I had the opportunity to chat recently with Clark Buckner of Technology Advice. This dynamic company connects businesses of all sizes with the IT vendors that best fit their technology needs. What makes them unique is also what makes them effective: their advice is totally unbiased, and they never charge their users.
We sat down recently to talk about this Millennial generation and what that means for business leaders today. A few key thoughts are listed below. You can also listen to our conversation here.
Don’t overcomplicate it.
Employees are people first. They belong to a generational group second. It’s important to remember the individual element of your employees. Be mindful of phrases like “us” and “them”. Those words are the beginning of creating a distinction with these employees.
Start with the similarities.
Regardless of the generational group, every employee shares some similar needs. An effective leader will figure out what drives them in each of those areas. How are we similar?
- Sense of community – everyone wants to feel as if they belong to the group they work
- Recognition – everyone wants to be thanked and appreciated for their contribution
- Challenged – everyone wants to grow in some way and be stretched to greater heights
- I have a future here – everyone wants to know if they have a future with your team or organization
Recognize the individual
While there are many stereotypes for each generation, leading well will always occur when an individual approach is taken with each member of the team. Consider what makes each person on your team tick. As a Gen Y employee, dig in to understand how he/she feels about the following;
- How do they define success? Is it climbing the corporate ladder, making a difference, or what else is important to your employee?
- How do they work best? Are they self-starters or do they need more oversight? Do they desire a lot of detail or is the big-picture perspective enough?
- How do we communicate best? Find a way to strike the balance of honest feedback that drives performance.
- Where do they want to go? Leaders will attract and retain Gen Y employees when they sincerely try to help them achieve their career goals.
The team at Technology Advice is dong some great things to equip their team for success. Their podcast is just one way that shares information with their team and customers. They know this Gen Y employee group is critical to an organization’s success. It’s important for your team too. Tell us what you are learning about this interesting group of employees in your business.