Generation Y, more commonly referred to as millennials, is rapidly assuming control, now encompassing almost half of the workforce. As the majority of millennials are now in their 30s, they are progressively assuming leadership roles as well.
Nevertheless, millennials are frequently misconstrued. They’ve earned a reputation as the most “impatient” cohort within the professional realm, seeking rapid outcomes and swift career advancement, often without displaying the same work ethic as prior generations.
Contrary to popular belief, it is feasible to shape millennials in a manner that facilitates their potential growth. Before delving into effective coaching strategies for millennials, it’s crucial to grasp their workplace expectations.
A. Understanding Millennials’ Desires in the Workplace
Millennials have received unfavorable judgments in recent times. They’ve been criticized for a sense of entitlement, perceived laziness, and an alleged reluctance to put in hard work. However, the reality is that millennials prioritize differently compared to their predecessors. Here are some aspects they value:
- Leaders Who Seek Feedback
Millennials place great importance on leaders who exhibit qualities such as humility, transparency, and an ongoing willingness to learn. They believe that the finest leaders are those who actively solicit feedback. Interestingly, millennials don’t view this as a weakness; they recognize that nobody is flawless and that feedback is crucial for personal growth.
- Emphasis on Teamwork and Collaboration
Building relationships with others is a fundamental need for millennials. They prioritize teamwork and collaboration over individual achievements, making collaborative tasks more appealing. In contrast, previous generations might be less inclined towards collaboration due to a more competitive mindset that focuses on personal accomplishments.
- Adaptable Structures
Millennials adopt a flexible attitude towards policies. They believe that both leaders and employees should be open to reviewing, adapting, or experimenting with policies that no longer serve the company’s objectives. Furthermore, millennials favor a flattened management structure with minimal bureaucracy, gravitating towards workplaces devoid of strict hierarchies where everyone’s input is valued equally.
For the average millennial, a paycheck alone no longer suffices. They seek empowerment in their work. Many millennials are now in search of roles that offer a sense of purpose and the chance to make a meaningful impact. This could entail working for a company that aligns with their values or even starting their own ventures.
- Striking Work-Life Balance
Attaining a healthy work-life balance is paramount for millennials. In contrast to their forerunners, millennials are less willing to sacrifice their personal lives for their careers. They place high value on spending time with family, friends, and pursuing personal interests. Consequently, they’re more likely to explore different job opportunities in pursuit of employers who provide flexible hours and alternative work arrangements that facilitate a harmonious blend of work and personal life.
- Valuing Diversity
Millennials are accustomed to technology and have a more global perspective due to their internet-connected upbringing. As a result, they seek employment at organizations that mirror their values and viewpoints. They prioritize workplaces that prioritize diversity and inclusivity, and they’re prepared to switch jobs to find such environments. For millennials, diversity encompasses not only racial and ethnic aspects but also a range of perspectives and life experiences.
B. Effective Coaching of Millennials
Now that we comprehend millennials’ motivations and expectations, we can develop more effective coaching methods. With this in mind, here are some recommendations to kickstart the process:
- Foster Trust
Millennials generally harbor skepticism towards authority figures, underscoring the need to establish a rapport before embarking on coaching. Endeavor to understand them as individuals, not just as employees. Engage in conversations about their interests and aspirations, showcasing genuine interest in aiding their success.
- Nurturing a Growth-Conducive Atmosphere
In comparison to preceding generations, millennials are more driven to create positive global impacts. They want their identity to resonate with their work. Consequently, assigning them meaningful projects is vital, as this empowers them to broaden their skill set and contribute to the company’s expansion.
- Encourage Independent Thinking
The millennial cohort is inclined towards thinking big and focusing on the long term. Micromanagement tends to be counterproductive with them. Instead, tap into their creativity, allowing them to explore solutions to challenges independently.
- Charting Personal Trajectories
The innate drive among millennials to complete tasks, regardless of obstacles, is a shared trait. This enthusiasm, however, can sometimes result in overlooking crucial details. Offering a roadmap for achieving their goals can guide them effectively, fostering a higher level of personal responsibility that extends to both their personal and professional lives.
- Exercise Patience
Given millennials’ penchant for immediate gratification, conventional coaching methods that gradually develop skills might not always resonate. Display patience and articulate the enduring value of the objectives. Over time, they’ll likely come to appreciate this approach.
- Millennials Eager for Coaching
Despite criticisms aimed at millennials, they possess a strong desire for coaching. A survey conducted in 2015 concluded that 94% of millennials are committed to personal development. In contrast, the same survey indicated that only 84% of Baby Boomers and 81% of Generation X prioritize personal growth.
Considering that millennials constitute the majority of today’s workforce, introducing a coaching initiative aligned with their priorities is imperative.