This is the first in a four-part series on leadership advice for engaging the hearts and minds of the Millennial Generation in the Workplace. Just as Ken Blanchard’s ‘Situational Leadership’ model from 30 plus years ago suggested, leaders cannot lead their people with one single style due to the follower’s individual level of confidence and competence. Leading in today’s environment requires an additional awareness of the differences in nurturing multiple generations and their expectations of leadership in the workplace.
I find it fascinating that over the last six months I have been in multiple different countries, on three continents, speaking to leaders about various hot topics in their worlds and the single sizzling topic that I have been asked to talk about is: “Millennials in the workplace”?!
Never before in our history have we had a single generation of employees cause leaders to be so perplexed as to how to lead, manage, engage, motivate and obtain loyalty. Generation Y is truly in a category by themselves and frustrate to no end the older Baby Boomer and Generation X leaders.
I have yet to understand how there is so much air time given to the ‘issue’ in discussions among other leaders. I just don’t see what all the fuss is about. In my personal experience, I have found that working with Millennials is one of the most refreshing and satisfying times I have had as a leader.
Gen Y’s at work have been called: lazy, unproductive, narcissistic, entitled, self-obsessed and disloyal. Wow! I have even heard other Millennials saying those things about their generational peers. I completely disagree. In fact, I have been blessed to work with many Millennial-heavy teams and they have been amazing leaders. They have been engaged, purpose-driven and service-oriented. Nothing like that all those other people are saying. So what is all the fuss about?
Gen Y’s, on the other hand, have been recorded thinking that Baby Boomers:
– are less adaptive
– lack technological abilities
– have tripled the national debt since the 1980s
– are running the Old Age Pension Program into the ground
– have exacerbated the ‘Real’ damage to the planet
– have only a third of the voting population but occupy two thirds of seats in government
So you can see how these two generations in the workforce would clash.
So, the question that leaders across the world keep asking, are how do we deal with this? How do we create a productive work environment in which all of the generations in the workforce are working together? How do we get the Millennial Generation and the Baby Boomers working together towards a common goal?
That’s exactly what this month’s Millennial series will focus on. The Who, What, When, and How of the generational differences in the workplace. So tune in all month, or sign up here to get the blogs straight to your inbox, because this is a series you’re not going to want to miss.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Tags: Baby Boomer, Business Culture, Change, Employee Engagement, Hiring, Intergenerational Teams, Leadership, Millenials, Robert S. Murray, Team, Team Work, Work Culture