers starting to leave the workforce the skills gap for qualified workers is expected to grow. What are you doing to attract and keep skilled workers in your organization?
Eric Overton, President and CEO of Sparling Electrical Engineers, the largest specialty electrical engineering firm in the country headquartered in Seattle. I asked Eric what does Sparling do to be selected and recognized as being a ‘Best Company to Work For’, and what benefits does his organization realize from this effort? Read on for Eric’s… Continue Reading
At our recent CEOtoCEO Breakfast speaker Jack Zduriencik, GM of the Mariners, was asked to share the secret to retaining Felix Hernandez the team’s Ace pitcher for the next five years. Jack modestly told us it was easy …. “What’s not to like about being paid $78 M for 5 years when you’re 23 years… Continue Reading