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"The pessimist complains about the wind. Theoptimist expects it to change. The Leader adjusts the sails." -John C. Maxwell
Objective Provide a greater understanding of the generalized characteristics of the Millennial generation Provide business leaders with the knowledge of their employees to initiate successful strategies to be effective leaders.
Who are theMillennials? Born 1980 to 2000 The term Millennial comes from the work of authors William Strauss and Neil Howe to describe the generational group also referred to as Generation Y
Why is this important? By the year 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 47% of the population will be comprised of Millennials www.leadershippost.com
Why are Millennials important toleadership, trainers, and peers? 80 million strong Millennials are beginning to make a significant impact on the American business community through both their size and their habits Millennials account for 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. labor force
Qualities of MillennialsPraised for their grasp of technology and web applications, optimism and ability to collaborate (Bannon, Ford, and Meltzer, 2011)Also may be thought to exhibit less than ideal (professionalism, work ethic, independent decision-making ability and critical-thinking skills (Lebo, 2009)
Seven core traits of the Millennial generation Special Sheltered Confident Team-oriented Conventional Pressured to succeed Focused on achievement (Emeagwali, 2011)
Generational Differences Each generation has a set of values, attitudes, and beliefs that forms the basis for behavior German Sociologist Karl Mannheim found this set of values is due to a function of culture Mannheim’s Generational Theory seeks to explain how attitudes and values are shaped in both individuals and groups. Mannheim thought that the generation a person belongs to determine to a certain extent, his or her thoughts, feelings, and even behaviors (Espinoza, Ukleja, and Rusch, 2010).
Life Course Theory A multidisciplinary human development theory where demographers, historians, developmental psychologists, and sociologists look for cohort effects People who experience a sociological context at a similar age are likely to forge a perspective or mindset that stays with them throughout their entire life Broad generalizations about a generation are valuable to leaders as each age cohort tends to develop its own characteristic patterns of attitudes and expectations about what is and is not possible to achieve in life, about what is good and what is bad, and about whom to trust and what to fear. (Espinoza, Ukleja, and Rusch, 2010).
Millennials Generalized Preferences:A need for social interaction, immediate results in their work, and a desire for speedy advancement Prefer to work in teamsVery self-confident, able to multi- task, and have plenty of energy
Millennials Relationships with Bosses and Managers For the purpose of developing leadership strategies with employees, managers and leaders benefit when they try to understand generalities of the workforce they are leading
Job SatisfactionThe relationship betweenemployees and theirsuperiors is a keycontributor to their jobsatisfaction, and whilemany strategies may betargeted at Millennials,they also are effectivewith employees fromother generations.
A Sense of PurposeEmeagwali (2011) found Millennials “have a great desire to be a part of something big that will bring about change and to have more meaning in their lives and demand that they connect with the purpose and mission of any organization they are a part of”
Feedback Millennial employees are interested in feedback on their performance more frequently than traditionally done. Annual or semi-annual reviews are too infrequent for Millennials, they want to know that they have done a good job, and they want to know more frequently (Gilbert, 2011) Managers need to be aware of this need for more frequent acknowledgement and feedback and incorporate it into their leadership style to effectively maintain Millennials’ job satisfaction.
Feedback Continued Gilbert (2011) found feedback needs to be structured in a way that leaves no room for misunderstanding and needs to be clear and specific to be effective. To optimize the quality of the interaction, feedback and comments should focus on behavior rather than be personal in nature, be very specific, and include an effort to help the employee identify solutions (Krader, 2010) Krader (2010) suggests "dont be afraid to applaud and praise when appropriate, but try to soften the negative by thinking like a parent or coach"
Hiring and Training Millennials The key to engaging members of the Millennial generation for trainers is to focus on the Millennials strengths and empower them to contribute to the organization’s culture. Pace (2011) found Millennials preferred methods of learning would require training programs to focus on “a continuous, real- time learning environment—synchronous and asynchronous—so that learners have constant access to content and expertise”
Challenges for Leadership There are fewer employees in the Millennial age bracket to fill vacancies left by retiring Baby Boomers making recruiting and hiring a priority for leadership. When positions need to be filled because baby boomers are retiring, Millennials will rise in their organization more quickly than their predecessors, which will have the result of providing leadership opportunities at a relatively young age (Lebo, 2009)
Technology Because Millennials have grown up with technology like no other generation, particularly communication technology and the Internet, they will raise the expectation for the integration of technology and effective organizational communication.
Technology This greater familiarity and skill with technology may come at a cost of less developed formal writing skills, less independence and less skill at face-to-face interpersonal interaction (Lebo, 2009)
Rewarding MillennialsEmployers must also determine what type of compensation, rewards, recognition, or other incentives will meet the needs of Millennials to help them retain top talent. Successfully meeting these needs will lead to an increase in employee morale and efficiency
LeadershipLeaders must lead all employees, including Millennials, with honesty and integrity.Millennials will need and want to have great role models before they become leaders themselves, creating a need for internal development of future organizational leader
LeadershipBecause each generation has a set of values, attitudes, and beliefs that form their behavior, it is beneficial for leaders to understand the needs of their future employees and leaders.Organizations that embrace the Millennials and adapt to accommodate their strengths will be in a better position to benefit from their skills and high potential.
Leadership Millennials present an extraordinary opportunity to help organizations grow to meet the many challenges they face and contribute in innovate ways that capitalize on their strengths.
Employee Engagement Leaders need to capitalize on Millennials great desire to be a part of something bigger to bring about change. Provide employees an opportunity to have more meaning in their lives by allowing them to connect with the purpose and mission of their organization, by embracing change and problem solving are keys to employee engagement.
Every organization’s future vitality will be dependent on its ability to attract, retain, motivate, and develop Millennials. Leaders at all levels of an organization need to work towards meeting the needs of Millennial to bridge the gap between the generations.
"One measure of leadership is thecaliber of people who choose tofollow you." ~Dennis A. Peer"Leadership is the wise use of power.Power is the capacity to translateintention into reality and sustain it."~Warren G. Bennis"Dont be afraid to give up the goodto go for the great." ~John D. Rockefeller
ReferencesBannon, S., Ford, K., & Meltzer, L. (2011). Understanding Millennials in theWorkplace. CPA Journal, 81(11), 61-65.Charsky, D., Kish, M. L., Briskin, J., Hathaway, S., Walsh, K., & Barajas, N.(2009). Millennials Need Training Too: Using Communication Technology to FacilitateTeamwork. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 53(6), 42-48.doi:10.1007/s11528-009-0342-2Crappell, C. (2012). Millennials In Action: Playing To Our Strengths. AmericanMusic Teacher, 61(4), 12-17.Emeagwali, N. (2011). Millennials: Leading the Charge for Change. Techniques:Connecting Education And Careers, 86(5), 22-26.Espinoza, C., Ukleja, M. & Rusch, C. (2010). Managing the Millennials: Discover the CoreCompetencies for Managing Todays Workforce. John Wiley and Sons. Kindle Edition
ReferencesGilbert, J. (2011). The Millennials: A New Generation Of Employees, ANew Set Of Engagement Policies. Ivey Business Journal, 75(5), 26.Greig, J. M. (2009). Training the Multigenerational Workforce. Defense AT&L,38(3), 32.Junginger, C. (2008). Who Is Training Whom? The Effect of the MillennialGeneration. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 77(9), 19.Krader, C. (2010). Mentoring the Millennial mind. (cover story). OphthalmologyTimes, 35(22), 1.Lebo, B. (2009). Employing Millennials: challenges and opportunities. NewHampshire Business Review, 31(26), 21.Pace, A. (2011). Spurring Innovation and Engaging the Learners of the 2011Workplace. T+D, 65(8), 64.Stevenson, J. C. (2008). Managing the Millennials. Businesswest, 24(21), 42.