In this latest blog, Loopin co-founder Ben Williams, shares his thoughts on the crucial topic of developing and supporting millennial leaders.
In recent years, leaders have had to adjust their skills. How people manage employees has undoubtedly shifted. The most common use of language around still important matters such as 'bottom line', EBITDA, and revenue have been replaced by wellbeing, mental health, and engagement. Authoritarian and autocratic leadership styles are transitioning to a more laissez-faire and coaching approach.
"Do as I say" has been rebranded as, "how would you like to do it?"
And the millennial's subject is still one that troubles many senior leaders, especially the 'how the hell do I lead them?' question. Well, the problem won't be a concern much longer, as the landscape is dramatically shifting.
According to the Deloitte millennial survey, by 2025, Generation Y will own a minimum of 75% of all management and executive positions within the workplace, across every sector and industry.
As baby boomers and Gen-X'ers continue to scratch their heads and muster together to work out how they lead future generations, millennials are busy acquiring all the positions. And it is not slowing down. Ten-thousand baby boomers are retiring every single day, and Generation X are quickly following up with their life changes, leaving many leadership roles open and exposed to the future leaders.
The millennials are taking over, and now is the time to embrace them.
But do they know what they are doing? 69% of millennials believe they aren’t being fully developed as leaders by their employers for management positions. And when you consider that 82% of employees would consider leaving their jobs because of a bad manager, we need to ensure companies find better ways to avoid poor leadership development, so millennials are well equipped to lead their teams forward.
A good place to start is understanding how a millennial wants to lead. Early data suggests that money isn't the main driver, and is instead replaced by purpose, fulfilment, embracing technology, reducing their carbon footprint, and ensuring the company's values align with their own.
With styles changing and the baton being handed over, organisations need to look at new ways to help millennials find their leadership feet because I would be the first to say, we need a hand. Budgets are getting slashed in learning and development. The pandemic has caused a huge void in leadership exposure and mentoring. And millennials now have the challenge of leading companies into a survival phase of business, with almost very little leadership experience.
For this generation, leadership development now demands a more sustained and consistent approach, designed less around sheep dip two-day courses and time-consuming online training, and instead, regular guidance and mentoring, developing their leadership daily, and not through ad hoc workshops.
They are uniquely minded, can be difficult, and have very different styles and abilities. But they have the knowledge and understanding to successfully transform the workplace and create industry-defining businesses. They just need to be shown how they can lead it all forward.
I don't believe anyone quite yet has the answers to what the next steps are. We are only just exiting one of the most chaotic times we have collectively lived through since world war two, with little sign of the pain slowing and the economic impact only just beginning to rear its ugly head. But one thing is for sure, companies need to first invest, and then reinvent how it is developing the leaders of the future. Otherwise, companies are soon going to witness the devastating impact of why the millennial leader's development should not be forgotten.
How we develop our future leaders is yet to be understood. But one thing is clear. Millennials need the greatest support. Baby boomers are retiring, and the PlayStation generation is still learning. Millennials are the ones who are next to lead the charge.
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