Most business leaders think millennial problems are over-exaggerated. They feel that these issues are a product of the entitled “hipster” archetype we’ve created. The millennial generation is facing insane challenges unlike generations before, so most people don’t fully understand the implication of their challenges. Business leaders especially struggle with how to deal with this generation, more so than any other previous generation in the workforce.
Business Leaders Should Understand Millennial Struggles
Let us consider a major challenge of millennials. To start with, they are the largest generation at over 85-90 million people in the US, and are the most educated generation in history. The problem is the supply of educated workers is outpacing the demand. That leads millennials to be 40% of the unemployed population. Bottom line: They are not getting experience in the workplace or in their career of choice. So, how do business leaders deal with the challenges they face with millennials? Here are some tips for business leaders to better deal with and understand millennials in the workplace:
Mission over Money – A Deloitte 2016 survey tells us that 87% of surveyed Millennials put a premium on mission or purpose, over money or profits. Business leaders need to demonstrate the organization embraces values and purpose over profits.
Successful Mentorship – 63% of millennials surveyed say their leadership skills are not being put to good use. They are lacking mentorship. A positive and professional mentoring relationship makes all the difference with millennials.
If You Want to Know … Ask! – Business leaders need to stop sending out surveys, working groups and suggestion boxes for them. Get down to basics and get in front of them and ask! You have to get back to the basics and have a clear, open conversation and continual dialogue that is supportive and open. There must be a culture of open and clear communication that is informal and comfortable.
How to Move Forward Managing Millennials
Do a quick internet search and you’ll find article after article suggesting the millennial generation of being demanding, difficult to manage and less qualified than they think. The fact is, that is just not true! They are far more interested in things such as authenticity, individuality and self-expression — not exactly things rewarded in corporate boardrooms.
Business leaders that understand millennials in the workplace can significantly strengthen their organization and properly develop an entire generation for future leadership roles.