Coaching Millennials: 5 Effective Ways To Shape Future Leaders

Generation Y, commonly known as millennials, are quickly taking over and now represent nearly half of the workforce. With most millennials now in their 30s, — they are taking leadership positions too. 

However, millennials are often misunderstood. They are dubbed the most “impatient” generation in the workplace, demanding quick results and rapid career progression while not showing the work ethic of previous generations.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to mold millennials to help them reach their potential. Before exploring how to coach millennials, let’s understand their expectations in the workplace. 

What Do Millennials Want in the Workplace

Millennials have gotten a bad rap in recent years. They have been accused of being entitled, lazy, and unwilling to do hard work. However, the truth is that millennials have different priorities compared to previous generations. Here are some of the things they look for:

  • Feedback Seeking Leaders

Millennials highly value leaders that show traits of humility, transparency, and continual learning. They believe that the best leaders are willing to seek feedback. In fact, millennials do not see this as a weakness because they understand that no one is perfect and that feedback is essential for growth.

  • Teamwork and Collaboration

Millennials have a deep need to form relationships with others. They want to focus on teamwork and collaboration instead of individual achievements, making it easier for them to get things done. In comparison, previous generations might not be as willing because they are more competitive in nature and are focused on achieving their personal goals.

  • Flexible Structure

Millennials have a casual attitude towards policy. They believe that leaders and employees should be willing to examine, adjust, or test policies if they no longer seem beneficial for the company’s goals. Furthermore, millennials embrace a flat management structure with little to no bureaucracy. This means they prefer workplaces without a hierarchy where everyone has an equal say. 

  • Empowerment

For the average millennial, a paycheck does not cut it anymore. They also want to feel empowered. Millennials are now looking for jobs that offer a sense of purpose and the opportunity to make a difference. For many, this could mean working for a company that aligns with their values or starting their own business.

  • Work-Life Balance

A good work-life balance is one of the most important factors millennials look for in a job. Unlike their predecessors, millennials are less willing to sacrifice their personal lives for their careers. They place a high value on time with family, friends, and hobbies. As a result, they are more likely to job-hop in search of an employer who will offer them flexible hours and alternative work options to maintain a healthy balance between work and life.

  • Diversity

Technology use has become the norm for millennials. Being more connected with the internet has made this generation more enriched in their worldview. With that in mind, millennials look to work at companies that reflect their values and perspectives. They are looking for workplaces that value diversity and inclusion, and are willing to move jobs to find them. For millennials, diversity goes beyond race and ethnicity — it also includes diversity of thought and experiences.

Related read: 7 Ways To Become A Better Remote Leader

How to Coach Millennials Effectively

As you now know the motivations and expectations of millennials, you can develop better ways to coach them effectively. With that in mind, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Establish Trust

Millennials generally distrust authority figures, so it is essential to build rapport before trying to coach them. Get to know them as people, not just employees. Talk about their interests and goals, and show that you are genuinely interested in helping them succeed.

  • Promote an Environment for Growth

When you compare millennials with their predecessors, millennials are more motivated to impact the world positively. They want their identity to be reflected in the work that they do. Therefore, it is important to give them projects that are meaningful, so that they can expand their skill set and also contribute to the growth of the company.

  • Let Them Think Independently

The millennial generation is driven to think big while thinking long-term. Millennials tend to not respond well when micromanaged. It would be best if you tapped into a millennial’s creativity so that they can explore solutions to different problems by themselves. 

  • Set A Personal Roadmap

The urge to finish each task, regardless of the challenges, is common in every millennial. This eagerness can sometimes lead them to overlook important details. It would be best if you provided a roadmap to guide millennials to reach their goals. This gives them a higher level of personal responsibility which can be applied to their personal and professional lives. 

  • Have Patience

Millennials are used to instant gratification, so they may not always respond well to traditional coaching methods that gradually build skills over time. Be patient and explain that the goal is worth the effort. They will eventually come around.

Millennials Want to be Coached

Despite the criticisms towards millennials, they yearn to be coached. A 2015 survey concluded that 94% of millennials make personal development their commitment. In contrast, the survey shows that only 84% of Boomers and 81% of Generation X make personal growth a priority.

With most of today’s workforce represented by millennials, it is essential to introduce a coaching program that caters to the priorities of millennials.

One program that should be considered is Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching®. The program boasts the world’s largest executive coach network with over 4,500 certified coaches around the globe. It has improved the leadership effectiveness of Fortune 500 leaders. 

Aside from that, MGSCC® is designed with a modern learning method in mind:

  • All-in-one Coach’s Portal and E-Learning Dashboard
  • Learning Tools that are Available On-Demand
  • Online Mentorship Program and 7 Skill Practice Sessions with world-renowned coaches
  • Online Founders Q&A every month
  • Supportive coaching community and peer-to-peer learning groups
  • And much more!

Take your first step today. Learn more about our program by downloading our brochure here. If you have more questions to ask, feel free to speak to a program advisor here.


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