It’s Not About You, Or Is it?

“The highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware…When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, All the people say, ‘We ourselves have achieved it!'”
– The Tao te Ching

A Culture of Greatness

The San Antonio Spurs are an anomaly in the professional sports world. They have consistently finished their seasons at or near the top of the Western Conference in the NBA. Since the latest restructuring of the conferences in the NBA, 9 of 13 champions have come from the Western Conference. Until the current reign of the Golden State Warriors, the sort of success the San Antonio Spurs have had was unprecedented in the NBA [especially in the ultra-competitive Western Conference]. Coach Gregg Popovich has been a pillar of their success. Popovich is known for being silent and a bit aloof, often shying from media attention, preferring to give it to his players instead. After veteran Tim Duncan, a member of some of their most successful teams retired in 2016, Popovich said, “I would not be standing here if it were not for Tim Duncan.” While there are other elements to the Spurs success, Popovich’s desire to bestow praise on his followers [players] and challenge and empower his players to be their best are two great examples of giver leadership.

While giver leadership is an ancient philosophy, its inclusion into modern organizational structures is a revolutionary practice. Consider the rise of modern tech giants who create and foster a sense of collaboration, innovation, and have revolutionized the workplace (can link to an article on the site here). Many of them are celebrated for their open and non-hierarchical organizational structures which openly encourage followers to offer and execute on their ideas.

Giver leadership subverts the traditional model of leadership. Followers do not seek to serve the leader; the leader seeks to serve her or his followers. Through serving others, rather than having followers serve the leader, the followers, or employees, are empowered to create, work, and think with increased ingenuity and are given a sense of purpose and meaning. Purpose and meaning, both important aspects of work aligned with Millennial values, arises from the sense of freedom and empowerment given to employees to guide their own actions.

So, it’s obvious: giver leadership is all about others, right?

Wrong.

Giver leadership is all about you.

At least at first.

Because giver leadership starts with you.

Leading Others: It Starts with You

“To lead others, first lead yourself.”
– John Maxwell

When asked what his greatest challenge as a leader was, legendary leadership coach John Maxwell enthusiastically replied, “Leading me!” Self-management is often the most difficult job a leader is tasked with. However, effective self-management is essential to be an effective leader. If you effectively manage yourself, set a good example, others will line up to follow you. If you do not, others will hesitate to follow you.

Where does effective self-management begin?

With self-awareness.

What is Self-Awareness and how do we cultivate it?

Self-awareness is defined as “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” While knowing yourself seems like an easy enough thing to do – “I’m myself every day!” – deeply understanding your own motivations and desires, and where they arise from, can be very difficult. Despite its difficulty, self-awareness is an essential element of being an effective giver leader.

Self-awareness begins with identifying your strengths, your weaknesses, and understanding how those align with your team. To help you develop a deeper self-awareness, we created a tool to encourage self-inquiry. Once you begin to understand your strengths and how those empower your team to perform at its highest, you can begin to understand and articulate what’s in it for them, your followers.

A New Paradigm of Self-Awareness: The Rise of the Giver Leader

Giver leadership is, you guessed it, about giving. That’s why we call it giver leadership because it puts the focus on what we believe leadership is truly about: giving, providing value to others. Giver leadership transcends the selfishness and dictatorial nature of the old model of leadership.

The old model of leadership placed the leader at the top of the hierarchy. This causes followers to seek to appease the leader. Followers are not empowered as they act in the best interest of the leader in the hope that they please them. This behavior and organizational structure fosters an atmosphere and culture of distrust and selfishness. It asks, “What’s in it for me?” Instead, we should flip that and as an effective leader seek to ask, “What’s in it for them?”

WIFThem (What’s In it For Them?) articulates your values in a way that provides solutions and benefits for others. As a leader, understanding that it’s really about others, WIFThem, is the first step to empowering your followers. Though giver leadership may start with self-awareness, it ends with others.

Ends with Others: The Rise of the Giver Leader

In my book, Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace, I discuss how reframing your mindset from it being about you to how you can serve others through developing self-awareness is crucial for effective giver leadership. For example, I discuss how “We are good at solving client’s problems” – I-focused – becomes “We are curious and ask tough, insightful questions that push our clients” – other-focused. Through making this shift, we articulate the value that we can give to others. We create a culture of success, focused on constant innovation, collaboration, and improvement. These are essential to cultivating quality, meaningful relationships where everyone wins and, as we know from the Harvard study of happiness, that is the most important part of leading a happy, healthy life.

And, ultimately: Isn’t that what we’re all after?

Conclusion:

Giver leadership is about subverting the traditional, and now outdated, model of leadership. It places the leader at the bottom of the hierarchy and asks WIFThem – a model that seeks to empower followers to create, innovate, and function at their best. To understand what’s in it for others, we must seek to understand ourselves. To serve others, we must know ourselves.

We’ve created a tool to help.

Go to our site to find resources that will help you develop self-awareness and empower you and your team to win. https://launchbox365.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/WIFThemG%C3%87%C3%B6Whats-in-it-for-Them.pdf

How to Become a True Leader of People

The meme below has been circulating on the internet for a while now and for good reason. In a single image, it illustrates the stark contrast between a boss and a leader.

leader vs. boss meme

The “boss” will look familiar to most people. Like a general in the army, a boss maintains order, doles out instructions, and punishes poor performance. A boss’ relationship with their people is colder; their staff function only out of a sense of duty, following the commands of someone else with more power.

But thanks to Millennials and their need for professional development and authentic relationships, the boss approach to management is slowly dying. In offices around the world, bosses are being replaced by leaders.

Leaders take a my-door-is-always-open to teach, help, guide, and learn approach to management. Being a leader is not about authority, but instead about support, empathy, and maybe even vulnerability. Mistakes and even failure are used as catalysts to teach and learn, staff receive consistent coaching and mentoring ala intentional feedback from their superiors on how they can improve, and workplace relationships are personal and genuine.

The difference between a boss and a leader is crucial. Being a boss may make some feel important, but young talent responds quickly by walking out of the door or giving only the minimal effort required to appease the boss in charge. Both are costly to organizations.

More motivated young talent, greater respect from colleagues, and improved performance for everyone comes with real leadership. I am sure that all sounds great. But how do you actually make the transition from being a boss to a leader?

Making the Transition from Boss to Leader

One of the most important things that we focus on in our workshops at launchbox is teaching people how to become their best self, focused on impacting others, or in other words, an awesome leader that everyone wants to work with. This is an intensive learning process, but there are a few things you can do right now to start making the transition yourself.

Become Self Aware and Realize Authoritarian Management is Temporary

In terms of management style, being an authoritarian hard-ass is the easy way out. It is all emotion, no thought, and it doesn’t require you to come up with any actual solutions or impact.

And that is why the leaders who are most effective, not just with Millennials but as managers in general, present themselves as supportive mentors and coaches to their younger staff instead.

Rather than yell, a leader walks their people through their mistakes, identifies ways they can improve, and helps support others while they try to turn their advice into tools for others’ actions. These are not moments for the leader to exercise power, they are teaching, learning and growing opportunities.

This approach is critical when working with Millennials. Millennials enter the workforce lacking key professional skills, but they are also incredibly eager to learn. The best leaders use that eagerness to their advantage, coaching and mentoring their young talent at every opportunity.

Provide Constant Feedback

The days of solely relying on a yearly performance review are over. In fact, even increasing to quarterly reviews will leave your younger talent feeling forgotten. To truly satisfy their need for feedback, leaders should be providing their Millennials feedback, on average, about once per day/month depending what is needed.  We call it “on-demand.”

That may sound like a lot, but keep in mind, Millennials are also not expecting full-blown official performance review meetings either, they just want I got your back “drive-bys” pardon the politically incorrect reference.

Instead, Millennials want regular, flash-feedback on their performance so they can be sure they are always working towards improving as professionals and are aligned with their leaders. Whether it is a 10-minute exchange on Slack or a cup of coffee on Monday morning, Millennials don’t need an official meeting. They just want to pick the brain of their leader to understand how they can improve and re-establish that both parties are humans trying to do the best job they can. And attain madass skills.

Inspire Through Authenticity

Why are Millennials more interested in what influencers on Instagram are wearing than what massive corporation is pushing via million dollar ad campaigns?

The answer is authenticity.

And authenticity is as critical for effectively leading Millennials as it is for getting them to buy your product.

Authentic leaders create real relationships with their staff. They share their personal story and they listen to the stories of their people. They develop relationships that go beyond the workplace. And they aren’t above letting their people know they appreciate their hard work.

The result is that authentic leaders and their followers begin to understand each other as people with a genuine connection. Their staff wants to do a good job not out of a sense of duty, but because they care about how their actions affect their colleagues and leaders. It becomes about helping people and working together to achieve goals as a team or contribution. And that intrinsic motivation is how you truly get the best out of people.

Becoming a true leader and leaving the boss behind is no easy task: it demands far higher emotional IQ, more depth of thought, learning, vulnerability, other focused disciplines, and more daily effort than being an authoritarian boss. However, those who can achieve the status of a true leader reap benefits that make all the extra effort worth it.

How to Prepare Your Workplace to Attract Gen Z Talent

Have you worked tirelessly to establish a workplace environment and policies perfectly tailored for attracting Millennial talent?

If so, great work! It’s time to do it again.  

Gen Z, a generation of 60 million young Americans born between 1996 and 2011, is now only a few years away from entering the workforce.

And if you assume Gen Z will be similar to Millennials with the hopes that your Millennial workplace will satisfy the Gen Z workforce, you may be sorely disappointed.

Here is what you need to know about Gen Z to prepare your workplace for their arrival and to avoid missing out on the wave of young talent they are sure to bring.

Who is Gen Z?

Born after 9/11, knowing nothing of the dark pre-social-media age, and raised in a recession while playing videogames with their unemployed Millennial siblings, Gen Zers are a distinct generation all their own.

Coming of age amidst the Great Recession and wars in the Middle East, their place in history has molded the traits that define Gen Z.  Traits which, as Alex Williams notes in the New York Times, more closely resemble the Baby Boomers than any other recent generation.

They are a generation that wants stability. They want to make an impact on the world. They value authenticity. They are socially accepting. And they also show signs of being fairly nice compared to other generations.

And that is all well and good. Many employers will be excited about welcoming any generation other than Millennials. But how do employers cater to this young and massive generation?

Loyalty and Stability are Critical For Attracting Gen Z

During the last 10 years, Millennials and employers have developed an unfortunate understanding: both see the other as replaceable, and neither expects any long-term loyalty from the other.

With Gen Z, employers may be able to bank on more long-term loyalty. As Jeremy Finch reports on FastCompany, “We found that while Gen Z like the idea of working for themselves, the majority are risk-averse, practical, and pragmatic” and that Gen Z is shying away from the flashiness of developing the next great app and instead “…are biased in favor of financial stability.”

They show their pragmatism through their desire to be trained and invested in by traditional employers. In fact, “84% of new grads expect to receive formal, on-the-job training.”  

The reward for employers willing to invest in Gen Z appears to be loyalty. According to members of Gen Z studied, “62% [saying] they expect to stay at their first job for at least three years,” a far cry from the job hopping Millennials.

This presents a big shift in how employers and employees relate to one another. If you are an employer who does not want to miss out on the talent coming from Gen Z’s, the message is clear: invest in them. Provide them the professional development opportunities they crave and in return for your investment you will receive the loyalty you may not have ever received from Millennials.

They Want You To Help Them Save the World

Gen Zers have made it clear to retailers during their teen years that if retailers want their money, they need to actively demonstrate social responsibility. Think Tom’s shoes or Warby Parker. These are socially conscious companies whose brands are closely tied with their effort to make the world a better place.

And when they hit the workforce, they are going to expect the same from employers.

Though still in college now, employers can expect job interviews with Gen Z to be peppered with questions about your company’s values, its efforts to support the local community, its CSR policy and what volunteer opportunities you offer your employees.

And employers damn well better have a genuine, authentic answer.

Because Gen Z doesn’t just talk the talk: 26% of Gen Zers are already volunteering and 76% are concerned with man’s impact on the planet. They have a genuine belief that they can change the world and they are going to expect their employers to help them in their mission to do so.

Flexibility and Openness for Employers is Big

Though Gen Z is more cautious and willing to succeed within “the system,” they will also be expecting the continuation of progressive workplace policies that emphasize multiculturalism, acceptance of all people, and work-life balance.

Employers need to keep in mind Gen Z’s historical context: they come on the heels of social changes that have seen a 400% increase in multiracial marriages, a 50% increase in multiracial youth, and less emphasis on gender roles. Gen Z has also grown up with a black president, legal gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana in several states.

What does all of this mean?  If employers want the loyalty that Gen Z potentially offers, they need to make sure that their workplace environments and policies reflect the world that Gen Z has been raised in. That includes everything from the obvious (equal pay for men and women) to more creative flexible schedules, telecommuting opportunities, and other work-life balance benefits.

The good news about adjusting your workplace for the incoming Gen Zers is that those adjustments will result in a better workplace environment overall. What workplace couldn’t benefit from more professional development opportunities for staff, starting social conscious and CSR initiatives or making workplace policies more in line with the times?

As I always like to remind people, each generation has its own quirks, but they are all share more similarities than they have differences. It is universal human nature to want to have a meaningful experience at work, have the opportunity to learn, and be accepted by their colleagues. It will be the employers who understand these foundational human values that will be able to evolve fast enough to harness the young talent that sits on the horizon.

 

Know Your Strengths And Lead With Them

“Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid.” – Albert Einstein

This classic quote from Einstein reveals an important lesson in both business and life: everybody has different strengths, and in order for all of us to perform our best and excel, we must recognize and utilize our strengths. Gary Vaynerchuk, serial entrepreneur and host of the Daily Vee on YouTube, is also known for his forthright comments on the importance of understanding strengths:

“Bet on your strengths and don’t give a fuck about your weaknesses. You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don’t do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.”

At Launchbox, we tell all our clients: “In order to know how to build, sustain, and maintain great relationships, we must understand the strengths of ourselves and others and how to leverage them effectively. Focus on your strengths—not weaknesses!”

Ok, so you get it now: knowing your strengths is super important. But the reality is most people don’t stop and take a moment to identify their best strengths. Do you know yours? If so, take a moment and write down your top five strengths. There are great online assessments that can help you identify your strengths. (Gallup’s groundbreaking Clifton Strengthsfinder is one that I’ve used and highly recommend. Based on decades of research and experience, Strengthsfinder is an inexpensive yet highly evolved tool for helping people discover their unique combination of strengths.)

If you don’t feel like taking the online test, a great way to find out is to ask the five people closest to you. Text or call them and ask if they’ll tell you what your top five strengths are. Make sure to ask them individually, so they aren’t influenced by each other’s answers.

While my strengths have evolved over the years, when I recently took the Strengths finder assessment, these were my top strengths:

  1. Activator: I make things happen by turning thoughts into action.
  2. Communication: I find it easy to put thoughts into words and am a good conversationalist and presenter.
  3. Strategic: I create alternate ways to succeed and find relevant patterns and issues in any scenario.
  4. Significance: I want to be very important and recognized in the eyes of others as making a difference.
  5. Command: I have presence and want to take control and make decisions.

Once you understand your strengths, you can be conscious of them and make the choice to lead with them. This is how you kick ass. This is how you deliver value to yourself and others in a way that makes a real, quantifiable difference to everyone you interact with. Here are three questions you can ask yourself to leverage your strengths as much as possible:

  1. Where do I kick ass?
  2. I could kick more ass if . . .
  3. Where do I wish I kicked ass?

It’s important to get comfortable with your strengths so you are not going against your true nature. If you kick ass at filming and editing and love it, but you feel like you “should” be good at engineering because that’s what “everyone else is doing,” stop and do some self-reflection. Remember what Einstein said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” You are more valuable to your peers, a company, and the marketplace doing video and editing. Why? Because you excel at it and enjoy doing it.

Naturally, people prosper in areas they enjoy (a.k.a their strengths.) Don’t judge yourself based on anyone else’s Instagram or Snapchat or what seems cool. If you are a fish, stick to swimming. If you are a squirrel, stick to climbing trees. Look within yourself, identify what you enjoy and excel at, and lead with those strengths. Not only will your peers benefit, but you will feel much more passionate and motivated about work you enjoy doing.

Curious to know more about discovering and leading from your strengths? Stay tuned for the next article in this series, geared to help you kick ass in work and life. In the meantime, you can check out Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace

5 Quick Ways to Keep Millennials by Compensating Them the Way they want to be Compensated

The workplace in 2017 is changing at lightning speed. Millennials play a huge role in the major shift that is happening. The way companies conduct business is drastically different than just a decade ago. Millennials, who currently make up half of the workplace, are estimated to be 75% of the working economy in the next eight years.

An eye-opening research study by HUB International called, The Essential Guide to Compensation and Performance Practices: The Millennial Influence, illustrates important findings about what drives this generation.

Why does this matter to you? And how does this affect your company?

If you want to stay relevant, profitable, and affect change, understanding how millennials perform and how they want to be compensated matters…a lot. After looking at the key findings, we highlighted the top 5 ways to compensate millennials based on the success and feedback we’ve received at Launchbox working with over 5,000 millennials. Here they are:

1. Have Competitive Base Pay

Compensation matters to all employees, regardless of age. However, traditional compensation programs don’t motivate millennials. 68% of millennials strongly agree that their company “pays for the value and results I being to the company.”

Millennials actually want to be paid based on the value they bring. A compensation plan that includes value-based increases, instead of annual merit increases, is much more appealing to millennials. 60% of millennials say competitive base pay is the #1 factor for staying with their employer. If your company is not creating value-based incentives and compensation based on individual performance, your millennials will leave.

During our strengths and stories workshops, we hyper focus on how millennials can understand their strengths, improve upon them, and then communicate their value effectively in in WIFTthem (“What’s in it for them?”) fashion, so their employer understands the value they provide. As a millennial coach or manager, make it clear how your millennials can add value to your company, articulate it well, and therefore be paid more as a result.

2. Make Work Interesting and Challenging

Millennials are hungry for growth and development. They value career advancement, learning, and like to be challenged. Millennials, unlike previous generations, don’t see the value in merely “grinding it out” for years, and then rising to the op. They want to see a clear path to the top, and be engaged, challenged, and interested along the way.

As a millennial coach, you can create interesting and challenging work for your employees by tapping into their “intreprenuer.” Almost two-thirds of millennials wish to start their own business. They are hungry to innovate, and this can be a huge asset to any organization. Provide the structure so that millennials can experiment with new ideas and create new solutions within the company. A culture that promotes a healthy balance of structure, freedom, and feedback is attractive to millennials.

Working with thousands of millennials, we’ve found huge success in helping millennials learn to communicate their desire to innovate and improve certain areas in their company. As a manager in the workplace, make sure your millennials are comfortable coming forward with new ideas and feedback. After all, these ideas are will help your company succeed!

3. Show them a clear path to career advancement

It’s not enough to just tell millennials to work hard now and wait for success later. They need to know and be shown the opportunities available to them if you want them to stay with your company. Almost half of the HUB survey respondents said they were likely to leave their job within the next six months. The cost of this turnover is insane, and takes a heavy toll on your company.

A value-based compensation plan that rewards individual performance is a great way to appeal to millennials. It shows that they matter, and lets them understand that the sky is the limit. The more value they bring and communicate, the more money they earn. Then they get more responsibility, and more opportunities come their way. What business leader wouldn’t be excited by this?

4. Show the Connection Between Personal Impact and Success

Your millennials could be helping millions of people and earning your company millions of dollars. But if they aren’t seeing the connection between their results and the success, they will leave. Social impact and personal development are important to millennials. When they don’t feel the connection between the work they’re doing and the results they’re achieving, they feel dissatisfied. They start looking for other jobs. They leave

The cost of this disconnect and lack of engagement costs a whopping $30.5 billion to the U.S. economy.

Over half of millennials rated understanding how their own personal job directly impacts the success of the company as “very important.” Make sure your millennials can see the direct impact they are having in your company. By engaging your millennial employees in entertaining, challenging, and interesting work, they will find the purpose and challenge they are seeking. As a millennial coach, it’s up to YOU to make sure this happens…and make sure they know it’s happening.

5. Be Transparent about Compensation, Performance, and Feedback

Traditional compensation, annual merit increases, job/grade bands, and equity adjustments are NOT cutting it in 2017. As a leader in the workforce, you must change the formula if you want to succeed, and make it 100% clear to your millennials that they will be rewarded based on the value they bring to the company.

By having a transparent compensation and performance program in place from the get-go, you eliminate any confusion. Millennials need feedback. And they expect it quickly and in real time, just how they operate outside of work with social media. As a millennial expert, make it your job to engage with them regularly. Annual reviews won’t cut it. By having a clear plan in place, they will understand how their actions are direct related to their results, both personally (pay) and as a whole (company impact and success.)

Without frequent communication, millennial engagement levels drop to the floor. Over two thirds of millennials rank feedback directly from their manager as most valuable. Engagement plummets to 20% for millennials who don’t have regular meetings with their managers. As a millennial coach, make sure you are continuously engaging with your millennials and improving your relationship with them. Millennials want feedback in real time, not a month later. The quicker you can give them feedback, the better. Be real with them and give it to them straight. They appreciate tough love, as long as you show that you care.

The ways of the past aren’t working to engage and retain millennials in 2017. If you want to stay relevant, attract the top talent, and keep your successful millennial workers, compensate them the way they want to be compensated. Have competitive base pay. Have a clear compensation and performance plan in place from day one so millennials know they’ll be rewarded based on the value they bring to the company. Keep them engaged in challenging, interesting work by tapping into their “intreprenuer” and creating the space for them to excel within your company. Show them the exciting career path that lies ahead. Allow them to see and feel the impact they are directly having on both the company and the world. Be real. Be authentic. Communicate openly and often with your millennials. This is how you WIN and create kickass results.

How to Hire Millennials That Stay

Is it possible to hire millennials who don’t “bounce” in less than a year?

Millennials are job-hoppers, and are more likely than any other generation to move from company to company. A Gallup report revealed that 1 in 5 millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year alone.[1]  However, is it just youth?  And, if it is what can we do?

As a hiring manager or leader in the workforce, this is concerning. Not to mention that the U.S. Department of Labor estimates the price of a bad hire to be 30% of the employees first year earnings.[2] So what’s the deal? Are millennials disloyal, uncommitted and unappreciative? Maybe some millennials, yes, but how will adopting that mentality help your business? That’s right, it won’t.

As a millennial expert who has worked with thousands of millennials and organizations like Qualcomm, Intuit and KPMG, a common concern we hear from managers is how to hire the right millennial employees so that they’ll stay. It is a valid fear, and a question we receive all the time. After all, the millennial turnover costs the U.S economy over $30 billion annually.

So how do you know if a millennial will stay or leave? In some ways, it’s impossible to know. At launchbox, we shift the focus of the question: How do you hire millennials that stay? There are certain traits that, as a millennial coach, you should pay specific attention to during your hiring process. By using these three key attributes, you can weed out prospective millennial employees who will do more harm to your company than good, and thus retain the right millennials for your company.

1.) Use Your Own Millennials to Find the Right Millennials

The biggest challenge a manager faces is determining how to retain and engage millennials in the workplace. However, it starts with how you attract them. It starts with the millennial employees you have right now. There were probably a variety of factors involved that determined how your millennials wanted to work in your company: pay, company culture, benefits, work/life balance, social impact, opportunity for growth, etc. Engage with your current successful millennial employees and have them play a part in recruiting more millennial talent who will stay the course.

Like attracts like. Use your millennials to find the right millennials. Encourage your millennials to use referrals to find the right friends that will fit right into your company culture. This will accomplish two great goals: 1.) You will attract the same type of employees who are already doing an awesome job 2.) You will actively involve your current millennial employees in the hiring process, creating better engagement and involvement within your company and eventually culture.

2.) Be Smart: Ask Really Tough Questions Before They Start

If your current hiring process is a breeze, what kind of millennials do you think will end up working for you? In order to attract talented millennials who align with your culture and values, ask tough questions during hiring interviews and test the character and personality of your potential employees.

Create role-play scenarios that don’t have black and white answers. For example, frame a situation where an important presentation is due for the company on a Friday morning, yet Maroon 5 is performing Thursday night and “everyone is going.” Ask your millennial, “What would you do?” See how they manage their work/life balance. Maybe they find a way to balance both. Maybe they choose one, over the other. Either way, create a tough role-play situation where you can test the values, work ethic, and character of your potential millennial employees.

Ask them why they want the job. Other than expected answers (i.e. pay), do they have an intrinsic motivator for the job or in life? Do they have a passion, belief, or familial tie that overlaps with your company’s mission? Most will be pretty honest with you and if not, work harder at asking tough questions. Make an effort to get potential millennial hires to open up and reveal their true colors. Obviously it’s an interview, so they will be putting on the best version of themselves. Make an effort to really know them and test them.

3.) Be 100% Transparent

Does your company have freedom and flexibility options for employees? For example, can millennials work from home 1-2 days a week? Is attending weekly Wednesday meetings a non-negotiable? There are certain things you and your company will not tolerate. Let them know. If the millennial is turned off, great! You’re not avoiding future conflict and a quick turnover by weeding out someone who won’t fit the company culture. And likewise, be transparent about what your company does allow, that maybe other companies don’t. Whether it’s cool travel opportunities, yearly summits, internal innovation ideas, etc., let them know upfront.

 

By being 100% transparent, you will attract the right millennial employees who want to stay at your company. The more authentic you are in your hiring process, the more authentic the relationship will be with future employees. As a millennial coach, you set the tone. By representing your company’ authentic self and culture during the hiring process, you will be sure to attract and hire millennials that stay.

The cost of replacing a millennial employees range, typically from $15,000 – $20,000 and that is for a non-technical position.[3] Imagine what you could do with that money, investing it into the growth and improvement of your company, instead of having to constantly hire new employees. As a millennial guide and mentor, you have a secret weapon: your current, talented millennial employees, Use them for referrals to attract their friends. And when you begin interviews, ask the tough, uncomfortable questions. Test your millennials by putting them on the spot with role-play scenarios. Make them sweat a little and ask questions designed to gage their work ethic, internal drive to be at your company, values, and beliefs. Be 100% transparent about your company and culture, what you stand for, and what you will and will not tolerate. This way, you will weed out the wrong millennial candidates and attract the right fit for your company.

Just because millennials are dubbed as job-hoppers doesn’t mean that has to be the case for your company. You can hire the right millennials that stay. Be authentic, engage your current millennials to attract their friends, and ask tough questions

Looking to bridge the generational divide in the workplace and engage your millennials? Check out the recent Launchbox article, “Could Good-ole Fashioned Millennial Parenting Techniques Pave the New Way to Coach Millennial Employees?”

 

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/191459/millennials-job-hopping-generation.aspx

[2] http://www.humanresourcesiq.com/hr-talent-aquisition/articles/what-s-the-real-cost-of-a-bad-hire

[3] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253605

Be the Best Millennial Coach by Balancing their “Big” Dreams with “Big” Business Realities With These 3 Methods

If you listen to cultural and workplace sound bytes, millennials are lazy, entitled, disloyal, and wimpy. They don’t work hard. They expect everything to be easy and handed to them on a silver platter. Go ahead, just search “Millennials are…” on Google, and the perception of millennials speaks for itself…

Millennials are...

Really? What’s the big friggin deal? Are millennials that different from other generations in their youth? Almost 2,500 years ago, Socrates said the following:

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

The truth is millennials are the same as other younger generations from years past. They want to get stuff done, prove themselves and learn and grow! They want to be adults and meet their Big Dreams. Millennial leaders have learned differently. They’ve just grown up in the digital age and experienced their own set of life experiences that shape them as a generation.

As a Millennial Expert looking to bridge the generational divide in the workplace, I see a similar story among millennials. They want to get on with it and contribute…they just don’t know how to bridge Big Dreams with Big Business Realities. And that’s ok, because we can teach and guide them there.

As the ultimate millennial coach, you ask me how. Here’s how… be real: Big Dreams take Big Work.

They sometimes misunderstand that, the pace might not be as fast as swiping right for a date and along with dreaming big and pursuing enticing new tasks, there are boring, unsexy aspects of business that are fundamental and cannot be neglected.

As a millennial leader, how can you coach millennials to want, admire, and go after the “new and exciting,” but also take care of foundational work that is essential to running a business? Here are three things you can do to balance millennials’ Big Dreams with Big Business realities at your company or home.

Teach and Create a Strong Value System

The values that you live and uphold for yourself and at your company are essential to engaging millennials through thick and thin…both during the fancy and boring times and tasks. From the get-go, train your millennial leaders to understand the importance of working hard and learning what needs to get done first and foremost. Emphasize that fundamentals and groundwork precede being able to do fun, inspiring, and creative work. Do it by (i) telling stories and (ii) questioning what they really want and are about! Go long term with Big Dream Hunting

“Entrepreneurship is easy to dream about, but very hard to do.”
U.S. News and World Report          

Growing up with Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, millennials are used to 24/7 feedback and the ability to voice their opinion at the snap of their fingers. In a world of instant gratification, Simon Sinek explains to Millennials that “deep meaning and satisfaction can only be derived from patience and perseverance.” Take the opportunity to mentor your millennials about the prerequisites to satisfaction and success: hard work, consistently showing up, doing what needs to be done, mastering the fundamentals, etc.

Being relevant is a great way to demonstrate the values you want your millennial workers to adapt. Show them quotes and videos from their current heroes and role models. For example, this statement by comedian Kevin Hart, who is relevant to the millennial generation, embodies an important truth:

“Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay off.”

Teach Them How to Contribute and Grow

Almost two-thirds of millennials “strongly agree” that career advancement is important, according to The Millennial Influence Report by HUB. The report above shows that half of millennials expect to change jobs within the next six months, due in part to “a lack of career opportunity and interesting work.” While it’s great that millennials appreciate and strive for development, the problem many millennial coaches face is that their workers will job-hop if they don’t feel they are contributing.

Expert millennial coaches can solve the issue of millennial retention by being invested in the development and foundation of your millennials growth and success. Teach them how to contribute and be of value to the company. How? Make sure they know it’s not how you get paid what your worth but that you flip it to be worth what you’re paid.

Create opportunities where millennials have to take responsibility and can demonstrate their value on a micro level before taking on more significant roles on a macro level. By guiding your millennial workers while simultaneously giving them the chance to prove their skills, responsibility, and innovative abilities, they will experience growth and the fulfillment that comes from completing a job well done.

Give Them Tough Love. They Want It… and Need It

When your millennials do a great job and succeed, let them know! In the age of helicopter parenting, social media, and close parental involvement, millennials are accustomed to receiving feedback…and they appreciate it. Feedback is essential to being a great millennial leader. As a millennial coach, it’s up to you to keep millennials engaged and inspired. Text them and congratulate them in person for a job well done—let them know you care by showing you care.

However, the same must be true for when millennials mess up. When they experience a failure or make a mistake, you have an opportunity to make it a learning lesson. Don’t berate and condemn your millennials. Yet don’t baby them either.

In order for them to learn and grow, be firm and provide constructive criticism. Be strategic and balance both negative and positive feedback. This allows you to give tough love. Describe the problem or mistake specifically, and involve your millennial in being a part of the solution. Establish a follow up to ensure your millennial worker understands the lesson, and can learn from the experience. This is where the magic happens—growth, personal development, and contribution.

Millennials have big dreams and desires. As the Best Millennial coach, you can help teach and instill the right mindset and realities so millennials understand that it’s not glitz and glamour 24/7.

Be vulnerable people. Don’t just preach your company values. Live them. By demonstrating the values you want your millennials to adapt, they will understand that they can get the cake and trophy… but only after putting in the hard work and learning the fundamentals.

Teach them to show up, take responsibility, and provide ways for them to contribute and grow on a micro level. This will instill fulfillment, a feeling of belonging, and the desire to continue experiencing success on a macro level. Provide feedback—both through expressing appreciation and constructive criticism. Give it to your millennials straight. They will appreciate your tough love and transparency.

Are you finding it hard to engage and maintain your millennial workers? We can help with that! Check out some of our results-driven solutions that can help you build strong millennial leaders and retain top talent!