Right now, the dynamics in society are experiencing something for the first time—there could be up to five generations working together. As speaker Matt Rush discussed at the 2018 ASFMRA annual conference, this can cause potential problems in the workplace.
However, he gave attendees tips for working with each generation—and in particular, the growing worker pool from the millennial generation.
“It’s estimated by 2025 there will be 75 million millennials in the workplace. By 2020, one in three workers is going to be a millennial,” Rush shares about the workforce. “We’re going to have to get over ourselves and prepare for change.”
Rush advises that adjusting to changing dynamics in the workplace requires understanding generational perspectives of your coworkers or employees. And when studying the mindsets of millennials, there are some surprising takeaways.
He cites a Society of Human Resource Management study that states 79% of all millennial employees who quit their jobs do so because they don’t feel appreciated. In a survey conducted by Parade magazine, 35% of respondents would rather see their immediate supervisors fired than get a significant pay raise themselves—a majority of the respondents were millennials.
“The No. 1 leadership secret is engagement,” Rush says. “Get engaged. You need to be a person who cares.”
The benefits of changing a management approach are tangible. Rush also explains productivity is a factor of attitude, effort and skill. If one of those factors is low or even zero, then it bottoms out performance.
“True performance is the ideal accomplishment of a goal, aspiration or an objective that benefits everyone involved,” he says.
When performance needs to be addressed with feedback, Rush has one guiding rule for communicating with millennials: use clear definitions for expectations.
To manage attitude and, therefore, aptitude, use this six-step performance formula, he says:
Step 1: Say the problem. The feedback is given in private.
Step 2: Talk it out. In other words, clearly define the issue. The feedback is about specific, observable behavior.
Step 3: Invent solutions. The feedback is immediate.
Step 4: Communicate solutions. Ask questions, and then, actively listen to the answers.
Step 5: Know your plan. Develop a cooperative plan of action.
Step 6: You get to work. Make a date for a follow-up session.
As one final takeaway, Rush shared perhaps the biggest challenge of all—make your use of the word “no” extinct.
“It’s not just about not saying ‘no,’” he says. “But you will have to practice not using the word. It is destructive to creativity.”