Start Doing This to Benefit from Millennial Engagement

Engagement. Engagement. Engagement.

It’s all the hype these days, especially with the workplace changing and remote working situations on the rise. And rightfully so.

A five-point increase in employee engagement is linked to a 3% growth in revenue, according to a recent report by Aon. The study also revealed that global employee engagement levels dropped for the first time in five years. This isn’t good for businesses. As engagement falls, so does financial performance.

This isn’t due to a lack of engagements surveys and information. We spend at least $1B a year on employee engagement surveys.[1] Yet accordingly to Forbes, most companies say they aren’t getting the value they want.  The Workplace Genome Project estimates that 40% of HR professionals rarely do anything meaningful with engagement data results. Why?

Because these studies don’t measure underlying, root causes. These studies measure symptoms and outcomes. So, while the data may be interesting, it gives no insight into where a problem should be addressed, or what to do about it. Engagement doesn’t necessarily mean employee satisfaction. However, by understanding your millennial employees and getting to know them, you can engage them in ways that lead to feeling satisfied in the workplace.

According to research by the Teleos Leadership Institute, employees want 3 things:

  1. A meaningful vision of the future
  2. A sense of purpose
  3. Great relationships

An effective system of monitoring employee engagement will measure all 3 of these components. There are a lot of different factors and data points that can be analyzed and dissected. You want to make sure you are measuring the ones that are relevant and have a direct relationship with your employee engagement. Gallup has what they call the Q12 to measure engagement which include the following questions:

  • I know what is expected of me at work.
  • At work, my opinions seem to count.
  • I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  • The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  • At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  • My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • I have a best friend at work.
  • My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  • In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  • There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  • This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

Once you understand engagement levels, you can then work to improve them. The only way to do that is by understanding your millennials employees, and what specific strategies lead to better engagement. Here are some strategies that will improve millennial employee engagement.

Ask Tough Questions to Understand Your Millennials

While perks and benefits may appeal to millennials, by themselves they will not engage and keep them over a long period of time. From the day you interview your millennial employees and onward, be proactive. Ask them questions in order to understand what drives them personally. Why does this matter?

Knowing what motivates or demoralizes certain employees allows you to create an ideal workplace environment and keep an eye on your employees. You can be strategic in what tasks you give to who, how often you show appreciation, whether or not to give them tough love, and when give them more space. Some of your millennials may value flexible hours over pay, while others are more motivated by commission opportunities. You can increase engagement among your millennial employees by asking tough questions. Learn what drives them.

Some examples of questions to ask are:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Do you prefer working in a structured, or more casual environment?
  • Where do you think you can add the most value?
  • What are your goals?

Provide Feedback on a Regular Basis

Performance management and senior leadership were the two weakest engagement points for companies in North America, according to Aon’s 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement. Focus on improving these “weak points” by improving your communication with millennial employees. Consider designing a system or schedule to ensure you are proactive in engaging with your millennials. A feedback strategy is a great way to stay updated with your millennials. By doing this, you can better recognize pain points and solve them, address certain needs, and more.

Leadership and management can be improved by providing consistent feedback to your millennials. A feedback strategy will make it 10 x easier. This isn’t to say you will only engage with them when your schedule says too. However, it will help you stay relevant and engaged in your relationships, which will therefore improve your leadership and management, which will improve engagement.

Data is useless if you don’t know what it means, or don’t know what to do with it. Understand that millennial engagement in the workplace is directly correlated with revenue growth. Make an effort to engage your millennials by measuring the aspects of engagement that matter most. Learn about what drives your millennials. Get to know them by asking tough questions. Communicate with them on a regular basis. Be strategic and create a feedback system to make sure you’re on top of it. By focusing on your millennial engagement, your company will benefit.

 

[1] http://www.workxo.com/blog/post/177-engagement-not-about-how-you-work

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

Could Good Old-fashioned Parenting Techniques Pave the New Way to Coach Millennial Employees?

The most recent viral millennial video that resonated with us on Facebook was from none other than the master, Simon Sinek, best selling author and motivational speaker. He amassed over 57 million views in a matter of days. The good news is Sinek succinctly describes and analyzes millennials in the workplace. Moreover, his rational for understanding them is a window into how they grew up and were parented with (some more often than not) “failed parenting strategies.”

What does he mean by “failed parenting strategies?”

Millennials’ parents birthed the term and enslaved a generation with “helicopter parents.” The parents of the millennial generation paid extremely close attention to their children’s lives and their problems, and still do. They micromanaged, told their millennials they were special, gave them trophies for participating, and believed and embedded the entitlement theme that their children deserved the best, simply for showing up. If you ask HR Professionals, 30% percent of them will admit to having some type of altercation with a millennial parent and I can tell you I get calls from over zealous parents daily.

This up-close-and-personal, hyper involved, do it for them, and never let them fail parenting style has largely resulted from both the economic cycle of our country combined with the rise and prevalence of technology. Cellphones and social media allowed parents to have instant contact with their kids 24/7…. And information, products, services, answers and solutions anywhere, anytime, with the click of a button and little effort has made us softer. The idea of parents constantly checking in on their children to ensure safety and security may sound like good parenting as well as having everything on demand and at the moment. The intention was pure, and technology amazing. However, it backfired in many ways.

Millennials, dubbed the “anxious generation,” feel a need for frequent and immediate feedback, and have difficulty coping with failure and disappointment and the wrong or hard answer. Why? Because technology has allowed their parents more often than not to solve any challenges at anytime. The strategy of parents of millennials was to “cure,” and now many millennials are grown up, yet still struggle to figure out how they can solve their own problems.

As a millennial coach, you can see this as a pain-in-the-ass dilemma, or an opportunity to be embraced. At launchbox, I’ve worked with thousands of millennials and see that they want, need to, and will excel and grow—they just need your mentorship—or a “new or better” level of real and authentic kickass parenting—to get them there. Not kick your ass, but kick-ass, in the “dang good we get this” way. More specifically, our success in training millennial employees really works both to serve the workplace by creating engagement, retention and revenue, and millennials at the same time by teaching them they are responsible and accountable for their career and job satisfaction. In the workplace, you can lead your millennial employees to performance and engagement with these simple techniques.

First Care Enough to Tell It to Millennials Like It Is

Sinek explains that millennials are struggling in the workplace because their parents “gave them medals for coming in last.” As a millennial coach, it’s up to you to set the tone of what’s expected and tolerated within your company and culture and why “last place” does not work for the organization. Further describe how the key to success is making it about others and teach them to figure out how to change their language, communication, and mindset to do so. (Hint: use their strengths, values and passions to guide them…they are innately smart and purpose driven.)

If your millennial workers are barely “showing up,” putting in minimal effort, and walking through the motions, will you let it slide under the table and tolerate it? Or, like a great parent, will you address the problem head on? The parents who raised strong, self-reliant millennials gave tough love, taught self-respect, integrity, and consequences, and also focused on “earning” as a course of conduct, are the ones you want to emulate. As a leader in the workplace, you must do the same.

Coach them in a caring way. Sit down with your millennial and be transparent. Explain where the pitfall occurred and why it happened. Emphasize that it’s up to the millennial to take responsibility for their work and actions. If they are confused, teach them to be resourceful and find a way to gain clarity. If you’re good at this, they will listen and shift. Guaranteed.

Create the Space for Failure—They Need it

Many helicopter parents were there to clean up the mess when millennials screwed up. As a result, many millennials don’t know how to handle failure. As a millennial mentor and leader, become the tough parent in the workplace and teach them how to fail and pick themselves up. The challenge is we don’t have the time or money to do this and we would rather do the work ourselves. The problem with that is millennials need and want to be taught and learn how to do things. It is the number one thing they want in the workplace, almost neck and neck with that authenticity thing from above.

Well here is the news, make the time and invest or they will leave you because you have not engaged them. 89% of millennials in the workplace feel engaged when they feel their boss cares. Do you care and can you demonstrate that to them?

So don’t BS your millennials and allow their mistakes and poor performance to slide under the radar. Be real with them and let them know when they fail. Be proactive, like a good parent, and empower them to create a solution so they can learn and do better in the future. By being clear that you’re there to help millennials grow and succeed, they will appreciate your tough love. They will see failure not as an “end all,” but as a learning experience and growth opportunity. They will see that your firmness is not because you’re mean, but because you care.

By empowering your millennials to take responsibility for their actions, they learn self reliance, coping skills, and the ability to problem solve. What parent wouldn’t want that for their children? And what leader in the workplace wouldn’t want that for their millennial employees, or for that matter, any employee? Right, Simon? Of course he would agree.

Focus on Patience and Satisfaction From Work

In his viral video, Sinek explains how social media has created a culture of instant gratification, where millennials have fostered a sense of entitlement and expectation.

“Social media has, however, created an incredibly impatient generation who want everything immediately. What’s more, millennials don’t stick at anything for long enough, according to Sinek, whether a job or a relationship.” – The Independent

This quote above explains why millennials may be  “job-hoppers.” They are impatient, because they expect instant success and satisfaction at work. When they don’t feel or get those things, they leave in hopes of getting it somewhere else. As a matter of fact we coach 3,000 millennial each year and they are super impatient…but teaching them how to communicate, what they have left to learn, and how to find out whether their boss cares usually results in them staying and not leaving their boss, at least for a year or so longer.

Acting as a coach for your millennial leaders, you can teach your millennials the importance of doing great work and finding fulfillment in the process. The classic adage “patience is a virtue” is one that many millennial kids have heard, but not really grasped.

Create incentives so your millennials can learn the importance of being patient. True satisfaction, as Sinek pointed out, stems from the process of doing long-term work, and doing it well with 100% effort. Like a great parent, create intrinsically motivating benchmarks for them so they can create self-motivation and feel their progress.

Be the Best Parent You Can Be

In today’s workplace, to be the best millennial coach requires treating millennials as if you are their parents. Yes, most of my clients say, “I don’t want to or shouldn’t have to be a parent at work, they’re not my kids, it’s too exhausting, and that is why they call it a job and they get paid, so tough.” Oh yeah, well what happens with that mindset? I’ll tell ya…nothing happens except a revolving door. Instead, shift the mindset to really care and be invested in their success and progress. Show tough love and be firm in your approach. The more clear you are about what you want out of your millennials, the more they will understood what’s required of them to become the best version of themselves.

Allocate responsibilities to your millennials and give them the opportunity to fail. Yes, you read that correctly. Allow them to fail. They need to learn how to cope with failure, develop self-esteem, and learn from their mistakes. As a millennial coach (and parent), this gives you the chance to empower them with the tools they need in the real world—to grow and become reliant.

Instill the importance of doing great work and teach your millennials patience. Explain that nothing worth having comes easy. Set goals along the way so they learn to enjoy the process, while growing simultaneously.

When you show up authentically for your millennials, they will show up for you and your company. The new way of coaching millennials is like great parenting. Are you up for the challenge? If you are we can help teach you.

Looking to bridge the generational divide in the workplace and engage your millennials? Check out the recent Launchbox article “4 Ways to Coach Millennials to Drive Results and Engagement.”

“How Do I Get Paid What I’m Worth?” – A Short Lesson in Coaching Millennials How to Ask the Right Questions

It was and remains my favorite classic millennial question.

I was speaking at USC with graduate millennial students, teaching them how to connect to get the job they want by using our Inside/Out technique of understanding your strengths and story in away that it provides value to others. A down and dirty guide on how to get the job, promotion, girl/guy, sale, etc.

As a leadership keynote speaker I have the honor to help people help themselves by demonstrating how to win by making it about others. I covered all the basics and the secret formula that I know to be true as a millennial expert and coach. 5,000 millennials that have passed through our programs this year can attest to it working. I no sooner finished the brief lesson on the importance of identifying strengths, implementing the WIFThem mindset (“What’s in it for them?”), and owning your actions, when I asked for a question. And low and behold, a young college male in the front corner of the room raises his hand. There it was, the moment of truth, as to whether they really heard me and learned something.

“Well,” he said, “I got stuff but really, just tell me, How can I get paid what I’m worth?

I was surprised by his question. It was audacious and bold, in typical millennial fashion, only because it was the exact opposite of what we had just discussed. So I paused, took a breath and began. “Do I have permission to coach you?”

The millennial nodded yes, and I responded, “What is exactly the value you bring to the employer and how do you articulated to them initially and then through your work?”

After a few moments of silence, while the millennial was thinking of how to respond, I chimed in again.

“Dude, do you get it? I mean really? You’re asking the wrong question. What you should be asking is, how do I demonstrate what I’m worth in the market place so someone wants and needs me to come work with them, and teach and guide me and help me get really, really good at this work thing? The thing is, you can’t demonstrate it until you’re there. Focus on first gaining the skills to become valuable to the market place.”

As a millennial expert who has coached thousands of millennial employees, what this college student asked represents a typical trait of millennials. They are hungry for success. They want the grand prize (some say “trophy” but that is just plain caddy, lol) …and they want it now, now, now. They see friends and peers posting job promotion pictures on Instagram, celebrating at parties on Snapchat, and hearing about other millennials “striking it rich” on Facebook.

What happens as a result? Millennials feel entitled to earn higher wages. They are impatient and have FOMO (fear of missing out) on the success that they think all of their friends are experiencing right now. So, like the graduate student showed, they ask employers all the wrong questions because they don’t get it. They don’t get that hard work, learning skills, and demonstrating value all precede getting paid anything by the market. You need to be valuable to an employer to get paid anything, and moreover, you for shit sure better be able to explain what that is what you do and why it is so special.

This is where the magic happens. Dilemma, they don’t get it. Challenge: we need to help them get it. SO DO THIS: we, as millennial coaches, bosses, parents, and teachers need to step in and embrace the opportunity to guide our next generation leaders. While millennials’ drive and hunger for success is great, they need to check in with reality.

According to the Millennial Leadership Survey, over half of millennials surveyed already think they have the right skills to be a leader. Wow, because we know that not even remotely close to 50% of successful Boomers, Xer’s or Silent Generation have the real deal skills to lead. So how could millennials, who are new to work life, possibly get it? Not to mention they understand they need work: 43% of millennials said that their weakest leadership skill is having industry experience and 41% said technical expertise.

See the conflict? Millennials think they already have the skills required to lead and earn more in the workplace, yet their lack of experience (and awareness of it) proves otherwise. As a millennial coach in the workplace, use these three strategies to teach millennials how to demonstrate their value in the workplace.

1) Take Initiative

In a recent School of Greatness podcast episode, host Lewis Howes talked with Adam Braun, founder of MissionU and Pencils of Promise, about higher education and performing well at work. Braun touched on an important phrase that demonstrates how millennials can show value, as opposed to asking for it: “Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.” In other words: take initiative. It’s better to take calculated risks you believe will work and ask for forgiveness if they fail, rather than always wait to be told what to do and have your ideas rejected.

A good employee waits to be told what to do. A great worker reads the situation, predicts what needs to get done, and takes initiative to create a solution. Encourage your millennial employees to show, not tell. By doing so, millennials can effectively demonstrate their value.

As a millennial coach, you can inspire your millennials to take initiative by being supportive. Create an environment that fosters open feedback and transparency. Welcome new ideas and encourage innovation by instilling a go-getter mindset.

2) Showcase Strength by Leading From Strength

“Everyone 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

Each of your millennial employees has a unique skillset that can be of value to their organization. As a millennial coach, make it your responsibility to help your employees identify these strengths so they can lead with them. Workshops and strengths finder assessments are great ways to teach millennials how to understand their gifts and use them effectively in the workplace.

The best leaders in the workplace know what they’re best at, continue to hone in on those skills, and lead from their strengths. By learning how to access and showcase their strengths, millennials can demonstrate their leadership potential, while optimizing their unique skillset for the greater good of their company.

3) Invest in Growth

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, over half of millennials rank the “opportunity to learn and grow” as “extremely important” when searching for a job. Millennials want managers who will invest in their growth so they can become capable, reliant, and talented leaders who can demonstrate their value to the marketplace.

“Millennials do need to be convinced why and how an organization will help them learn, grow, and develop, and further their careers.” –Harvard Business Review

As a millennial coach, create a leadership program where millennials can learn important skills like communication, relationship building, and technology-specific skills via online training. Millennials are looking for managers who are invested in their growth and areas to succeed that align with their natural interests and talents.

Understand what millennials want so you can help get them there…but make sure they grasp important business realities first. The millennial question of “How do I get paid what I’m worth?” is ridiculous…and it shows that Millennial coaches need to step in and help them understand why and how to reframe the question instead of just whine and complain. Help us change the question.

Teach your millennials how to demonstrate their value. Encourage them to take initiative and lead from their strengths by investing in their growth. This is how we can create future millennial leaders!

Are you looking to create next generation leaders who know their strengths and can deliver value? Check out our online tools, resources, and workshops!

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!

How to Use FOMO to Inspire Millennial Leaders

From Facebook to Email, Instagram to YouTube, and Snapchat to LinkedIn, the average U.S. millennial spends over three hours a day on his or her cell phone.[i] On top of that, millennials check their phone a whopping 157 times a day, and over two-thirds of them check social media on a daily basis.

Millennial Experts note that the nature of social media displaying people’s best moments has created a mass “highlight reel.” Millennials are bombarded with snippets of the good life, from snap chats of parties, Instagram posts of tasty meals and drinks, and Facebook photos of vacations in Cabo. The constant exposure to picture perfect moments, which are highlighted all over social media, has created a culture of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) among millennials.

Millennials see images and videos of experiences that look cool, so they desire to experience them as well. 69% of millennials experience FOMO when they can’t attend something that their family or friends are going to.[ii] In other words, millennials want to be a part of the action. All the time. They don’t want to miss out on anything exciting.

As a manger (aka Millennial coach), you can tap into millennial’s FOMO and use it as an advantage. You can use FOMO to benefit your company, your millennials, and your leadership.

How?

Create a kickass company culture and corporate leadership program that millennials want to be a part of and will have FOMO on what your company has to offer them.

Be the Best Boss Millennial Coach You Can Be

In order to leverage millennials’ FOMO to your advantage, coach them by understanding what they need and want in the first place. The old-style boss obsessed with command and control is a thing of the past. Millennials want managers who can provide leadership development and coach them, teach them valuable skills, and help them grow. Millennials want managers who genuinely care about them and their professional development.

How are you showing up as a manager? Are your millennial workers comfortable communicating with you and speaking up? Do they know you care about them?

Make an effort to coach and mentor millennials by creating one-on-one meetings. Actively engage with them by asking questions and giving routine feedback. Expert Millennial coaches know more that interaction leads to better engagement. Take the initiative to foster the relationship and don’t wait for them to come to you (hint: they won’t come to you unless you take action first…they’re scared to ask for feedback. [iii]) By proactively providing learning opportunities and by being there for your millennials, they will know you care.

Create a Lean In Culture

Millennials desire professional collaboration and development. Understanding this as a manager, you can create a culture that fosters intreprenuership within your company so millennials can take initiative and be inspired to innovate within your company. Give them the tools so they can grow and actively be and feel a part of your company’s development.

Millennials want to be a part of everything, especially the “next best thing.” As a manager, create the space for millennials to do so within your company. This will make them feel more connected with your company and mission, as well as empower them and increase their desire to be there.

Show an Alluring Long Term Vision

Millennials are the most likely generation to switch jobs.[iv] Why? Part of it is due to “destination syndrome.” If their current job isn’t satisfying them, they’ll hop to a new job in hopes of attaining satisfaction there. They are scared of “missing out” (“FOMO”) on all the opportunity they feel is available to them with an amazing corporate development program where young people can learn and grow.

To solve this gap, be the best millennial coach you can be. How? By being transparent and painting a clear picture of what millennials will gain from being with your company. What career skills will they learn? Will they be able to create a social impact/purpose  (and see it and feel it tangibly)? What mobility and opportunity do they have to become leaders and innovate within the company?

Entrepreneurship, collaboration, growth, mobility, and purposeful work are important to Millennial leaders. By showing how millennials can have and do these things at your company, they will want to stay and be fearful of missing out on such amazing opportunities.

Time spent online and on social media is only going to increase in the coming years. FOMO is a natural byproduct from our social media culture, and it’s up to you as a manager to use it to your advantage.

Coach your millennials and show them that you care. Engage and interact with them often. Design a lean in culture that encourages intreprenuership and growth—a culture millennials want to be a part of. Demonstrate the value, success, and opportunity millennials will gain from staying with your company over the long term. Do this, and millennials will have FOMO on the amazing chance they have to be a part of your company.

Interested in learning more about engaging millennials and inspiring them to become leaders of the future? Check out the related article “Employee vs. Entrepreneur: 4 Great Ideas to Foster Millennial Entrepreneurs Within Your Company

    

 

 

 

[i] https://thejournal.com/articles/2015/12/01/study-millennials-spend-more-than-3-hours-a-day-on-mobile-phones.aspx

[ii] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237566

[iii] http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/192038/managers-millennials-feedback-won-ask.aspx

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

Employee vs. Entrepreneur: 4 Great Ideas to Foster Millennial Entrepreneurs Within Your Company Today

The American Dream was much different just a few decades ago. People wanted the good life: a big house with a nice yard, a shiny car, a family, luxuries, and rising to the top of the corporate ladder.

In 2017, things have changed.

Millennials (who will make up half the work force in the next three years) value independence over a corner office in an executive suite. Nine out of ten millennials say professional development and career growth is important in a job. However, to Generation Y/the Millennial, the appeal toward entrepreneurship is most attractive.

Almost two-thirds of millennials want to start their own business. Growing up seeing their parents and relatives getting fired, along with viewing cubicle life as boring, millennials see entrepreneurship as the answer to a stimulating career, a solid work life balance, professional growth, and independence. This begs the question:

Is working for the big man and a big company contradictory to millennial’s path to success if their ultimate desire is to be entrepreneurs?

All across the career board, you can see a pattern occurring. Millennials who work as trainers at a gym want to break off and get clients on their own and start their personal brand. IT consultants are wondering if they should continue working within a company, or offer freelancing consulting. Nutritionists and health coaches desire to become their own boss with their own clients and personal practice.

As a manager, this change can either be seen as a problem or as an opportunity. You can either think, Millennials are just going to stay for 3 months and leave my company. They are unloyal and not worth even training. Plus, they are ignorant about how difficult it is to start a company.

Or…

You can see this major industry shift as a HUGE opportunity and ask, How can I encourage entrepreneurial behavior within the company?

While the idea of entrepreneurship is sexy to millennials, the reality is starting a business is no easy task. This is where managers can thrive and become the rock star leaders that millennials need.

As a manager, you can play a key role in coaching Millennials to become inner entrepreneurs within the frame of your company. This is the ultimate win-win: creating intraprenuers. Millennials can have the opportunity to develop, innovate, and experiment, all the while contributing to the wellbeing and growth of your company’s mission.

Create the Space for Millennials to Experiment with Passion Projects

From the get-go, make it transparent to your millennial workers that they have the opportunity to grow and innovate within the framework of your company. Create a culture that promotes a healthy balance of freedom and structure.

A great example of this is what Google did with their “Genius Hour.” Employees were allowed to use 20% of their workweek to explore projects of their choosing, as long as it benefited and contributed to the company. Gmail, AdSense, and Google Glass are just a few examples of successes that resulted from the allocated time for self-directed experimentation.

Welcome New Ideas, Feedback, and Input

Millennials want feedback. They want acknowledgment. They want praise. They want constructive advice. They’re just too scared to ask for it. Less than 20% of millennials say they routinely receive feedback, according to Gallup research.

As a manger, it’s up to you to create a welcoming, friendly work environment. Make feedback a two-way street. Create an open door policy and make it clear to your millennial workers that they can ask you questions—whether popping into the office, texting, tweeting, or calling.

By empowering millennials to feel confident and comfortable with open communication, they will feel permission to innovate and come forward with new ideas. They will see you, their manager, as someone they can trust.

Create Incentives

Whether it is in the form of stock options, chances for commission, or special perks, make it clear that millennials can succeed beyond just means of salary. Millennials value independence, flexibility, purposeful work, and growth opportunities. If you can provide these incentives, millennials will want to work for your company and contribute to its growth.

Emphasize Structure and Safety

Unlike if millennials were on their own starting a personal brand, they have the luxury of support and safety that comes with working for a company. Emphasize that millennials can be intrepreneurs and still grow and take risks. Explain that working within your company is the perfect place for them to learn and grow, without the very real risk of messing up on their own.

By emphasizing entrepreneurial opportunities and the safety that comes along with being part of a company, millennials will feel empowered to take risks and innovate within your company.

Take action TODAY and create the opportunities for millennials to become Intreprenuers within your company. Allow the space for millennials to work on passion projects and innovate within the company. Embrace new ideas, provide feedback, and promote a culture with open communication. Create incentives while also showing the upside that comes with working in a company.

The workplace is changing, and it’s up to YOU as a manger to adapt and view the shift as an opportunity to be embraced.

Need help getting started? Let us help you stop chasing relevance and make it happen. For more on working from the inside out, check out Part One of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace TODAY.

One Personal Challenge that will Make 2017 your Best Year Yet

One personal challenge made up of three special words has the power to positively change your career and greatly impact your world for the better.  Are you ready to make 2017 your best year yet?   Here we go!   The act of branding livestock with a fire-heated iron to identify ownership dates back to the ancient Egyptians. In business, the concept of “per­sonal brands” dates back to the late 1990s. At launchbox, our approach to branding is a fresher take on the value of defining your personal brand and considerably less painful than being touched by a hot iron (although millennials are not averse to marking; nearly 40 percent of them sport tattoos).

We call this your “brandstamp.”

Brandstamps are about who you want to be, how you want to be perceived in the world, and whether or not you deliver on that brand. To help our clients define, articulate, and own their personal brands at launchbox workshops, keynotes, or peer-to-peer networking groups, we create brandstamps through an exercise you can start right now.

It starts by finding your three brandstamp words: Three words that define your personal value and how you want to be perceived by the world. You can pick any three words you want to but try and pick:

  • words that are aspirational—that you think you are and wish to be perceived as—such as smart, caring, honest, and thoughtful.
  • words that, when you wake up in the morning and immedi­ately think of, make you push yourself to be your best.
  • words that if you lived by them every day, you would be the best version of yourself and who you are meant to be.

Now that you have your brandstamp words, you need to field-test them to find out how well they are aligned with views people you know have of you. Because when people see you as you see yourself, you are succeeding in convey­ing your value.

Before I started launchbox, I struggled with what my brandstamp would look like would look like. My coach, Lauren, had an idea that we should assemble a group of thirty friends, former employees and bosses, peers, workout buddies, and mentors to discuss who I was. They would help me start to determine how I could build something big.

Before I went in to talk with this group, I chose my own three words. Once we were assembled, Lauren and our facilitator, Angela, had the group pick the words they thought represented my per­sonal brandstamp. They had fun joking and whittling down hundreds of words to three: direct, giving, and motivational. (I admit to being relieved when “arrogant” and “annoying” finally left the table.) Wow. Not only were they generous words (I felt like I was at my own funeral), but they also aligned quite well with mine at the time: generous, bold, and inspirational. To me, that meant I was living my story, and my story reflected who I was to them.

As launchbox has evolved, so has my personal brandstamp. Today my words are generous, bold, and empowering. That is the cool thing about your three words: they can evolve and you can change them whenever you need to, as long as you own them and keep them aligned with how people see you.

Okay, your turn to try.

Once you have your words, see how they align with the way your people see you, and listen to their comments. Do this with at least three people. See what they think your three words should be, then share yours and see if you are in alignment. If the words are aligned, congratulations! Live them and let them evolve as you do. If they are not aligned, get at it. Find out and explore the inconsistencies—seek to understand why disconnect exists—and get the words aligned.

For more on working from the inside out, check out Part One of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace TODAY.

 

 

 

4 Ways to Coach Millennials to Drive Results and Engagement

If there is one take away from the Presidential Election and all the recent media coverage, we need to “de-polarize” the biggest challenge to your workplace – Millennial Employee and Customer Engagement.  The critical steps for healing the disconnect starts from controlling ourselves. Working on becoming our “best self” by working from the inside out (it all starts from within).

It wasn’t until the first time I spent the day with my dad at launchbox, watching him walk around and engage with the team and the space, that I realized how amazing it feels to create and be a part of a business where I can be 100 percent me (my authentic self) and own it.

In every job, I have ever had before I started launchbox, I played “the game” and suppressed at least a part of who I was for what I thought, or “they” thought, I was supposed to be and do. I found it limiting, and thus my ego flared. I never saw the wisdom in being any other way. Today, I am responsible and accountable to myself for empowering everyone I connect to and with everything I touch.

I get to be the jolter and stimulator, the coach, the mentor, and learner all in one. It does not get better than that.

Does that mean my ego is gone today? Hardly. I’m still (a little) vain and drive an expensive car and love my watch du jour. But I appreciate the relationships I have. I value meaningful connections, making it about others, and the power to create and work with next-gen/millennials to both lead and be led by me and my team, because we are mastering learning to work from the inside out.

I was careless before. Today, I choose to care more. And I’m intense about it, especially when it comes to empower­ment. Unlike others, we don’t just talk about it.  Our system solves the challenge by delivering real and immediate connections between managers and next generation (millennial) leaders and customers.

How?  We customize and facilitate special training events and one-on-one coaching for organizations large and small. We strive to empower people to succeed 24/7 and expect empowerment from them in return—we study it, live it, teach it, technologize it, and love it.

 What are you doing to de-polarize your workplace?  If you are in the majority, you don’t have a plan.  How are you empowering and engaging your employees to be successful? Are they connected, engaged and empowered so you can do your job successfully? When you can answer these questions with a resounding “Yes!” you have empow­ered success by empowering your employees to develop a culture that you can be proud of.

Here are 4 ways used by some of our most successful clients to reinforce empowerment and heal the disconnect in the workplace:

 

  1. Focus on individual growth. Manage each person differently, align tasks with employee competencies, focus on and help employees develop their strengths, and create a system to identify high-potential employees, challenge them, and create growth opportunities.

 

  1. Pave the road by ensuring your millennials have what they need to be successful. Make sure delegation and creating trust are givens, and make them want your job. Make future advancement opportunities transparently available.

 

  1. Give Feedback 365: Now! Always! Do it daily and never stop. Provide and ask for regular feedback on performance. Be specific and listen.

 

  1. Recognize and celebrate in a fun, creative, and interactive team culture that empowers more success and recognition. Do it for short-term wins, individual contributions, and team successes, in a public way.

 

It took a long time for me to truly understand how to put these four pieces together to empower individuals and myself to be better. When it works? It is beautiful. When it doesn’t? It is still fun just trying to do things the right way. Yes, I said fun. This can and should be fun.

Leadership today is never easy. It’s filled with contradictions, just like millennials themselves. We can’t ever reconcile those contradictions so … enable them! Create a culture of disruption and transparent learning—an environment where authentic communication and education also mean calling everyone (yes, yourself included) on their shit.

Get out of your own way and ask yourself: What can I do tomorrow to start doing those four things to empower my culture and employees to suc­ceed – to develop a culture that everyone can be proud of and that empowers everyone (including you) to do their jobs successfully?

If not now when? Let us help you stop chasing relevance and make it happen.  Our CEO and Founder, Dan Negroni, will be in New York at the end of the month on his Millennial Speaking Tour. He is so passionate about this issue; he wants to meet you and hear about your challenges and help solve them on the spot.  For more on the power of relationships, check out Part One of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace TODAY