What is the most effective, simplest rule to follow when leading younger generations?
It is to practice the Ingaged Leadership that I explain in this book. Ingaged Leadership is a style of management that “speaks” on every level to younger generations. If you listen well, provide autonomy, encourage risk-taking, and follow the other advice in this book, you will be well on your way to becoming a superior leader of millennial workers.
Here are some specific principles of Ingagement to apply . . .
- Practice open and Ingaged listening and communication. For younger generations, it is critically important to be heard.
- Delayer your communications. I recommend holding open meetings where employees from all ranks present ideas in settings where company leaders are present. Capture those ideas and give younger generations the chance to take roles in putting their ideas into practice. Remember that when people – and especially members of the younger generations – submit ideas to supervisors who stifle them, their frustration builds fast.
- Talk openly and specifically about what represents accomplishment in your organization. You should do this during job reviews, but also start earlier, when you are hiring younger generations. In interviews, you can explain who you are, what you are trying to accomplish as a company, and spell out the role that applicants can play.
- Offer autonomy and opportunities for intrapreneurship. Younger generations can be good team players, yet they also expect to “make their mark” by taking ownership and achieving personal success.
- Deliver an outstanding training program. We will explore this need further in this book. But remember it is critically important. Training helps younger generations discover a way to grow and achieve their goals more easily in your organization.
- Engage younger generations in conversation about the future of the company. When they feel that their voices and ideas have been heard, they will become much stronger team players. They will provide more valuable insights as well.
- Train them! Younger workers generally like to learn. If you provide them with excellent training, they see that you envision a bright future for them in your organization.