All posts by Ryan Jenkins

How to Cure Millennials of Career Impatience

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Ryan Jenkins

By: Ryan Jenkins
Next Generation Speaker / Columnist

Millennials expect promotions and pay raises to come early and often. Here’s how leaders can channel this desire to their benefit.

A consistent complaint about Millennials is their unrealistic timeline for being promoted. They want a pay bump in a few months, a promotion a few months later and the title of CEO by end of their first year. Growing up in fast times and coming of age in an on-demand culture, Millennials have little patience for stagnation, especially when it comes to their careers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of April 2016 Millennials held an average of 7.2 jobs from age 18 through age 28. A 2016 Gallup report revealed that 21 percent of Millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year — more than three times the number of non-Millennials. What’s more, this Millennial turnover is costing the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.

As work cycles continue to spin faster and project timelines become shorter, Millennial employees will move up or move on with greater frequency than previous generations.

Leaders need to get more comfortable with the accelerated career advancement expectations of Millennials and arm themselves with a few strategies to satisfy their desire for career progression and stop job-hopping.

To fully satisfy the diverse needs and desires of your Millennial team, consider using a combination of these approaches.

1. Mine the Motivation

Millennials are accustomed to external motivators. Perks, trophies and praise were used to motivate Millennials as they grew up. Because of this, many Millennials lack the internal motivation to overcome career impatience. If you want to deepen the determination and motivation of your Millennial employees, it’s up to the leaders to cultivate it.

The responsibility rests on leaders to cast a compelling vision and help Millennials discover their personal (intrinsic) motivation in achieving the vision and progressing within the organization. Help them to identify the necessary grit that won’t let them quit.

Millennials who gain early clarity on their internal motivations and career progression goals will be able to adjust their expectations and will be better equipped to explore cross-collaboration opportunities to gain more experience and to put their anxious ambition to good use.

2. Commit to Coaching

Coaching is the leadership style that resonates most with Millennials. Millennials were raised in organized activities where they were consistently surrounded by coaches. They view coaching as their path to greatness. The best coaches train, guide and advance while taking deep interest in those they coach.

Effective coaching builds trust, instills loyalty and helps Millennials become valuable faster. Coaching allows a leader to reflect on the progress and impact a millennial is having at the organization and recommend the right opportunities where they could continue their growth and development.

Coaching allows leaders to anticipate when a Millennial is struggling, frustrated, bored or underemployed before they decide to leave the company. Leaders should reemphasize there is no quick remedy for job satisfaction. It’s a slow, uncomfortable and complicated process.

3. Connect With Contribution

Parents encouraged Millennials to have a say at an early age. Access to the Internet also gave Millennials a platform to contribute and have a voice. They now carry this desire to contribute into the workplace. Leaders that create opportunities for Millennials to contribute and cocreate will be rewarded with Millennial loyalty and longevity.

Too often organizations underestimate the ability and desire Millennials have to contribute. Underestimating leads to resentment and underemployment leads to impatience. Create environments that encourage and channels that enable contribution.

4. Motivate With Movement

To satisfy Millennials’ desire to gain transferable skills, get them moving throughout the organization. Millennials don’t view career paths as linear like a ladder but rather multidimensional like a military cargo climbing net. They might be interested in moving left and then back down before moving up.

Be transparent and proactive in your communications about the available opportunities throughout the organization. Networking or social events, job shadows and online job directories are good examples of ways to help Millennials explore movement throughout the organization.

At Taco Bell’s corporate office, the company has a strategy where they loan their employees to other companies. If an employee notices another company is working on a project they are interested in, they can request to be loaned out on a temporary basis to work on that project — a nontraditional approach for a generation that approaches career and learning nontraditionally.

5. Develop for Departure

Offer the training, coaching and mentoring necessary for Millennials to develop themselves out of their current role or the organization. Why develop someone out of the organization? Because the alternative of not developing someone and having them stay and underperform is much worse.

Liz Wiseman, author of “Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work,” writes that a rookie mentality — approaching work or a job/task for the first time or from a new perspective — is the key to faster learning, better performance and persisting through failure. Departing Millennials can make room for new “rookies” ready to perform better and can bring a rookie mentality to their new role or company further advancing themselves or the organization.

If Millennials depart your company, they might not know how good they had it because they have nothing to compare it to this early in their career. When they experience the lack of development at another organization, they will boomerang back to your company. These will become your best company ambassadors. Leverage them wisely.

(This is 1 of the 47 strategies Ryan shares in his new book, The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work.)

This article was originally posted on Ryan’s column, Next Generation Insights.

Reprinted with permission.

How to Help Millennials Overcome Failure

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Ryan Jenkins

By: Ryan Jenkins
Next Generation Speaker / Columnist

Millennials’ altitude in their career and your organization is determined by their attitude towards failure.

According to a Babson College survey, 41 percent of 25-34-year-old Millennials cited “fear of failure” as their biggest roadblock to starting a business, up from 24 percent in 2001. It would seem that Millennials are searching for safer paths towards success.

Millennials are interested in anticipating obstacles rather than stumbling through them. They will leverage today’s abundant information, tools, and resources to minimize risk.

Although Millennials have a complicated relationship with risk. They’ve grown up in a connected world where failure is more public and permanent. One wrong move and the Internet can immortalize one’s failure. In addition, success is prioritized over failure on social media. Millennials don’t see the missteps of their friends on social media, which gives the false illusion that they are the only one experiencing failure.

Millennials also perceive risk differently from previous generations. Some would claim that climbing the corporate ladder is safe, Millennials would call that risky. Some would claim quitting a six-figure job to start a green smoothie business is risky, Millennials would call that safe because they are taking control.

Many Millennials grew up over-protected by their hovering helicopter parents who would deflect anything that appeared to be a failure. Now Millennials are entering the workplace where some are experiencing failure for the very first time, and it’s up to managers to help them thrive through it.

Millennials’ altitude in their career and your organization is determined by their attitude towards failure.

Ultimately people have two choices when it to comes to reacting to failure: fail backward or fail forward. It’s a choice. Leaders are in a unique position to help Millennials choose to fail forward and begin to view failure as deferred success.

  • Display Empathy
    Authority is given but influence is earned. The quickest way to earn influence with Millennials is to listen. Listen and display empathy by stating “I see you’re really disappointed, I know you really wanted to do better on this project.” Or share your own struggles and stories of failure.
  • Instill Belief
    An authentic belief in the Millennial employee’s abilities will prompt them to take more risks and be bolder in their actions. Highlight the strengths, skills, and attributes that made you hire them. Cultivate the belief that self-image is not dictated by external events. Millennials must understand that their self-worth is not based on their performance.
  • Encourage Ownership
    People are tempted to blame others for their failure. Don’t tolerate Millennials pointing fingers and taking a victim mentality. Help them understand that they rob themselves of the learning and growth that’s inside failure when they don’t own their failure.
  • Emphasize the Journey
    Help them to view failure as a toll booth instead of a roadblock. With a tollbooth, a price must be paid to move forward. Prepare the Millennial for the journey, don’t prepare the journey for the Millennial.
  • Facilitate Failure
    Create environments where failing is easy and encouraged. Remove any fear or consequences of failure and communicate that failure isn’t fatal or final.
  • Contextualize Failure
    Offer context around the failure. Help Millennials to see the failure as temporary. Putting the failure into perspective will help them see failure as a momentary event, not a symptom of a lifelong epidemic.
  • Challenge Them
    Challenging Millennials with tough assignments provides opportunities for failure and communicates that you believe in their ability to rise to the challenge. Resilience is a muscle that must be intentionally developed and practiced.
  • Stress Strengths
    Failure can be minimized when people are operating in areas of their strengths. Help Millennials to be wary of laboring too long in areas of their weakness. Spending too much time overcompensating for weaknesses will increase the likelihood of continued failure.
  • Coach vs Intervene
    Resist the urge to intervene to assist a struggling Millennial. Allow the Millennial to marinate in the failure but coach them to come up with a creative solution. Intervening only robs the Millennial of the opportunities to learn problem-solving, develop resilience, and cultivate confidence to take on new challenges.
  • Affirm Effort
    Affirm the variables that the Millennial can control such as effort, empathy, or strategy. Good effort, whether or not they failed, should be rewarded or recognized (Read this for more on recognition best practices for Millennials.) Failing to try or put forth effort is unacceptable failure.
  • Move On
    Have Millennials pause to unpack the failure but help them to understand that the past cannot be altered. Spending too long thinking about missteps can lessen self-confidence, stall progress, and divert focus. Coach Millennials to quickly forget the negative emotions of the setback and encourage them to press forward resiliently.

Benjamin Franklin said it best, “The things that hurt, instruct.” Failure is a teacher. Trial and error (emphasis on the error) is what forges stronger character. Failure-free individuals grow into emotionally fragile professionals who are susceptible to anxiety and lack the grit to succeed.

(This is 1 of the 47 strategies Ryan shares in his new book, The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work.)

This article was originally posted on Ryan’s column, Next Generation Insights.

Reprinted with permission.

How to Have Millennials Show Up to Work on Time

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Ryan Jenkins

By: Ryan Jenkins
Next Generation Speaker / Columnist

How often are workers late to work? Is the 9-to-5 schedule obsolete? Are employers becoming more lenient with worker tardiness?

CareerBuilder recently explored this topic with a Jan 2017 nationwide survey of more than 2,600 hiring and human resource managers and more than 3,400 workers across industries. Here are the findings…

  • Twenty-nine percent of workers admitted they were late to work at least once a month. (Up from 25 percent last year.)
  • Sixty-four percent of employers and employees believe the concept of “working 9 to 5” is an antiquated practice, but 53 percent of employers expect employees to be on time every day.
  • Forty-one percent of employers have fired someone for being late.
  • Twenty-nine percent say they have no problem with the occasional late arrival, as long as it doesn’t become a pattern. (Down from 33 percent last year.)
  • Sixty-nine percent of workers who arrive late will stay later to make up for it. (Up from 62 percent last year.)
  • Top reasons for being late to work: Traffic (49 percent), oversleeping (32 percent), bad weather (26 percent), too tired to get out of bed (25 percent), and procrastination (17 percent).

Even though these trends point to a greater employer lenience for tardiness, arriving at work or meetings on time remains a pertinent challenge that I hear frequently from my audiences of folks who manage Millennials.

Millennials have a 24/7 always-on approach to work so coming in late at 9:45am isn’t a big deal since they were sending emails since they woke up at 7:00am and plan to work until 11:00pm. And other times, Millennials are simply unaware that their tardiness is having an effect on those around them.

Whatever the case may be, these six steps should help managers:

1. Believe the Best

Leadership expert, Andy Stanley, says, “Occasionally, there are gaps between what we expect people to do and what they actually do. As leaders, we choose what to put in this gap. And what you as a leader choose to put in that gap will shape your culture. And what you put into that gap, will also be what your staff puts in that gap. You will either assume the worst or believe the best.”

“Developing a culture of trust is critical to the health of your organization. Trust fuels productivity. The message of trust is this…I think you are smart enough to know what to do, and you make a mistake, you will tell me then fix it,” says Stanley.

Stanley makes a compelling case to insert trust into the gap when you see your Millennial employee show up late. Choosing to insert your own assumption (for example: all Millennials are lazy) could cause you to overreact or lash-out and ultimately erode trust.

If the tardiness becomes a chronic issue, continue with the below steps.

2. Address Quickly

“If you want to build a culture of trust, you must confront fairly and quickly and refuse to sit on it. Before I assume the worst, I should at least ask for the facts. The consequences of concealment are far greater than the consequences of confrontation,” says Stanley.

Waiting so long that you react in anger towards the tardy employee is unacceptable and unprofessional. Or waiting too long and beginning to document their every move, you run the risk of making the employee feel like they are “being watched.”

After a few offenses, approach the employee directly. Schedule a one on one, coffee run, or lunch where there is ample time for both the employee and the leader to discuss the issue. They might not have a valid excuse or reason for their behavior, but they will appreciate you believing the best.

Don’t let your fear of being the “micro-manager” or “bad manager” get in the way of being the manager they need.

3. Diagnose the Cause

While in conversation with the late-arriver, take the posture of a coach trying to help the Millennial employee (like a doctor trying to diagnose the problem) and ask probing questions like…

  • Are you late for some things or everything?
  • Is there a certain day or time when you’re late?
  • How do you feel when you are late?
  • Does the amount of time you are late vary? (It’s likely there is a psychological hurdle if the amount of time is always the same and a mechanical problem if the amount of time varies day to day.)
  • What causes you to be late? According to Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged, there are seven categories for late people:
    • The Evader: Struggle leaving the existing task until it’s perfect or 100 percent completed.
    • The Indulger: Lacking in self-control.
    • The Rationalizer: Won’t admit the problem and blame external factors.
    • The Rebel: Actually enjoy the idea of knowing that other people are waiting for them.
    • The Absent Minded Professor: Prone to innocent flakiness or the condition of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and get easily distracted on their way. They often lose track of time, misplace car keys, and forget appointments.
    • The Producers: Over-achievers who simply over-schedule their days and underestimate the amount of time their tasks will take.
    • The Deadliner: Subconsciously enjoy the thrill of the last minute rush. Rushing relieves boredom.

These are not excuses. Knowing the tardiness tendencies is the first step in getting lateness under control.

Both parties have responsibilities: Managers should take an active role in helping Millennials diagnose the cause and Millennials must be open and willing to discover the causes or tendencies that cause them to be late.

Alternate Step: Offer a Flexible Schedule

Why fight biology, hardened habits, or extenuating circumstances (family obligations, medical issues, etc.) when a re-engineered or custom schedule would allow the employee to be more productive and relieve you of some heartburn. Steps 1-3 may reveal that a flexible schedule would work best for the individual and team.

If you go this route, be prepared to explore other options for other employees, but you might be due for a 9-to-5 shake-up anyways. (Read this for how to manage a Millennial remote team.)

4. Communicate the Consequences

Don’t assume Millennials realize how their tardiness impacts others. Help them to see it clearly.

Quantify it. When you’re 10 minutes late to a meeting with 10 of your teammates, that is 10 minutes times 10, which is 100 minutes of unproductive time.

Help the Millennial to see the ramifications/consequences their tardiness has on other people. For example, because you were 15 minutes late, James had to fill in for you and the client ended up having to wait. Or not having you available online at 8:00am results in customer requests that sit for more than one hour.

Or consider putting it into context Millennials might understand: imagine having an issue with your Netflix account, submitting a trouble ticket and waiting an hour for someone to contact you. Would you tolerate that timeline?

Also communicate some of the intangible consequences of being late: diminished trust, colleague resentment, and looking less responsible as a professional.

5. Discipline

Every employee but especially the early-career Millennials will have varied learning curves when it comes to correcting their tardiness. Some will only need a subtle reminder while others will need disciplinary action.

Disciplinary action could include:

  • Requiring they make up the time.
  • Docking their pay.
  • Decreasing their bonus.

Enforcing steeper disciplinary action may be warranted if their behavior has negatively impacted the bottomline, the company culture, or a client relationship. (Read this for how to terminate a Millennial.)

6. Acknowledge Improvement

If the Millennial employee’s behavior improves, make it a priority to acknowledge it. (Read this for how to deliver recognition to Millennials.)

(This is 1 of the 47 strategies Ryan shares in his new book, The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work.)

This article was originally posted on Ryan’s column, Next Generation Insights.

Reprinted with permission.

How to Attract Millennials With a Compelling Recruitment Video

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Ryan Jenkins

By: Ryan Jenkins
Next Generation Speaker / Columnist

Finding talent for your organization is an ongoing process. It’s even more ongoing  today as Baby Boomers retire and Millennials change jobs in record numbers.

As stated in my previous article, How to Attract Millennial Workers in 2 Simple Steps:

What are Millennials looking for when considering a job?

  • The No. 1 thing Millennials want to know about a company is its “culture and values,” followed by “perks and benefits,” and “employee perspectives of the company.”
  • The top obstacle to Millennials accepting a job is “not knowing what the company is like.”

A compelling and informative recruiting video can satisfy both of the above Millennial needs when it comes to considering a job. Here are fifteen elements to include in your recruitment video in order to effectively attract the right Millennial talent.

  1. Don’t tell, show. 
    Video is the preferred method of consumption for the Millennial generation. Showcase what it looks like to work at your company.
  2. Infuse authenticity. 
    Give the viewer a genuine sense of the workspace, company culture, and employee perspectives.
  3. Showcase your growth. 
    Millennials are interested in becoming an integral part of something that’s going somewhere. Use interesting visuals or comparisons to showcase your company’s recent growth.
  4. Expose your culture. 
    Spend more time emphasizing the company culture than explaining your product or service. Millennials put a premium on culture.
  5. Flaunt your employees.
    Millennials want to see who they’d be working alongside. The more diverse and creative the team…the better. Ditch any clip art and stock video and just use your real employees.
  6. Unveil the lifestyle.
    Millennials often choose a city before they choose a job. Show the community amenities of your hiring city. Highlight the eateries, coffee shops, bars, public transportation, venues, etc.
  7. Reveal the office.
    Highlight the innovate workspaces and work perks (pets at work, adjustable desks, cafeterias, game rooms, etc.).
  8. Depict an actual day. 
    Show what it looks like going to work, who they are going to meet there, a typical desk, the elevator they will use, where they will park, how they will collaborate, and where meetings are held. The easier they can visualize themselves at your organization, the easier their decision.
  9. Show off technology. 
    Millennials desire an innovative environment to quench their tech dependence. Show employees interacting with the various pieces of technology through the office.
  10. Exhibit social perks. 
    Millennials are looking for community as much as they are a job. Highlight your community outreach, office sport teams, and parties.
  11. Feature your leaders. 
    Allow Millennials to see or hear from senior leaders inside the organization. Highly visible leaders give Millennials the impression of a flatter organization, which they prefer.
  12. Get quirky. 
    No Millennial dreams of working for a stuffy organization. Do not make the video too corporate and robotic. Find ways to inject some quirkiness.
  13. Short video. 
    Attention spans are shortening at alarming rates. Create a 1-1:30min recruiting intro video and then serve up other longer videos (if necessary) for those interested in learning more about your organization.
  14. Compelling music. 
    Your video’s music can make or break the video. Music can demonstrate your relevance, innovation, and the pace of your organization.
  15. Visible call to action. 
    Make sure viewers know exactly what their next step should be (ex: visit to apply or text APPLY to 12121). Make it clear and visible. Place it at the end of the video and in the video description.

(This is 1 of the 47 strategies shared in Ryan’s new book, The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work.)

Reprinted with permission.