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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

 

 

 

Embrace Millennials as the Opportunity they are

A massive shift is taking place in the workplace and marketplace. Millennials—currently representing 36% of the workforce—will be 75% of your employees and customers by 2025. This change is creating a huge gap. Boomers and Gen Xers grew up with structure. Millennials have grown up with flexibility and the freedom to say what they want, when they want, simply by sending a tweet or a snap. They want feedback 24/7. They collaborate and create influence through network and community. They work way differently than previous generations. This difference is causing what you might label a “problem” in the workplace. There is a clear disconnect between expectations and work style.

But what if you challenged yourself to view this generational gap not as a problem to be solved, but as an opportunity to be embraced? Millennials control $660 billion in spending and will soon be leading the workplace, if they’re not already. Be the solution and embrace this generational “shift”–you can “shift” your perspective on this gap and win the millennial race! Millennials hold a tremendous opportunity for your workplace to excel in the future. Here are 3 millennial “problems” that are actually opportunities to be embraced.

  1. They constantly seek feedback 

    Millennials grew up in an era of instant gratification, so they expect feedback all the time. While this classic millennial trait may seem annoying or ridiculous, it offers you an incredible opportunity to actually communicate and connect. The” problem” isn’t just that they want feedback, they are scared to ask for it and don’t know what to do with it or how to react.

    Use this opportunity to be a mentor and guide for your millennials. Be real, be honest, be a teacher.  Show appreciation when they do a good job, and let them know when they make mistakes and how they can improve. Ask them questions on a regular, weekly basis so you can create a two-way relationship. If they see you, their boss, asking questions, being vulnerable and caring, they will mimic your behavior and develop confidence.Use feedback the way it is intended, as a give and take.

  2. They want flexible or their“perfect” schedule 

    It may seem like a pain to offer a flexible schedule to your millennial employees. You may think, “Why can’t they just work 8 hours straight like I did and not complain about it?” Well, technology has changed the world and millennials can get work done remotely as well as in an office. Millennials tend to seek a perfect work/life balance. By allowing a flexible schedule, you provide your millennials the opportunity to fulfill other activities that make them happy and keep them fulfilled and engaged.

    If your millennials are engaged in the other areas of their life, they will be more inspired to do more great work for your company. By caring about their needs, they are happier, therefore so are your customers and you also create more success of your company.

  3.  They have wild ambitions and ideas

    “They all want to create the next Facebook.” The initial reaction to millennials’ wild ambitions may be that they’re entitled and expect success overnight. But what if you could focus their ambitions within your own company? As a manager, you can motivate your millennials to learn and grow within your company. You can provide opportunities for them to excel, create and innovate…a win-win that would benefit your company. Don’t suppress your millennial worker’s ambitions, but guide them so they can flourish and excel both personally and professionally.

Where one sees trash, another sees treasure. The millennial shift is happening…its inevitable. However, it’s up to YOU how you view it…as an opportunity to be embraced!

 

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Need help understanding, engaging, and retaining your millennial workforce?  Dan Negroni, Author, Speaker, Attorney, Kick butt business consultant, coach, and proud Dad of a few Millennials delivers actionable solutions.  Different from all other millennial experts, Dan’s empowering business approach at Launchbox, creates quick value and seamless connections with millennials and management each on their own terms.   Using unique content and delivery methods that audiences respond to immediately he leverages results from the inside out.   Allow millennials to be your secret weapon and maximize your commitment to them to innovate, create a culture of engagement and grow your businesses today.    To start click here to grab your copy of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace or call them at 858.314.9687 for a free Coaching Assessment or visit www.launchbox365.com.

4 Things You Probably Hate about Millennials and Why You’re Probably Wrong

Listen, the challenge of parenting, educating, training, mentoring, and guiding young people has been around for thousands of years. Consider this quote attributed to Socrates, almost 2,500 years ago:

 

Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.

 

“But my millennials are so much more annoying than we ever were.” Got it.

 

Remember, millennials look nothing like the previous generations, and that’s why they annoy you. It’s a lack of understanding of and between different generations. The point is millennials are probably everything and nothing we say about them.

 

  1. Entitled, lazy, and won’t do what they’re told? In a poll of 5,000 workers by Jennifer Deal of the Center for Creative Leadership and Alec Levenson of the University of Southern California, 41% of millennials agreed that “employees should do what their manager tells them, even when they can’t see the reason for it,” compared with 30% of baby boomers and 30 percent of Gen Xers.

 

  1. Aren’t competitive? The Economist cites research by CEB, a consulting firm that polls 90,000 American employees each quarter, that 59% of millennials say competition is what gets them up in the morning much more than the percentage of baby boomers or Gen Xers that say that about competition.

 

  1. Only communicate digitally? That study by Jennifer Deal and Alec Levenson showed that more than 90% of millennials surveyed want face-to-face feedback and career discussions.

 

  1. Jump ship and are not committed for the long term, or really any term? According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker stays at a job 4.4 years, and yes, according to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers, 91% of millennials expect to stay less than three. But beware of averages: Millennials may find it normal to job-hop faster than any previous generation, but when they find the right opportunity they actually are more loyal than the previous generation. The CEB study showed millennials put future career opportunity among their top five reasons for choosing a job, again ahead of other generations.

 

Simply put, when it comes to millennials, most of us have no idea what to believe or do. So we believe and assume the worst. Until we see this, the most powerful myths or assumptions that we have about millennials will continue to negatively impact our attitudes about, perceptions of, and relationships with them.

 

Get past the
 myths and realize that individual differences are more important than generational ones In the end, most millennials just want what we all should want: challenge, flexibility, purpose, engagement, collaboration, work-life balance, transparency, and authenticity.

 

They want bosses who care, set clear expectations, and are willing to coach—and who understand what they expect and need in the workplace. Are these things so unappealing or are they just not your story?

 

Don’t let generational differences be the problem. Lean in and consider millennials an opportunity to learn, connect, and kick more ass in your business using millennial power.

 

Need help getting started? For more on this, check out Busting Myth in Part Two of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace TODAY.

 

 

3 Things a 75-Year Harvard Survey of Adult Life Tells Us about Millennials Today

What’s the most important life/work skill?

 

When we ask people this question in our launchbox workshops, at our clients’ workplaces, in our extended professional networks, and at keynote presentations, the number one answer by far is “communication,” followed by listening, discipline, passion, and persistence. (My teenage son Matthew said “for­giveness,” so I asked him what he had done wrong.)

 

I’ll take all of that. But I want something deeper. I want more. Com­munication and all the other answers are important, but they are com­ponents of the number one life/work skill.

 

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

 

Everything—from money and knowledge to power and love—boils down to interacting with other people. Positive relationships lead to positive mindset and intent and are essential in business for morale, produc­tivity, innovation, loyalty . . . positive relationships lift all of these things and much more. Relationships are about connecting. It is easy to get information any time from your smartphone, but how are you connect­ing?

 

In business, connecting with other human beings creates much more than results: It leads to health, thoughtfulness, balance—and happiness.

 

This is not a hypothesis. Just watch Robert Waldinger’s TED talk, “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness” (bit.ly/1PxtGLt). Waldinger is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which may be the longest study of adult life ever done. For seventy-five years, starting in 1938, the Harvard study tracked the lives of 724 men (about a third of them Harvard sophomores and the other two-thirds twelve- to sixteen-year-olds from inner-city Boston). As the men aged, the study asked them deep questions about their professional and personal lives.

 

And what did Waldinger say was the clearest message from this seventy-five-year study?

 

“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

 

Waldinger then laid out three lessons he learned about those relationships.

 

  1. Social connections are really good for us, and loneliness kills.

 

  1. People who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age fifty were the healthiest at age eighty.

 

  1. Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains.

 

In the end, Waldinger says, “Good, close relationships are good for our health and well-being, this is wisdom that’s as old as the hills. Why is this so hard to get and so easy to ignore? … Relationships are messy and they’re complicated and the hard work of tending to family and friends, it’s not sexy or glamorous. It’s also lifelong. It never ends.”

 

Exactly. So knowing this, what are you going to do to connect and create great relationships with your millennials in the workplace?

 

Need help answering this question and getting started? Let us help you stop chasing relevance and make it happen. 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.

 

 

 

 

5 Steps to Work from the Inside Out and Create Relevance

Our team was presenting to leaders at one of my largest clients when one of the gentlemen in the back who had been with the company for three decades piped in.

“Look,” he said, “I had to do it this way. They should have to do it this way. They should just shut their mouths and do it the way I did it. I didn’t like my boss for fifteen years and I still did what I was told and…” I listened as “Angry John” went on, getting angrier and angrier as he went. I let him go a bit, and then calmly asked him to slow down and take a breath. And then I let him have it in a kind but direct way.

“How does what you did thirty years ago matter today? How is it relevant to anyone but you?”

He looked at me. He still looked tense. I continued.

“I don’t deny what you went through, but why do you want the same for them? We are talking about the present—today—and what we want to create for the future. What does what you did thirty years ago, when there were no mobile phones and you weren’t getting hundreds of texts a day, have to do with today and tomorrow?”

The room fell silent as Angry John looked at me and said, “I guess not much.”

Good guess.

Let’s be honest: What stands in the way of change are people, and too many leaders don’t include themselves as “people” complicit, let alone responsible for, the gaps between millennials and non-millennials in the workplace. Non-millennials see themselves as above it all. “Millennials are the problem and they should obey my golden rule: I have the gold; I make the rules—if you want my gold you need to follow my rules.”

I agree with that … to a point.

I am not about redistribution of wealth or egalitarian management systems, and I don’t want to change who anyone is. I just want us to create an impact and rethink the rules of the workplace for everyone. I want us all to be the best versions of ourselves, understand what that means, and leverage that to create better workplaces and results, both short and long term.

I’m not saying millennials aren’t complicit in widening this gap. Of course they are, but let’s be honest: What happens to us is principally because of us—all of us. If we want to get the best from our people, if we are to bridge this gap to create powerful relationships that take advantage of all of our strengths, we must accept that things have changed but we have not.

So how do we get started? We work from the inside out.

We must first know, understand, and manage how we are perceived in order to manage others. Trust yourself to be vulnerable, to work on yourself, to relish who you are, and then to share that with the world, and you will create the kind of relationships that deliver value to others and get results.

Simply put, the more you know yourself—truly know and care about yourself—the more you’ll be able to truly know, care about, and connect to the people around you and achieve the relationships you need and want. The good news is only five short steps are required to complete this work.

  1. Understand
the power of RELATIONSHIPS (how you connect)
  2. Know your STRENGTHS (who you are innately)
  3. Recognize your SKILLS, PASSIONS, and VALUES (what you know and what you bring to the world)
  4. Define your PERSONAL BRANDSTAMP (how you want to be perceived in the world)
  5. Develop and deliver your STORY (how you present yourself to the world)

Successfully complete these steps and you will effectively communicate who you really are and articulate your value in order to connect with others on an authentic level to bridge the gap with millennials in the workplace and marketplace.

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.

3 Ways to Fulfill and Retain Millennial Employees

Often tagged “the job hopping generation,” it’s a common myth that millennials are disloyal and don’t care about job security. With this viewpoint, why put in the time to train and develop your millennial workforce when they’re going to split in a year or two? From this perspective, it’s pointless. However, by understanding the concerns of millennials and looking at reality through their lens, a few important factors stand out that shatter this myth.

49% of millennials say they would like to stay with an organization for more than 10 years, according to research performed by the Center for Creative Leadership.[1] Many millennials actually crave job security. They grew up during the 2008 recession, witnessing devastating layoffs. They have the highest levels of student debt in history. They’re worried about raising kids or putting down a mortgage due to the possibility of being laid off.

By understanding the concerns of millennials, this job hopping “problem” can be turned into an “opportunity” to engage and fulfill employees for the long run. Here are three ways to help you fulfill and retain millennial employees:

  1. Constantly Communicate and Provide Feedback

Millennials grew up in the digital age of instant gratification and constant connection. Therefore, they’re used to receiving immediate feedback and having an outlet to tweet their opinion at the snap of their fingers. By maintaining relationships with millennials through regularly asking questions and making an effort to understand things from their perspective, feedback becomes conversational, as opposed to being confrontational. This creates an environment where millennials feel that their voice matters and that their opinion is valued.

Another important factor to keep in mind is that millennials want feedback; the problem is they won’t ask for it. Show appreciation regularly. When they make mistakes, let them know in a constructive, teachable manner. By making the effort to make millennials feel understood, valued and an integral part of your company, they will feel more comfortable speaking up. This relationship fosters loyalty and will help fulfill and retain your millennial employees.

2.) Display Advancement Opportunities

Millennials are young. They’re hungry. They’re ambitious. As a manger, you can help them see opportunities to advance and be promoted within the company. Likewise, you can offer lateral growth opportunities, allowing them to become skilled in a variety of fields. This will help your company develop a multi talented, capable millennial workforce that understands how different departments operate. This will breed understanding and insight into how to serve the best interests of your company.

From a retention standpoint, opportunity for growth causes a shift in the mindsets of millennial employees. By openly presenting advancement opportunities, millennials will naturally view their job and career over the long term. A secure, rewarding job with the possibility of advancing and learning new skills is a sure way to create long-term retention with millennial employees. Recognizing the importance of job security and growth opportunity will help attract a stable, loyal workforce.

3.) Allow for Balance and Flexibility

Lack of flexibility was cited among the top reasons millennials quit their jobs, according to surveys performed by Ernst and Young’s Global Generation Research.[2] Millennials see that technology allows them to be productive and get work done regardless of location. However, many older bosses (who didn’t grow up with digital technology) don’t understand this. Multiple surveys show that what millennials want most is where, when and how they work.[3]

By creating a flexible work environment, you can fulfill one of the highest demands of millennials. As long as a flexible, work-life balance doesn’t affect results, it should be embraced. Millennials are more likely to commit to a company long term if it allows for a flexible work-life balance.

Don’t be put off by the myth that millennials are a job-hopping, disloyal bunch. You can view your millennial workforce as a “problem to complain about” or an “opportunity to be embraced.” Through communication and feedback, openly presenting advancement opportunities, and creating a flexible and balanced work schedule, you can fulfill the wants and needs of your millennial workforce, while also creating an atmosphere where they will want to work over a long period of time.

Interested in learning more about bridging the gap between millennials and managers? Make sure to get your hands on Dan Negroni’s new book,  Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace.

Chasing Relevance by Dan Negroni

 

[1] Deal, Jennifer. “Why the Conventional Wisdom About Job-Hopping Millennials Is Wrong.” WSJ. Dow Jones & Company, Inc., n.d. Web. 22 June 2016.

[2] Schulte, Brigid. “Millennials Want a Work-life Balance. Their Bosses Just Don’t Get Why.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 23 June 2016.

[3] Schulte, Brigid. “Millennials Want a Work-life Balance. Their Bosses Just Don’t Get Why.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 23 June 2016.

3 Reasons Samsung is the Most Trusted Company Among Millennials

A recent poll by the Reputation Institute (RI) revealed that Samsung is the number 1 most trusted company among millennials in the United States. Considering that millenials consist of over 75 million people between the ages of 18 and 34, this is great news for Samsung. According to the results of this year’s RI millennial survey, when millenials decide a company is worthy of their trust and respect, they are more willing to work for, recommend and buy products from a firm they find reputable. What is Samsung doing so well that makes it the most trusted company among the largest growing generation in the world?

RI attributes Samsung’s ability to successfully gain the millenials’ trust and attention to three things: self-promotion on social media, commitment to social responsibility and creating an inclusive culture.

 

1.) Social Media Promotion and Campaigns

Social media is arguably the most important tool for a company to gain the trust of millenials. Over 90% of adults aged 18 to 29 use social media—and that number is growing rapidly.[1] The average millennial checks his or her smart phone 43 times a day.[2] Understanding these facts, it’s critical to establish a strong social media presence if a company or brand is looking to engage with millenials.

In today’s world, not having a social media presence is essentially not having any presence at all. Through self-promotion on social media, Samsung has established themselves as a familiar, trustworthy firm to millenials. This earned trust has provided Samsung the leverage to be the most favored company among millenials.

 

2.) Commitment to Social Responsibility

A poll commissioned by the Clinton Global Initiative and Microsoft revealed that millenials are more focused on the environment than their parent’s generation—a wide margin of 76% compared to a meager 24%.[3] In other words, millenials value environmental sustainability and appreciate efforts to make the world a better place.

 Samsung’s commitment to social responsibility is a huge factor in winning over millenials. Their transparency about their sustainability efforts and green initiatives are displayed openly on their website and on social media. For example, here is one of their statistics that exemplifies their effort to improve the environment: “In 2010, we will have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 45% from 2001 levels.”

Samsung’s transparency reports and efforts to improve the environment resonate with people—and millenials—on an emotional level. This openness humanizes them as a company. Instead of being viewed as a large, corporate tech giant, they’ve effectively communicated that they are a “company who believes it’s our responsibility to do business in a way that enriches the planet.”

 

3.) Creating an Inclusive Culture

In today’s world, everyone wants to be heard. The rapid rise and prevalence of social media has created an environment where companies cannot afford to neglect their employees and customers. Having an inclusive culture is an essential part of Samsung’s strategy moving forward.

Samsung made headlines last month as they announced their “aim to reform our internal culture, execute as quickly as a startup company and push towards open communication and continuously innovate.”[4] Samsung executives will be signing a pledge to create a working atmosphere that fosters open dialogue. By adopting an inclusive culture, Samsung is yet again moving in the right direction in terms of understanding what millenials want. Through social media, millenials grew up with having a voice at a young age. Shifting to an atmosphere that embraces communication, Samsung is creating an environment both conducive and attractive to the largest growing generation in the world.

 

Embrace the strategies that have made Samsung the most trusted company among millenials and see what happens. Through social media, commitment to the environment and fostering an inclusive culture, you too can gain the trust of millenials.

 

 

[1] Pick, Tom. “47 Superb Social Media Marketing Stats and Facts.” Business 2 Community 47 Superb Social Media Marketing Stats and Facts Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2016.

[2] Clifford, Catherine. “Millennials Check Their Phones 43 Times a Day. This Is What They’re Looking For. (Infographic).” Entrepreneur. N.p., 04 June 2014. Web. 14 June 2016.

[3]Timm, Jance C. “Millenials: We Care About the Environment.” MSNBC. N.p., n.d. Web.

[4] Lee, Se Young. “World’s Biggest Startup? Samsung Electronics to Reform Corporate Culture.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 24 Mar. 2016. Web. 14 June 2016.