The millennial generation includes individuals that are recent graduates as well as those in their early 30s. This is a group that wants to lead, and while many of them already have some work experience in their back pocket, many of them are only just entering the workforce. Truth be told, as young immigrants join the workforce, the millennial generation is expected to surpass the Baby Boomers as the largest generation. Millennials have expressed their desire to lead and feel that they have the communication and relationship skills required for strong leadership. They have also revealed that they lack in areas such as technical competence and confidence in industry experience. So how do we help millennials focus on there here and now to help them become the leaders they desire to be? Here are a few effective ways to help nurture millennials for leadership.
Establishing a solid ground for open communication might be the most essential aspect for millennials in the workplace, and is especially crucial with upper management. When millennials are familiar with how decisions are made, not only will they have a better understanding of the processes and why the decisions were made, they will be more likely to embrace the changes and contribute their ideas in the future. Even better, having a flat management structure where everyone is viewed as equals is enticing and better opens the lines of communication.
In addition to open communication, transparency is crucial. Millennials look for leaders that communicate and communicate honestly. When they do not understand the reasoning behind a process or decision, they are less likely to accept it or quickly become frustrated. It’s also vital that this generation is aware of what is expected of them and how it looks when put into action.
Many millennials feel that they are competent when it comes to softer skills, like communication and creativity. However, they often lack the confidence with harder skills. It is vital for them to learn these skills, but also how to use them. Challenge their knowledge and put them in charge of smaller projects that will allow them to become familiar with a leadership role and empowering them to make decisions without the need for approval.
It is crucial that millennials receive frequent feedback, so they are aware of the areas they are excelling in and where they need to improve. Employees can’t improve their performance if they don’t know what needs work. This will encourage them to develop further the skills they will need for them to become leaders and will also contribute to their personal development.
Millennials seek an excellent work-life balance. While maintaining the expectation of high-quality work, allowing this generation to have some flexibility when it comes to how and when they work will help encourage creativity and productivity. Often, having the ability to work from home contributes to a higher rate of productivity, as well as being flexible regarding hours.