4 Core Ways to Working with Millennials

Jabez LeBretJabez LeBret is a NBC Chicago columnist, author, and speaker.  He is co-founder of the legal marketing agency GNGF, winner of the 2014 Best Places to Work by the Cincinnati Business Courier and runner-up for Business of the Year by the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. In today’s episode, I discuss with Jabez about how to work with millennials. I know many clients who are having challenges with keeping the millennial generation engaged, so hopefully we can demystify and solve some of those issues for you today.  

There are four core fundamentals that really help millennials succeed in their jobs. Through these, not only do you get them to work more effectively, but it changes the whole work environment for them too. These four tactics are actually good for any employee, no matter what their age, however these are specifically targeted to get millennial employees to the next level. 

As a millennial himself, Jabez really stumbled into this space by accident. He was doing leadership presentations at companies that needed to know how to lead the younger generation. He kept getting asked, “How do I manage you?” He also runs a company where his entire team is made of millennials. So for him, it was a no-brainer to create a program around how to manage and engage millennials in the work force. 

The millennial generation is different compared to other generations because they saw the creation of search on the internet. They grew up with Google and they were the reason social media was created. Cellphones were very prevalent for them too. The technological advances play a huge role in the millennial workplace.

Another unique aspect about millennials is that they had helicopter parents. Unlike older generations where both parents were working and the children took care of themselves, millennials had parents that were hyper involved with their lives. Parents made sure they were participating in all the necessary activities. Through that process, millennials grew up thinking their opinions matter. 

Millennials are also referred to as ‘The Trophy Generation’ – They got a ‘trophy’ for just showing up. Millennials were rewarded for participating and if participation was the only thing that mattered, if it was never about ‘winning’, then they will take criticism or feedback badly.  

At the end of the day, millennials want purpose. They are a purpose-driven generation and that’s how you keep them engaged. Companies are having a hard time delivering this to them because they don’t know their own values or even their mission.

The goal of a manager working with millennials is to bake the purpose of everything into the process, why these tasks are important in the grand scheme of things and how it helps the end-mission of the company. Millennials also grew up in team environments. It’s often said that millennials aren’t loyal, but this is not true at all. In fact, management has not given them reasons to be loyal. 

What’s important to understand as a leader is that you need to have mechanisms in place that allow millennials to share their opinions and let them know they’re contributing to a greater good. If they don’t feel like they’re contributing to the overall process, they’re not going to be motivated.

Interview Links:

Jabez’s Website

Jabez on LinkedIn

Chelsea Krost’s Website

Good to Great by James C. Collins

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Scaling Up is the best-selling book, by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher and I’m one of the Gazelles business coaches. We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).

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