Contrary to popular belief, millennials aren’t some separate species encrypted with uncrackable code. The truth is, we’re just like you: we walk the same walk and talk the same talk.
That means you can easily apply the lessons about communication we often preach at The Mann Group (like https://manngroup.net/?p=29805, https://manngroup.net/?p=29813, and https://manngroup.net/2017/07/soft-skills.html?q=listening) to this younger generation.
Although we’ll argue that communicating with millennials is much the same as communicating with anyone else, we do want to highlight three ways you can capitalize on their differences in order to be a sought-after employer of this generation.
Invest in their face-to-face communication skills.
This is the generation notorious for using their phones for everything from finances to entertainment to even dating. While every company is beginning to adapt technology to their everyday workings, very few employers are giving their people opportunities to develop their people skills. Make your employees (especially those millennials) practice giving a two-minute long speech in front of a group. Give feedback and coach them in a constructive way. Not only will this turn into a fun team-building exercise, it will also help build your employees’ confidence in a business setting.
Create an environment of two-way feedback.
It’s just as important to give your employees an opportunity to critique you, so you should also try out that two-minute speech above. Millennials want to have their voices heard by their bosses. We have useful things to say, and we need to feel our opinions will be received positively. Small exercises of allowing feedback for yourself will create a transparent environment where everyone can contribute to the success of the company, and it’s up to you to foster that. Whether it’s the two-minute speech or how they think the new product line is being received, find time to ask for their perspective.
Give them a way to the top.
It’s obvious to modern employees that those who work the hardest don’t always become the most successful. You won’t be able to trick a millennial into working harder than everyone else just because you said so. It is up to you to be completely open about what it takes to rise through the ranks to become successful, otherwise, they won’t stick around. Give them a reason, story, or example of how success is rewarded in your company. Create concrete and tangible criteria for advancement. This could be part of your full-time interview process or just common knowledge in the organization, but don’t just hope your employees will do the best they can simply because you want them to. Be open and communicative with them, and they’ll surprise you with their achievements.
These three ways to interact with your millennial employees will cultivate a culture of accountability, transparency, and motivation within your organization. It is your job as a leader to be the inspiration for adaptability and communication that defines your company.
Author: KENT MANN
With a last name like “Mann,” Kent’s future with The Mann Group was practically promised at birth. Kent completed his business degree at UNC Charlotte, where he competed as a Division One athlete in Track and Field and Cross Country. Kent brings to The Mann Group retail experience in both the outdoor and running industries, as well as cultivated business insights and natural curiosity, all of which combine to make him a valuable resource for businesses. He loves exotic pets and has had both a chinchilla and a ball python (but not at the same time!).