Our world is changing and a new generation has arrived in the workforce: Millennials. They represent our future and want to be led not managed. They want to be valued and given a sense of purpose — a sense that they are truly making a difference. They do not want to wait to make a difference, they want to seize opportunities right now. Just plug in and work, and then in time, be rewarded. Through their efforts, they want to know they might be having impact and making a difference. That, I’m sorry to report, is not going to happen.
A 30-year-old man was asked to lead a learning initiative in his organization. When he had a disagreement with his supervisor about the analysis of his fact finding, his manager told him clearly he was not a good listener, and until they could see development in this skill area all promotions would be on hold. He’s moving 3,500 miles to a new job for 23% less pay.
A 23 year old woman was dreading retuning to an international post because she, “Was doing menial jobs that really did not make a difference.” She believes they just do not understand the value she could bring to their organization. Hmmm…maybe she’ll last 60 days.
Both individuals will cost their organizations $$$$. You can fill in the blank. Both were talented top performers at their colleges and have a tremendous drive to succeed. Both became disengaged by their direct managers by seemingly feeling devalued. The drivers of engagement based on research sponsored by Dale Carnegie Training are:
- Satisfaction with immediate manager
- Belief in senior leadership
- Pride in the organization
Just looking at the satisfaction with one’s immediate manager, three factors come to mind in dealing with millennials’ engagement:
- Personal life – Do I feel connected? Does my manager know me personally?
- Work environment – Does it support an exciting, collaborative, and fun workplace?
- Leadership – Is my direct leader helpful, other focused, encouraging, and supporting my development?
Key point: In working with millennials, it is a leadership issue not a function of management. The challenge is most mid-level supervisors are outstanding managers, but not really trained in leadership.
Human relation principle of the week: “Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.” ~ Dale Carnegie
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Western and Central PA, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Pennsylvania. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @dalecarnegiepa.