When discussing any generation, you are bound to come up against generalizations that don’t adequately capture the entire picture and this is especially true when talking about coaching Millennials. Millennials are the latest in this unavoidable fact, as many brand them as a negative presence in the workplace. It’s common to hear outlets speak about how millennials are entitled, impatient, and lazy
Although these traits are definitely not fair to assign to an entire generation, there has been research to indicate “job hopping” may be a result of this generation’s apparent impatience. This comes at a major cost for organizations that are tasked with replacing and training mid-level employees. The question here is what’s the cause of this impatience?
Research conducted by Deloitte suggests that there is a steady dissatisfaction among millennials with the way in which their leadership skills are being developed. There is a desire to feel that these skills are receiving adequate investment in order to see development, which will ultimately lead to an ability to really impact the organization at which they work. Without this investment, millennials quickly start to question their job status and look for employment elsewhere.
A solution for this issue can be found in managerial coaching programs, which forward-thinking organizations are implementing now more than ever. In order to meet the needs of millennial employees, mid-level managers are being provided training in the process and art of coaching.
As we’ve discussed in a prior blog, management and coaching are two different skillsets. Coaching has an ability to truly change the trajectory of a person’s career and impact them long-term. This is applied with a focus on conversations that are inquiry-based in order to drive thought and deeper conversations around work and process. The result is an expanded perspective, and growth rooted in tangible discoveries that stem from good coaching.
There are a few areas of conversation that are a great place to start this process when considering the coaching of millennial employees.
1. Frequent Feedback
Checking in on the status of millennials is priority, as opposed to other generations. These one on one huddles are meant to be a regular time in which managers can sit down with employees and explore personal development. During these sit downs, coaching can really develop over time, and it demonstrates that you are invested in their journey. The result will be a deeper relationship, increased productivity, and stronger levels of loyalty.
2. Opportunity for Growth
Growth is a massive priority for millennials, and many would strongly consider quitting their current job if they didn’t see real possibility for growth. This is ultimately a good thing, as it demonstrates their desire to make an impact with their work and expand their ability to lead. The thing it is it also means that they are looking for quick progress from a career perspective. Without progress, dissatisfaction can build. If coaching managers keep this fact in mind, they can open a dialogue with millennial employees that present opportunities for growth.
3. Augment Intelligence
Increasing engagement through coaching strengthens the bond that you have with your employees by clearly signalling that you are aware of and responding to their needs. This will ultimately bring out the best in these employees, as strong leaders can augment the intelligence of those around them with their own intelligence. This pulls more out of those that you are coaching, and lights the fire for growth.
The lesson to be learned here is that millennials have a strong desire to achieve what they set out for themselves. This positions them to be more receptive to feedback as they are looking for opportunities to grow and improve their levels of intelligence.
As a manager, you have an ability to play the role of a coach and ultimately improve your retention by focusing on the needs of your millennial employees. The result will be a more productive team and the development of your own leadership skills.
How the PREP Profile Assessment Can Help You Coach Better
Our PREP Profile assessments offer insights into the best ways to communicate across different generations depending on a person’s personality. If you are interested in developing leadership skills for yourself or for a team as well as understanding how to work with different generations, please contact us.