Leveraging Millennial Talent – Some Unsolicited Advice

ImprovingI love my daily dose of Systematic HR. A great reflection on millennial talent resonates.

I think that “life indeed is the pursuit, not the fulfillment of one’s work life” is a key point that Gen Xers had to slowly stumble into, whereas Gen Ys have had the advantage of watching their Baby Boomer parents discover in mid-life that accumulation wasn’t providing satisfaction. I think Millennials have done well in understanding this message.

My experience of Gen Ys in the workplace has been positive — they are passionate, eager to learn, and technologically sophisticated. What I think proves to be seen is the willingness (not the capacity) to rough it out during the lows where entertainment value is absent and tedious work is stacking up.

Here’s a bit of unsolicited advice (too late, you’ve read this far) on leveraging the confidence, eagerness, and ability of new professionals entering the workforce.

Managers: A good portion of the responsibility will fall to today’s managers to ensure that the “light at the end of the tunnel” is regularly communicated. Managers will need to recognize that keeping the team focused and oriented is more important than monitoring the delivery of assigned tasks (go figure – managing). Strong managers have always helped put work in context, and this will continue to be a key asset for managers seeking to attract, retain and develop talent. Think “partner,” not administrator.

Co-Workers: There is also a task for older co-workers to understand the difference between mentoring and condescension. No one likes endless advice or know-it-all lectures, and a more mobile generation won’t likely stand for it. Relationship, relationship, relationship — the quality of the interactions will turn on rapport, just like it did for all of us when we were starting out. The big shift seems to be that confident Millennials (and Xers for that matter) have little appreciation for “command and control” styles that went out in the 70s.

Millennials: You know that your degree of satisfaction in your professional life is yours to determine, but be cautious not to undermine yourself. A valuable mid-career lesson learned is that everyone has something they can teach you. Even the guy at the water cooler that goes on and on. Make sure your plate stays full, and speak up when great opportunities are being discussed — ask your way into the next big thing and show them what you know. Regardless of age, everyone appreciates professionals that recognize what they don’t know, and can deliver their work (under-promise, over-deliver). Be accountable for your work, and take pride in your workmanship.

Rick is eager to go to work for you. I’m looking forward to experiencing your story of Why I Love My Job.

This entry was posted in Accountability, Career, Develop, Growth, Management, Mentoring, Performance, Reputation, Talent. Bookmark the permalink.

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