Finding The Intersection of Youth and Experience: A Fresh Approach to Leading Millennials

Talent maximization in today’s workplace requires a special focus on millennial employees and how to effectively lead them. According to Millennial Branding, millennials represent 36% of today’s American workforce and will make up 75% of the global workforce in 2025.

Beyond the sheer numbers is the impact of millennials on employee retention. The Millennial Branding study found that more than 60% of millennials leave their employers within three years. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that, of 7,700 millennials surveyed worldwide, 25% expect to leave their current employer within the next 12 months. Only one-third expect to stay with their current employer past the year 2020.

Dan Negroni’s new book, Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace, is well-timed to meet these challenges. He opens Chasing Relevance with an “Origin Story,” a preface of sorts. On page 6, he states, “I love what happens at the intersection of youth and experience.” The next 200-plus pages provide both the vision and a well-thought action plan to get us to that intersection.

More than simple advice for leading millennials, Chasing Relevance is an outstanding guide for leaders in any context. Negroni suggests an inside-out approach, recognizing that the responsibility for effective leadership begins with the leader. To start, the leader must recognize his or her own strengths, skills, and story. From there, Negroni offers a framework to B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap:

B     Bust myths – Identify and breakthrough underlying myths and assumptions about employees that create barriers.

R     Real deal – Create real-deal, authentic, caring relationships with your team.

I       I own it – Own personal responsibility and accountability to drive results.

D     Deliver value – Serve and provide value to others every day.

G     Goals in mind – Create alignment around shared goals and priorities to increase engagement and trust.

E     Empower success – Empower your culture and employees to drive results.

Negroni pulls no punches in challenging each generation to do its part to develop healthy communication and relationships within the workplace. There’s something for everyone to learn in Chasing Relevance. Perhaps most enlightening to this Baby Boomer was this statement: “In the end, most millennials just want what we all want. They also want bosses who care, set clear expectations, and are willing to coach—and who understand what they expect and need in the workplace.” How true!

Do you lead millennials? Buy a copy of Chasing Relevance for each person on your team and discuss it together. Each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions and action steps that will engage valuable discussion. Do you mentor or coach a millennial? Go through the book together. You will both gain from the conversation.

Let’s talk! I’d love to hear your approach to talent maximization and team building with millennial employees; both successes and challenges.


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