The author’s premise is that as this generations’ characteristics and motivations are different from earlier generations it is important to understand them and adapt to them if organisations are to get the best from them. But, doesn’t this approach only represent half of the equation?
Mutual Reciprocity: the other side of the equation
The relationship between an employer and their employees is of course contractual in nature and this means it is crucially founded in all respects upon reciprocity. In 1980 John Gabarro and John Kotter first published their article ‘Managing Your Boss’ in Harvard Business Review. The article explains why it’s as much of an employee’s responsibility as it is their boss’s to ensure that there’s is a relationship based upon mutual respect and understanding. Employees, they argue, need to appreciate their boss’s goals and pressures, preferred styles of working and communication. At the end of the day it is the boss who is responsible for the employee’s annual appraisal and future promotion prospects. Whilst nearly 40 years old the article is as relevant today as it was then.
A Change in Recruitment
A further example is the sea change in recruitment, in particular by well-known household brands, who are looking for the next generation of talented leaders. They take it as a given that their potential employees will have the right level of educational qualifications for the role they are applying for. What the employer is really looking for is the candidate who will bring value added to their organisation in skills, experience or potential, rather than one who believes it’s down to the employer to provide them with it. Can the candidates demonstrate voluntary or paid work within a relevant sector, have they established their own network or do they speak languages useful to the organisation’s market, for instance.
So what does this mean going forward?
It means that the most successful organisations, in our view, will be the ones that not only heed the advice of Guido Stein but are supported by informed employees who appreciate the importance of their part in the employer-employee relationship; that being recognised and promoted is not determined solely upon time served but is a recognition of hard work, providing value added, team work and may mean temporarily sacrificing the work-home life balance by working beyond office hours to get the job done. It is vital for the survival and success of any organisation in these uncertain times to provide opportunities for learning and development (L&D) for their leaders and staff. That the millennial generation are and will continue to drive the requirement for L&D forward should be celebrated. They are part and parcel of the digital age, tech savvy and fully conversant with the power and reach of social media. As an organisation investing in your staff you should be thinking ahead as to the areas in which your millennials can best be supported. From our experience the core L&D interventions for millennials are typically:
- Communicating upwards, downwards and sideways
- Negotiating for success
- Landing business
- Skilled conflict handling
- Performance coaching: raising your game
We can help. Fill in the form below or give me a call to find out how we can support you and your staff in these and other areas.