According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 63% of Millennials in the U.S. workforce – that’s 6 in 10 – believe their “leadership skills are not being fully developed.” Among those likely to leave within two years, 71% stated they were unhappy with their company’s leadership development.
Those statistics should set off alarm bells for every business leader, no matter the industry. Plugged into the world like no other generation, Millennials feel empowered by their ‘connectivity’ with the world. As leaders, we need to incorporate the Millennia ‘tech-savvy, instant-feedback’ mindset into our leadership training initiatives.
Leaders of the Baby Boom and Gen-X generations need to understand how to attract and retain Millennials based on their expectations. These expectations are born out of technological savvy, instant connectivity, and need for frequent interaction.
Research conducted on the Millennial generation has uncovered four notable observations that should be incorporated in the development Millennial leaders:
1. Understand that Technology is Everything. Connected practically since birth, the Millennial workforce is accustomed to seamless interaction online in every aspect of their lives. Forget email and traditional annual reviews, this group is always looking for ways to streamline processes using the latest technology.
2. Incorporate Soft Skills. According to research from UNC Executive Development and Center for Creative Leadership, companies should consider the following training modules for Millennials:
- Assimilating into a new workplace culture
- Working with team members assertively and diplomatically
- Processing feedback
- Approaching a supervisor for coaching and mentoring
- Developing transferable long-term career goals, such as problem-solving, communication, negotiation and leadership
3. Employ Collaboration. Millennials live and breathe collaboration – a team environment that considers all opinions and works toward solutions. They respond well to a comprehensive approach to problem solving.
4. Be Flexible. Because they have 24/7 access from phones, tablets, and computers, the Millennials crave flexible options – working remotely, working in groups, and any situation that improves workflow and efficiency.