A few weeks ago, we looked at five ways to support the Millennial workforce. From passion to providing autonomy, we began to look at this enormously influential demographic in our population. Are you ready for some more?
Here are five more actions for supporting success in the Millennial workforce:
1) Coach Instead of Cop
The weakest link in performance or change is still the middle manager. We still seem to struggle with the model of being cops instead of inspiring coaches.
There are two action steps here if you really want to change the energy in your company and make strides in work with Millennials. First, take the time to define excellence and work on purpose. Second, teach your managers to look for staff doing the right things right instead of scolding “wrong behaviors” for actions that were poorly defined, or worse, not defined in the first place.
What I call “performance feedback™” is this simple, two part exercise: 1) I thought you did ______ really well. 2) To take your performance to the next level, next time do _______.
Even more potent, do a “feedback loop™” and ask, “What’s one action you feel you did really well?” (Then listen to the answer.) "To take your performance further, if you did this again, what’s one action you’d do differently?" (Then listen to the answer.)
To complete the feedback loop, simply end with performance feedback, named above. Then watch. Instead of a pout or ducked head, watch your team member start performing more effectively, immediately.
2) Share Fiscal Information
Read “The Great Game of Business” by Bo Burlingham and Jack Stack. If you’re not sharing fiscal information with Millennials, you’re missing a great opportunity.
Knowledge is potent. Sharing fiscal information instead of holding it private is counter-intuitive for many owners and managers. I’ve been talking about this my whole career; please know this is not heresy I’m sharing.
In the 21st century with margins ever tighter, the more people on your team that understand cost of goods sold and the relationship of top line to bottom line, the better off you’ll be. Don’t believe me? Keep doing what you’re doing; keep getting what you’re getting. Read the book.
3) Share Profit
Worried about minimum wage? Get over it. Millennials want a piece of the pie. Let them earn it! How? With steps from our previous blog and the ones listed above in place, Millennials step up. The whole team steps up, and performance shows in real dollars with both top and bottom line success.
4) Celebrate Success
What works for Millennials? Take the time to celebrate little victories. Celebrating success can show up in small ways throughout shifts when excellence is defined, when managers act as coaches instead of cops.
Catching folks doing stuff right instead of wrong is powerful. When you hit numbers, let folks know! When you’ve not only survived but thrived during the rush, celebrate the team’s performance!
5) Keep Learning and Applying
Last but not least, keep learning new ideas, and keep applying those ideas. Open your door to new possibilities. This open door for ideas doesn’t mean every idea is used, it does mean that open dialogue and ideation is a fun process and is powerful in its own right. You and I are best served to keep learning, to not get stuck thinking we “know.”
What do Millennials want? The data, research and personal experiences are clear – all the more working with hundreds of concepts around the U.S. and globally. This group we’ve named wants all ten actions covered in this post and the last. It’s interesting to me that in many ways, the list for Millennials is actually not so different than what anyone else wants.