Millennials Want to be Coached
A recent article out of Harvard Business Review reveals what millennials want at work – millennials want to be coached.
SuccessFactors, a cloud-based business execution software company, conducted a study in 2014 in partnership with Oxford Economics that found 1,400 millennials want to be coached and want more feedback from their business managers.
They found that millennials in the workforce want feedback at least once a month compared to non-millennials who do not need as much feedback. Through their conversations with hundreds of milliennials, SuccessFactors and Oxford Economics learned that millennials want to be coached for their own personal development, not necessarily more managerial direction.
So, as a business manager, your role is expanding beyond your daily managerial duties and into coaching. You need to be prepared to evolve to meet the needs of millennials, because in five years, millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce. That’s 80 million millennials, according to LifeHealthPro.
The Hartford’s 2014 Millennial Leadership Survey found 83 percent of millennials consider themselves to be a leader while 73 percent aspire to be leaders in the next five years. Millennials want to be coached AND want to lead in the workplace. Most of their current leadership resides in community organizations, school groups and sports teams.
4 Tactics for Coaching Your Employees
To help millennials and other employees get on the track that they aspire to be on, use these four tactics:
Build a Relationship– Having a strong relationship with your coworker builds trust and is healthy for the workplace. You don’t need to go to happy hour every week to build a solid relationship, either. Discuss your failures and your victories with your employee. They can learn from your mistakes and gain meaningful advice.
Remember, coaching is not about telling your coworker what to do and teaching them – it’s about helping them learn. Be yourself and unlock their potential.
Surround them with talented workers – Young professionals want coworkers they can learn from and look up to. Those who are just starting out into the workforce most likely feel anxious and this is the time when they need coaching the most.
Surround millennials with more experienced and talented employees who can encourage them, improve their performance, and help them grow.
Inspire your employees – You need to think big picture when you encourage your employees. Leadership skills are key here. If you are not a strong leader, your employees will end up feeling uninspired.
Motivate your coworkers with a solid vision for the business, strong relationships and results. Nothing motivates employees more than a heart-warming message filled with encouragement like, “We couldn’t have done this without you.” Handwriting the note will add a personal touch that the employee will most likely treasure for a lifetime.
Produce Results – At the end of the day, there needs to be productivity and that’s why you need to enable your employees to solve tough problems and help them develop their skills on the job. But, don’t equate coaching with hovering – you need to give your employees room to solve their problems and discover solutions on their own. You should also consider how you would balance work and coaching. While both go hand-in-hand, some may find it difficult to balance additional coaching with their already intense workload.
If you are not yet coaching, are your employees not changing? Then, coaching them may be the solution to help them professionally develop and grow the company.
There are many great resources out there that can help you coach your employees. The Harvard Business Review has a Guide to Coaching Employees that takes you through the steps of coaching.