If you read Part 1 of this article, then we already established that learning to harness the power of a millennial workforce is mandatory for teams looking to grow. We also introduced the first key to achieving this: creating a culture centered around education and development.
[Key 2] Stand for Something
TOMS Shoes founder, Blake Mycoskie, had it right when he went all in on building a business centered around a cause that was inspiring. Just as customers love doing business with brands like TOMS and Patagonia that have big missions, socially conscious millennial employees want to work for them.
Unlike older generations, they don’t see as much separation between work and personal life but would rather align with a company that fits their mission to create an impact.
This is where business owners need to ensure they have a crystal clear vision and mission that moves their team to action. Every fitness facility focuses on “getting people in shape,” but they key as a millennial leader is to make sure they can buy into why and how you do it the way you do.
Soul Cycle’s Mission is: “To bring Soul to the people. Our one of a kind, rockstar instructors guide riders through an inspirational, meditative fitness experience that’s designed to benefit the body, mind and soul.”
That’s the kind of mission that millennials can get behind. How do you build it into your business? Don’t start doing charity workouts just to try and drum up business, but find something you truly believe in and will inspire others to work hard in creating that impact.
Don’t hesitate to involve them in deciding what this looks like either. As you see below, that alone can be one of the best ways to retain great staff.
[Key 3] Give Ownership and Control
We highlighted the value of having a solid onboarding and mentorship process to successfully integrate millennial staff into your team. Once you have taught them all they need to know to begin succeeding in your organization on their own, then get out of their way and give them some freedom.
Let’s be honest, micromanagement isn’t the most effective method for anyone, but especially with this generation that has a desire to contribute creatively. Instead, task them with solving a problem or creating a new system and allow them to use the rest of the team to help. They grew up doing group work in school and working in teams, so this is a great way to play off their learning style and come up with solutions they never would have reached on their own.
A great example here would be understanding how to integrate newer technology and media into an existing fitness business. This is where Baby Boomer and Gen X managers can get the most out of the millennials on their team. Be clear on the outcome you’re looking for and don’t shy away from giving feedback along the way, but let them figure out how to accomplish it.
Not only does this highlight the new age of effective management as you try to keep up with the industry, but it’s also likely to continue building a work culture that a younger generation feels they can thrive and grow alongside.