3 Things to Know For Retaining Millennials

3 Things to Know For Retaining Millennials

It is coming; research suggest that by 2020 about 50% of the workforce will be Generation Y, or what you probably know as Millennials (born roughly between 1981-2000).  So what does this mean for employers and business leaders?  How can you prepare yourself to attract and retain such a high percentage of the workforce?  Here are three simple things to consider:

  1. Keep them stimulated and engaged.  You think a snap on Snap Chat ends quickly?  That is nothing compared to how long a Millennial will be with you if they are bored.  Give them something to do that stimulates them mentally.  Millennials are perceived as being better at “multitasking” than others, and while they may look busier, this may hurt their productivity.  Help to channel the energy in a focused direction, but keep them engaged.
  2. Talk to them frequently and consistently.  It can be argued that Millennials struggle with being patient as they seek instant gratification; depending on the research you conduct you may find this to be mostly true or only somewhat true.  The fact remains that Millennials want to know where they stand and that there is some kind of recognition and movement.  Have one-on-one’s to discuss their performance, give them specific goals and objectives that they can tangibly measure and achieve, and give them positive and constructive feedback.
  3. Appeal to their core characteristics. Millennials want to have a great experience and find meaning in what they do beyond the daily tasks. In the interview process, get to know the Millennial candidate and seek to understand what appeals to them; do not just talk about the job tasks.   Organizations that have a well thought out mission statement and core values, that they actually live out, will find more success in retention. (At our company, Trevero, we offer an assessment, the CORE Assessment, that will help you uncover these truths about an individual in under 10-minutes.)

Implement these behavioral changes intentionally and with effort in your organization, and you will likely see a boost in your organization’s retention of Millennial talent.

How To Be Better at Follow Through

How To Be Better at Follow Through

Follow through…our biggest personal and organizational challenge. In its absence, big ideas and visions never become a reality; in its absence, we over promise and under deliver; in its absence, we are never able to change results and outcomes.

So how do we get better at this? How do we ensure that a larger percentage of our goals, objectives, and intentions are attained? Because I would not be a good blog writer if I did not have some type of numerical process for accomplishing this, I will give you a proverbial “Three-Step Process”:

1) Clearly understand your goal. This is not a goal-setting article; however, you need to make sure that:

  • Your goal is specific and is under your full control
  • Your goal is measurable
  • Your goal is realistic and attainable (I would love to save $1,000,000 this month, but unless one of you fine people make that contribution or choose to purchase advertising on my articles (YOUR LINK OR PRETTY PICTURE CAN BE HERE!), that goal is not going to happen).
  • Your goal is relevant and meaningful.
  • Your goal has a deadline.

2) Plan. You know what they say, “You fail to plan you plan to fail”; while I may not know who “they” are, “they” were right. We should never adopt or commit to a goal without first developing a plan. Here are some questions we can ask ourselves that can help us do this better:

  • What behaviors do I need to START doing to accomplish my goal?
  • How much time will these behaviors take and will they take away from other commitments and priorities?
  • What are my compelling reasons for doing this?
  • When will I schedule the behaviors necessary to accomplish the goal?

3) Stay motivated. This is much easier said, well in this case typed, than done. I realize that. You can buy all the awesome motivational t-shirts from Target or Nike that you want, but all that is going to do is decrease your bank account and give you too many t-shirts. We need to be committed, even when we do not want to be…and quite frankly, that is our problem today. We give up way too easily; when things get hard or we do not get the same “pleasure” as we did when we started, we give up. Shame on us. But there is hope! (“So you’re saying there’s a chance?”) Here’s how we can stay motivated:

  • Remind yourself why you committed in the first place. Remember those compelling reasons and articulation of meaningfulness? They do come in handy. They’re purpose isn’t to just make you feel good as you start. It’s the fuel for the fire, the gas to the engine, the cream cheese to cheesecake!
  • Know how you will stay focused on the goal. Consider creating visuals, reminders (I’m sure there’s an app for that), creating a scorecard, or having someone constantly remind you. Whatever you decide, stay focused.

Follow through is difficult for all of us. Some of dream big dreams and never plan, some of us plan but do not have any discipline, and some of us simply do not dream. Wherever you find yourself, I urge you to dream big, plan strategically, and stay committed. At the end of the day, you should know your “why”. Not having a “why” is sad, depressing, unfulfilling, purposeless, and dull (kind of like a cloudy, 35-degree Monday in January). Do not let that happen to you.

Why Attitude, Authenticity and Personal Time Can’t Wait.

Why Attitude, Authenticity and Personal Time Can’t Wait.

If you’re like me, now that January has gotten into full swing and we’re racing toward February at break neck speed, it’s easy to start thinking we don’t have time to reflect on the nuances of our careers and ourselves as professionals. We become like Scarlett telling ourselves we’ll think about that tomorrow. Except tomorrow never seems to be the right time. Caught up in the day-to-day stuff we forget that sometimes the devil’s in the details.
But I have to wonder, by operating on a basis of “I-don’t-have-time-for-that” are we selling ourselves short? By letting “life” steamroll us and reduce us to hamsters on a never-ending wheel, are we unconsciously sabotaging ourselves and our careers? And if so, what are those little things that really are life changing enough to warrant a moment of our attention?

Here are three things we should consider:

Attitude is critical.
Attitude is one of those tricky little things we don’t like to think about and some of ours may need some tuning. Having flash backs of middle school when your Mom told you to work on your attitude? Well new research from Stanford University suggests she might have been onto something. As it turns out, attitude really is important and can be a significant contributor to your long term career success. According to psychologist Carol Dweck, it may very well be one of the most important predictors of performance and achievement. Dweck’s theory suggests that a person who has a “growth mindset” will ultimately be a higher performer because, when things get tough, they become problem solvers; overcomers ready to take on a challenge and willing to do what it takes to achieve their goals. In other words, their attitude says “I can do this” and when they hit a snag, they try different methods until they make it happen. So here’s the deal on attitude: stay positive, cut yourself some slack and, most of all, be aware of how your attitude might be affecting you. Give yourself some room to fail and, if you do fail, treat it as an opportunity to learn and grow as a professional and as a person. Beating yourself up about it or, worse yet, not trying again will only make things worse. As the old adage says, when you fall of a horse, get up, dust yourself off, and get back on.

Ask people, “How are you?” and mean it.
How many times a day do we walk by colleagues, bosses, random strangers and the barista at Starbucks carelessly spouting the phrase, “how are you?” We say it over and over and over, but how often do we say it with intent? With genuine interest or heartfelt sentiment? Likely the answer is, not often. Most of the time we just say it because, well, that’s just what one says in the hallway when awkwardly passing someone. But I really think this is one of the “little things” that is harming us as a society. As humans, we crave authenticity and genuine relationships with others. Though we’re all guilty of doing it, just tossing a vague “how are you” at someone’s back in passing doesn’t exactly give people that warm, fuzzy, I-like-you feeling. It actually seems to do the opposite, rather saying “I’m busy I can’t bother with you right now.” And, yes, it’s true; we all have more to do than can ever be completed in a mere 8 hours (and what happened to the 8-hour workday anyway?). But is that really a good excuse for not at least looking someone in the eye, pausing with a smile, and really meaning it when you ask, “Hi Brenda, how are you today?” I don’t think so. Keep it short and sweet, no need to go into your life story or theirs. The important thing is just that you make the recipient feel like they matter and that they are valued by you. You’d be surprised what a little sincerity will do for your relationships with your coworkers.

Take some “me” time
No really. Do it. When you’re juggling work, kids, parents, friends and the myriad other responsibilities we all have, it’s only natural for us to put ourselves last. But so often, in our quest to be everything to everyone we wind up forgetting to be ourselves. And the result of that is never pretty. Overworked, over-stressed and over-committed tends to make us the worst versions of ourselves. We don’t mean to do it. We are all hard working, well-meaning people who just want to be super heroes. But here’s the thing: super heroes aren’t real (I know, I know, you’re crushed). No matter how hard we try, eventually we run out of gas and something slips. Often, that means we take out our bad attitudes and stress on those closest to us. The ones we love the most. After all, losing it and yelling at your boss just doesn’t fly because, well, he/she can fire you and that can’t happen because you need to pay your bills. So see there? A practical reason for taking a little “me time.” It goes like this: you take 10-minutes of “me time” at lunch so that you can function as human being and you won’t have to lash out irrationally at your boss, which means you’ll keep your job. And keeping your job is pretty important. So tomorrow at lunch time, think twice before eating at your desk and answering emails. The emails can wait, but those few precious minutes of ‘me time’ can’t.

Your Needs or Theirs? Why Vision Fails.

Your Needs or Theirs? Why Vision Fails.

Often I hear leaders and owners say, “my team needs to get bought into my vision”. I have to be honest with you, for a long time, I thought this was true and I believed that the job of the leader was to “sell” their vision to the team like some kind of used car salesman.

However, I now believe this to be false. When I hear this statement from a client, I see it as a symptom of something bigger. Steve Jobs referenced that a vision should be so compelling that it draws people to it. I agree with the sentiment behind this belief wholeheartedly but, there can be a failure in the execution if we are not careful. What can happen is that the leader will create a vision that meets his needs (higher sales, better profit percentages, increased performance metrics, etc.), and not the needs of the team he is leading. Thus, leading the leader to make the comment, “my team needs to get bought into my vision”; which leads to more pulling and pushing than the team moving towards the actual vision on their own.

Abraham Maslow, in his Hierarchy of Needs, says that everyone has five levels of needs: physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization; and, that a person cannot reach a deeper level (go from safety to social) until they have satisfied the previous level(s). The challenge most leaders face is that they are in one level while their team members are in different levels. The “cheese” that motivates us is not the same cheese that may motivate the rest of our team.

Leaders, it is our privilege to understand the needs of our team and create a compelling vision that encompasses those needs, as well as our own. If the vision is not motivating your team, maybe the vision is more about you than them. Ask questions like, “what is the leadership team, or organization, not giving you that you need?”, or “what is the biggest need that you have?”. The answer to this question can help you uncover the true needs of your team members. It may take some prying and further investigation to truly understand what they need, but it is well worth the time and energy.

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