Mentoring Millennial LeadersFebruary 10, 2017
Millennials, often referred to as Generation Y, are the "hot topic" in the workforce. Using proper mentoring solutions, with acknowledging their needs, wants, and traits, an organization could have a drastic positive influence. But first it is necessary to understand these Millennials - with what they want from their organization,what their intrinsic values are and the common misconceptions of this generation that requires more patience and commitment in guidance. It is also important to remember that these Millennials are now the majority in the workplace and are moving into leadership roles; with as many as half already in leadership positions (according to a 2013 Forbes article survey).
So who are these new leaders??
They are leaders but feel they lack leadership experience
Of the current Millennial leaders, only 36 percent felt they actually gained enough skills for their position (Forbes 2013). With that being said, organizations should provide exciting, fresh leadership tasks and Insala's mentoring solutions would aid this process. Using technology as a tool to manage data and information, Gen Y employees would find it easier to participate in the mentoring program as well as benefit from having a senior leader guide them in their position.
Millennial Leaders Value Feedback, Openness, and Diversity
They value this for themselves as leaders and also from their own superiors and organizational strategy. Gen Y grew up in an age where diversity was a norm, where human rights news and global issues were easily processed with modern technology and social media. They lived with it and fight for that diversity.
They also value feedback, and a lot of it. However they want it in a specific way - open, clear, and want it based on performance. This is not to be perceived as constant praise, but rather a way for them to continuously tweak their abilities. Actually this is very positive because before organization's annual reviews could feel confrontational, but with constant communication it's just a "flow" between two employees and how you will work with someone. It's also beneficial because it excavates any conflicts, concerns, or ideas between each other.
They Seek FulfillmentMillennials seek purpose - they see work as a part of life, rather than something that should be balanced therefore they want to work for an organization that they feel they have a sense of purpose. Those high expectations can be daunting for employers, however if you keep them engaged they will want to overachieve in the workplace.
Common Misconceptions of Gen Y
- They are more concerned with social media than engaging in conversation. While they are often referred as "digital natives" they would actually prefer to meet clients or employees face-to-face than remotely.
- Everyone should be a trophy winner. Although they we're always given rewards for "participation" it is unfair to say they remain the same. These kids have grown up, they want to work for boss's that value openness and transparency far more than they value receiving recognition. What's surprising is from that same study, it was actually Gen X that believed everyone on the team should be rewarded.
- They quit and move on too often. Millennials, like their predecessors, care about moving forward with their career and making a real, tangible difference. Evidence does suggest they've had more jobs, but this could easily be excused as a result from post-Recession. Creating a collaborative work environment can attract younger employees and also make them stay.