Millennial Leadership Development
Millennials are individuals born between the years of 1980 and 2000.
Today, they are making their workplace debut in large numbers; thus making them the newest generation of workers you can find anywhere.
However, they are in dire need of leadership development skills to successfully take over from the previous generation.
Therefore, employers and organizations must find innovative ways to support these young employees, as they make their foray into leadership positions to become millennial leaders.
Let’s dive right into it.
- What is Millennial Leadership Development?
- How to Cultivate Millennials as Leaders
- How to be a Good Leader to Millennials
- How to Successfully Increase the Number of Millennials as Leaders in Your Organization
- What Millennials Look for in a Leader?
- How do Millennials Prepare for Leadership?
Millennial leadership development seeks to broaden the capacity of millennials to enable them to perform better in leadership positions within an organization.
These leadership roles may be formal or informal, and they will help facilitate the execution of an organization’s mission.
The main aim of millennial leadership development is to determine how organizations and industries are preparing the millennial generation.
Most of this preparation is geared towards teaching them how to manage as well as lead effectively, in order to move their organization forward.
Supervising, developing, and motivating millennial talent is an essential part of most of the leadership programs you will find in any organization today.
However, for many employers and organizations, there is a constant struggle to coach millennials to take on leadership positions.
The following are some of the best ways to cultivate millennials as great leaders.
Stop spotlighting a talent. Rather start coaching your millennials use and identify their talents. Reflect with them together, for example, the following questions:
- What are your core competencies to help others?
- What are your core passions? (Those things you care about all the time.)
- What are your core competencies? (Things you do well all the time.)
Millennials are not moved by the content knowledge of their leaders.
This is because they believe that accessing information in this internet age is easy and fast.
Rather, they are inspired by real mentorship, especially in areas that involve soft skills such as communicating effectively in the workplace.
Also, because millennials are very big on connections and networking, mentorship may be a great way to provide inspiration and engagement.
Millennials don’t do well with annual reviews, and for this reason, it is important to provide them with frequent and regular feedback.
These feedbacks, which may be in the form of weekly reviews or performance updates, can be a driving force that will help them to increase their performance and improve their leadership skills.
However, ensuring on-demand feedback may be challenging if you rely on paper processes, hence the need for a performance management system.
Another way to coach millennials to be great leaders is by assigning them to project-based roles rather than the conventional hierarchical positions.
The millennial generation cares less about conventional positions than they do about being challenged.
Thus, it is essential to provide millennials with challenging opportunities to develop leadership skills using on-the-job experiences.
As a business owner, it is not enough to simply coach millennials to be great leaders. Part of the work also involves being a good leader to them.
With good leadership, millennials tend to work better in improving the image of their organization.
However, to be a good leader to millennials, there are certain factors you need to focus on, some of which are highlighted below.
- The first step to being a good leader to millennials is to always ask them questions, as well as listen attentively to their answers.
This will make them feel like an integral part of the organization and more willing to put in the effort.
- Also, learn to switch processes form time to time, especially when you notice that an employee is finding a particular process difficult.
This shows them that you are willing to put their development first over all others.
- Giving millennials the freedom and ability to carry out their tasks and at their own pace is yet another way to lead millennials.
One way to achieve this is by making clear project time frames and the importance of their efforts.
- Lastly, a good leader solicits the opinions of the millennials that work with them, especially about the services the company renders, branding, products, and so on.
This will help shed light on areas the organization needs to work on, to move it forward.
Millennials are notoriously known for leaving organizations just as fast as they enter if they find that the organization doesn’t suit their needs.
Thus, they do not stay long enough to take on leadership roles. In other cases, millennials do not become leaders in organizations because they believe they don’t have the required leadership skills.
Therefore, if you desire to increase the number of millennials as leaders in your organization, you must provide reasons for them to stay and groom them to be leaders.
The following are some of the ways you can do this.
Most millennials are wary of organizations that do not provide millennial leadership development opportunities.
This is because they believe that such leadership skills are critical to their professional growth, and an organization that does not provide such an opportunity is one they would rather not work in.
Therefore, if your organization provides more leadership opportunities, the number of millennials as leaders in your organization will increase.
The number of millennials as leaders in your organization will increase if they believe that their organization is invested in their growth.
One way to show them that you prioritize their growth over all others is to provide them with an opportunity to be mentored.
Organizations that provide such an opportunity to millennials will most likely notice an increase in the number of millennials that occupy leadership positions.
Another way to successfully increase the number of millennials as leaders in your organization is to always publicly acknowledge the contributions they make towards your organization.
Millennials expect to be recognized a lot more than other generations because they see it as providing enough motivation to perform better.
So, as an employer of millennials, you will do well to recognize, praise, and celebrate the successes of millennials under your employ.
Before millennials can look up to you as their leader, there are certain qualities you must possess. Outlined below are some of such qualities.
- Ability to coach/mentor
- Able to build mutual understanding of value
- Ability to embrace technology
- Able to create a sense of belonging
Surveys have shown that over 91% of millennials seek leadership positions to create change. However, only a fraction of that percentage is preparing to become leaders.
These few millennials who do, actively seek out mentorship, volunteer to take on small leadership roles, and more.
Outlined below are some of the ways in which a millennial can prepare for a leadership role.
First and foremost, millennials that hope to assume leadership positions must be willing to be coached/mentored.
Secondly, they should be able to handle whatever responsibility is delegated to them efficiently.
Also, millennials should be able to see/find meaning in the work they do for their organization.
A leadership development plan for millennials is a structured training program that helps position the careers of millennials towards leadership positions.
Many organizations today utilize leadership development plans for millennials to strategically guide them throughout their career as well as personal development. Such a plan can prove to be worthwhile due to a wide range of reasons, some of which are explained below
- A leadership development plan for millennials can provide millennials with an improved sense of career satisfaction.
- This leadership training can also prove to be a formidable force in their career within and outside a particular organization.
Lastly, leadership development plans for millennials can offer interesting opportunities and challenges for the young generation should they find themselves in the labor force.
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