I heard a radio interview this morning that really disturbed me.
The subject was the issue of some millennials that are simply refusing to do the tasks they are assigned in the workplace. The individual being interview proposed that the problem was ambiguity in the assignments. He claimed if we as leaders were clearer in describing what we want done, that is being more prescriptive, our young workers would be much happier. Wrong!
True, our millennials live in a complex and much more homogenous world. Some call it globalization. It is getting a little harder to identify and stop bad people. The world order seems to be changing daily. And some world leaders seem to be using an antiquated rule book. It’s tough being young these days!
As I discuss in my recently published book, “Project and Program Turnaround”, the solution is simple and essential to our world’s future,
- Don’t just simply tell the young worker what to do next but instead inform them what the end commitment is.
- Let the young worker work out what must they can do to achieve that commitment.
- Let them come forward with what they thing might be a better way to achieve the commitment. Walk with them through their rational supporting why they think this idea (innovation) is better. Don’t patronize this step! Often they WILL have a better idea. And its human nature, she or he will make a passionate effort to show you their approach is successful!
- As a leader, break down barriers to implement this new approach when it does have good merit.
- Share the success of this approach with the rest of the work force or team. Share any lessons learned while implementing it. By doing so you will both galvanize the job satisfaction the millennial receives and encourage the rest of the team to also be creative and innovate. Again, with the final team commitment as the target!
Hey, this approach simply applies our highly adaptive tribal teamwork that has caused our human species to be so superior over the last 200,000 years. This is why our brains are so big! Don’t waste it!