Managing millennials: Adapting to a changing workforce, By Kehinde David Folarin




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Kehinde David Folarin

Millennials are thriving in the workforce today. They are the next generation to be leaders in the workplace and will be the generation that shapes the future of leadership. There are not many millennial role models that potential leaders can follow and emulate. Thus, we must attract leaders for the new generation. This means that it is time for a change in leadership style and approach.

Millennials are multiplying into the workforce population today as they are reaching their peak years. They are giving new insight into office life and the structure among employees and employers.

Senior management at many organisations is seeking the right steps to recruiting and developing millennials into leadership roles. The first step is to create a successful plan to help millennials transform into a leader.

Best practices to enhance number of millennial leaders

To cultivate and enhance the number of millennial leaders, it is important first to understand the attitudes and behaviours of the generation. “The primary traits of the millennial generation that may manifest as elements of millennial leadership styles are , integration, multitasking, experimentation and nomadic behaviours.” There are three things leaders can do to assure these millennials will achieve success on the job, despite generational differences.

The first is giving them the big picture. Millennials want to contribute their part in the workplace. By making sure that they understand goals, mission statement, and how the company works together as a whole, a whole new understanding will be created. Second, leaders need to help the millennials find the “me” in team. From team sports during youth to classroom projects, millennials are stranger to teamwork. Team performance expectations need to be laid out for a supreme understanding. They can bring knowledge of technology that will be helpful in ways such as social networking and virtual environments. Lastly, millennials need to be mentored on career-building behaviours. Career-building is one area in which beginning workers may be deficient compared to the older or more experienced employees.

The future of any company is founded on good leadership. Many good leaders have a great understanding of the company activities and are dedicated to achieving the goals of the company. Young leaders, especially the millennials, are innovative, and flexible to new ideas. These future leaders are willing to work longer hours since they understand the importance of developing into a good leader. It is important that the organisation recognise and develop the millennials into leadership positions. For millennial leaders to be successful, there are some ways that management can support them in their leadership development.

• Help them understand the “why” of their job – why they are asked to do something and why it is important to the overall cause of the company.

• Give them regular feedback, so they understand their progress.

• Help them understand that they may need to demonstrate to their team how using technology can improve productivity.

• Help them understand what credibility looks like for the team members they lead and help them modify their leadership style when needed.

Recruiting Millennials

Sixty per cent of our current workforce is made up of millennials and as the older generation continues to retire, that number will continue to increase. We must start training and promoting the millennial generation to ensure the company’s future. The millennial generation is different than those that came before it and we must take that into consideration when it comes to their motivation and engagement. To do this we must we must make an environment which they want to work in and that promises growth in a supportive environment. Life outside of the workplace is also very valuable to millennials so we must make an environment that provides a balance of both work and personal life.

Millennials can benefit the companies in many ways. Their leadership role is today’s generation is outstanding, they understand their weaknesses and strengths. Millennials have changed the role of leadership and creating a new trend in leadership where a manager would direct and not command. Millennials treat everyone in the company equally, which can create trust and loyalty within company’s employee. They have taken a strive towards inclusive leadership instead of authoritarian leadership to create to equal opportunity for everyone. Another way we can benefit from millennials is the way they would collaborate and brain storm with each in the company. It is one of their main priorities when it comes to handling big projects. They would consult with many trusted people in the company to push the forward, such as managers, mentors, peers, and other advisors.

In today’s world, millennials value flexibility and work-life balance. We must keep this in mind and provide them with many benefits from our company. Millennials can be reliable to work from home as well, which can make a job a lot easier for them. They been raised along technology, digital communication, and other tools to understand how to work remotely.

Millennials can switch job quickly, providing them with these options would convince them to stay with our workforce. Millennial care about trust, we should share every decision or announcement from our workforce and keep it less confidential. This can increase the rate of job satisfaction from our workforce. This is another way that convince millennials to stick around the company. We need to be open and honest with all our employees and make sure they all understand their role. Also, give opportunities to grow and allow them to earn bigger roles in the company. When it comes to the millennials they would love to be able to have a job that supports them with a great environment. I know for a fact they would be looking for a new career, they love employee engagements in any office setting that will engage with their workers, showing them that you actually care about them and their employment at your company. Work outings, work parties, and work gathering I feel like will the culture better around the working environment for the millennials and they love having those type of engagements.

Some practices we could implement to create this culture would be:

Flexible work hours and schedules

Employee engagement: Work parties, Work outings, work event and gatherings, incentives

Clear career path and opportunities

Open communication

Give them purpose

Acknowledge their work.
 
Conclusion

Analysing the motivations, behaviors, and characteristics of the millennial generation is a critical first step when designing a leadership development program. Millennials have many positive leadership traits of which a company should take advantage; they are great multi-taskers, embrace diversity, innovative, flexible, innovate, and willing to put in the extra hours to move toward success. Incorporating these factors while also providing the future leaders with a strong sense of the company’s , goals and vision are all important when developing this generation of leaders


Kenny (Kehinde) Folarin is a Success Coach, Teacher,  Conference , Certified Management Consultant, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Strategic Leadership Expert. He bagged his Ph.D. at Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia USA, in Strategic Leadership. He is also an Executive and currently the Chief Operating Officer at Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria. He has worked with some of the most successful leaders to grow their business and organization exponentially by focusing on people and leadership development. Email: Kennyfolarind@gmail.com.

Email: Kennyfolarind@gmail.com.