The critical function of leadership is to develop and sustain impassioned, capable team members who drive desired results. Leaders achieve this through developing the right focus, building the right team and creating the right environment.
Over time, that right team consists increasingly of Millennials. By extension, the right environment is largely defined by how well it contributes to Millennials becoming impassioned, capable team members.
So what does the right environment look like? Each year Deloitte conducts a survey to determine how Millennials view business and its role in society.
A major finding: when it comes to the “3 P’s” – purpose, people and profit – what Millennials value most is organizations with a purpose that resonates, and robust people practices.
Yes, it’s important to Millennials that companies have a sense of purpose. But what resonates most is when that purpose is aligned with their personal values. Recognizing this, companies should appeal to their stated values during the recruitment process to attract candidates who have similar values. And they should assess and verify candidates’ values during the selection process.
Purpose is something that should be reflected in each employee’s job. Companies that promote purpose, support it, and celebrate it are the ones that develop successful, purpose-driven teams.
People Practices – Growing as a Professional
Millennials place a high importance on being supported in their leadership ambitions. They want opportunities to learn, develop and grow. They are especially receptive to coaching and mentoring. Providing leadership development before a Millennial takes on a leadership role sends a very positive message (and builds loyalty). In addition to support and development, Millennials want timely opportunities to be challenged and to advance, to put that development to good use.
People Practices – Don’t forget the Personal
Like employees of all generations, Millennials flourish in an environment where there is lots of communication, collaboration, openness and fun. An environment that resonates at a personal level.
The concept of work/life balance is evolving into work/life integration. Meaning that employees want flexibility – with hours, locations and duties – to focus on work when work demands are important and to focus on the personal when personal demands are important.
Finally, companies that value the individual as a person, not just as an employee, create a deeper connection. One way to demonstrate that is to provide opportunities for personal development as well as professional development.
An environment that creates engagement, especially with Millennials, is one in which companies bring meaning to what employees do, help them become who they aspire to become, and connect with them at a personal level. Purpose and people practices.
Make it happen.