A Leadership Conundrum: Unexpected Sources of Leadership
Growth occurs at the edge of your comfort zone

Bridging the Generation Gap in the Workplace

Guest post by Dan Negroni

The generation gap in the workplace appears daunting. All sorts of reports describe how huge it is.

But bridging the generation gap is not as difficult as it might seem. Real leaders already know how to effectively manage millennials. How?

Because what millennials want and need matches up with what successful leaders provide.

What Millennials Want

1. Capability

It’s no secret millennials want to learn and grow. Almost 90% of millennials say that development is an important part of their job. They want to learn the skills and strengths so they can become valuable in the workplace. They want to advance their careers and get promoted.

2. Authenticity

Millennials want to know that you’re being real with them. They want to be included and informed about what’s going on in the company. If they feel like they’re not being told the truth, not being treated like a valued team member or not receiving important information, they lose motivation and will leave.

3. Feedback

Almost more than anything else, millennials want and need feedback. Growing up in the digital world of constant connectedness, millennials are accustomed to ongoing communication. They want to improve themselves, to feel like they matter and to see how they provide value and impact. And they know they know feedback is critical. However, less than 20% of millennials say they receive enough feedback on a regular basis. Millennials don’t just want feedback—they expect and demand it.

4. Purpose

Millennials believe they can impact and change the world. More so than previous generations, millennials seek purpose in the workplace. They want to know that the work they’re doing is meaningful and stands for something. They want to be a part of something big. Half of millennials are even willing to take a pay cut to find work that matches their values.

How Successful Leaders Manage

1. Lead, Guide and Teach

Successful leaders know they must guide and mentor their employees to in order to achieve success. They empower others to create impact. Real leaders understand the importance of teaching their employees essential skills so they can become valuable and drive the company forward. They understand how time consuming and challenging it can be, and they don’t care. They don’t care because they are convinced at the core that guiding and mentoring the younger workers is good business.

2. Trust

Successful leaders know they can’t do it all alone. They need to delegate and must trust their workers to get the job done. And they know that they themselves must be trustworthy. They take personal responsibility and are open and transparent with their actions. They understand the nexus between being vulnerable and owning their mistakes as a method of teaching and inspiring results. Another name for it is authenticity.

3. Communication

Leaders need to build relationships; and the most important component of relationship building is effective communication. They must communicate clearly and regularly in order to set transparent expectations and reach goals. Successful leaders know that they must constantly connect, engage and understand their team and provide assistance to coach and win.

4. Service

Successful leaders understand that the best way to achieve results is through serving others. They get their egos out of the way and make it about the other person and creating results. They establish a culture that supports this approach through an ethical code of conduct that goes hand in hand with their commitment. Customers and the company thrive, and millennials are rewarded.

It’s a match!

It’s not that hard to bridge the generation gap in the workplace – just use good management practices and be a real leader. It’s a natural match.

Sit down together and have a conversation about these ideas. You’ll see you are much closer to each other than you are different. Don’t let time and nonsense hold you back. This ain’t that friggin complicated!

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Chasing Relevance by Dan NegroniDan Negroni is an author, speaker, attorney, kick-butt business consultant, coach, and proud dad of a few millennials. Dan’s empowering business approach at launchbox creates quick value and seamless connections with millennials and management each on their own terms. Using unique content and delivery methods, he leverages results from the inside out. Click here to grab your copy of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace or call him at 858.314.9687 for a free coaching assessment.

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