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I want to first thank so many of you who have taken part in my poll about your frustrations with Millennials. Your comments and input are very insightful, candid, passionate, and communicate clear frustration. What is interesting throughout the comments is the subtle hint of compassion and pity for Millennials. They are a generation that is truly trying to find themselves, and struggling to do so in many ways.
This is great research that will help me in the writing of my upcoming book. If you are wanting to be a part of the journey with me and answer the poll question, you can find it here: Frustrated With Millennials.
If you are a Millennial and want to be a part with me, I will have a poll question for you coming up, so stay tuned.
So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Millennials want to have more input, but that isn’t the title of this article. Sure Millennials want more input in the workplace, but then again they want more of everything. What is dangerous for those who lead and manage Millennials, is that their desire, push, and even demand for input causes too many leaders to react negatively to that desire, sometimes even limiting or cutting off input avenues. This, however, does not change their employment status or their membership as a part of your team. As leaders, our job is not to “put them in their place” or “teach them a lesson”, it is to lead them. Lead them to high-performance, high efficiency, and personal fulfillment. So, we must pay attention to their NEED for more input, despite their poor approach to gaining it.
Bob Moritz, US Chairman of Price Waterhouse, discovered that Millennials were making up his teams whether he liked it or not. They possess the tech savvy knowledge necessary for today’s workforce, they have more expendable time and are full of innovative ideas that can provide higher market share for businesses and higher community impact for nonprofits and ministries. Moritz knew he had a find a way to provide his Millennials with opportunities for more input, rather than limit them and stifle them.
What he did was engage Millennials in the decision making processes of the PWH, regardless of the position the Millennials held. He didn’t give them carte blanche of decision-making, but he did allow avenues of input when it came to how PWH would invest in human capital, what new idea $100 million should be invested into, and how the company can better align with its values.
The key for Moritz, and for you as well, is open up opportunities to allow Millennials to speak into important decisions. It isn’t important their ideas are implemented, it is important they are heard, respected, and considered as viable options. How you handle their input communicates to them how you will handle them. Do those things, and you will communicate that you hear them, respect them, and consider them viable contributors to the team. Ultimately, that is what they are looking for…the opportunity to matter in life and to do something of significance.