Millennials are probably the most criticized generation. They are called lazy, irresponsible, passive, vain, entitled, scared of responsibility, and always blaming others for their troubles.
Some of the criticisms might be deserved, but often, they are unjustified. So, are millennials scared to develop their Leadership Skills to avoid taking a position of power?
Soft Skills Over Hard Skills
A study by the Association for Talent Development concluded that while Millennials do aspire for a leadership position, there’s plenty of room for improvement. For instance, they are confident about their soft skills rather than their hard skills.
What are these soft skills?
- Communication skills
- Desire to learn
- Critical thinking
- Verbal and non-verbal cues
- Willingness to learn
- Positive attitude
- Interpersonal skills
They are different than, say, troubleshooting a computer, programming, operating machinery, and the like.
In essence, soft skills are harder to quantify than hard skills.
Not Being Given Opportunity
Another survey released by Beyond.com is very telling in terms of the disconnect that exists between the older generation and Millennials.
For instance, on the question of whether they are hard workers:
- Only 1 in 10 of HR professionals perceive Millennials as hard workers
- Meanwhile, more than 8 in 10 of Millennials think of themselves as hard-working
On questions about their Leadership Skills:
- Only 9% of employers think that Millennials would become good leaders
- Meanwhile, 4 in 10 of Millennials think of themselves as leaders
On questions about their loyalty:
A remarkable 99% of HR professionals believe that Millennials are disloyal
- Meanwhile, more than 8 in 10 Millennials believe that they are loyal to their employer
The findings show the extent of the problem. It’s not that Millennials lack leadership potential. However, they are already written off even before they could start proving themselves.
But for businesses to continue perpetuating the myths out there would be very dangerous for their survival. After all, they have to hire new blood to ensure that business succession will continue.
Quick Tips to Instill Leadership Skills Among Millennials
- Train them to become mentors – Teaching somebody is the quickest way to learn as it provides the mentor with incredible insight while developing problem-solving skills.
- Break down hierarchical structures – The old model of boss and employee doesn’t appeal to Millennials much as they respond to a flat corporate structure. It’s why companies like Google or Apple are seen as dream jobs.
- Challenge them to develop their weaknesses – As already mentioned, Millennials are the first to admit they are weak on hard skills.
- Be generous with your praise or criticism – Believe it or not, Millennials crave for feedback to know they are on the right path. It can be negative or positive; the important thing is that you make them feel their work matter.
- Encourage feedback – You should also make them feel that their opinions are important. They can speak their mind openly about the business, their jobs, your management style, or their future goals without fear of repercussions.
While Millennials are open to transferring jobs, according to the Gallup poll. It’s something that’s outside of your control. Apart from a good salary, the other factors that will make an employee stay include a clear career path, work environment, job satisfaction, and flexible work schedules.