The Millennial Generation, highly referenced and often criticized, they are the future. The good news is this group is goal-oriented and results-driven, which means they can thrive in a world of “do more with less.” However, they need help harnessing this power. In the future, successful organizations will be led by those who have learned what it takes to engage, motivate, and guide the potential of the Millennials.
They includes people born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Some have yet to enter the workforce, but they are today’s new and emerging leaders. They are demonstrating that they are unlike the generations that came before them. They have much different values, motivators, and work ethic, differences that are often targets for criticism.
Positive Attributes of Millennials
However, in a future where success will require innovation and a focus on achieving results, the key attributes of this generation make them well suited to help us thrive. Millennials tend to be ambitious, but not entirely focused. They are goal-oriented and like to achieve results; but, need and expect help from their managers to define and achieve those goals. These people are optimistic as well as realistic. They want and thrive on feedback. And they don’t automatically respect titles, but have a high respect for competency.
Leaders will need to adopt a style that connects with and motivates Millennials. Letting go of the authoritarian “boss” approach and developing a participative “coach” approach will become more important than ever. Successful organizations will have leaders who:
- Coach employees to create meaningful personal and professional goals
- Listen to understand and meet the unique needs of their employees
- Are open to new ideas and willing to try things that risk failure
- Offer a supportive environment that includes frequent constructive feedback
- Create a flexible work environment that rewards results rather than long hours
- “Walk the talk” and demonstrate the ability to achieve results
This leadership style already exists in many workplaces. Early adopters have realized the benefits of increased employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and revenue. In the future, these leaders will be the norm, rather than the exception.
The future is bright for those who keep an open mind and focus on the Millennial Generation’s considerable positive traits. Adopting leadership skills that create a supportive and motivating environment will lead to greater success.