Nurturing Millennial Leadership as the next CEO's

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Andy Raymond.



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The millennial generation, often shortened to Gen Y (born between 1981 and 1996), will shape the world of work, and attracting the best talent from this generation is critical for the future of businesses. Their knowledge, skills, work attitude, career aspirations, and ultimately their knowledge of new technologies will define the next generation of CEOs in the workplace.

In today’s business world, it is evident that Generation X, employees aged between 43 to 58 are still overshadowed by some Baby Boomers, who have often been their bosses and are increasingly becoming outnumbered by Millennials. Generation X is at an age where their experience qualifies them for senior management jobs and they are in demand as Boomers continue to retire. However, with the trend of Generation Xers who are unable to define their next steps in progression and their (suggested) laziness to absorb ever-changing technology, it is the Millennials that CEOs are seeking as the next generation of leaders.

I see a lot of Generation X types whose careers have moved along by circumstance, rather than driven by a plan and sadly they often get stuck in a rut that starts to flavour the kind of potential employee they are. Hours and application become their currency as opposed to formal development, training, and conscious self-development.

With an ever-increasing shortage of suitably skilled workers, CEOs are becoming increasingly concerned that they will be unable to source talent to enable their organisations to succeed. Globalism, technology, socio-political and demographic change will all play their roles in how businesses operate in the future. CEOs are actively looking at millennials at work and the perspectives of a new generation and continuing to seek and understand the characteristics of future leaders.

As businesses seek the best available talent to replace the retiring Baby Boomer generation. This talent is being recruited from the ranks of millennials and Gen Z. As millennials embark on the midpoint to the end of their careers, what are the hopes and expectations of leaders from this generation?

We have already witnessed the age of leading electronics and technology businesses being headed by much younger leaders. With an alternative style of management that has moved away from the rigid corporate structures of the past. Millennials often produce a management style and corporate culture that is distinct from that engendered by their predecessors.

So as the old guard continues to retire, what strategies should be fostered to develop and prepare the current and future leaders.

  1. Emphasise purpose and values: Align leadership development programs with a strong sense of purpose and values, emphasising the impact a company can have on society and the environment.
  2. Provide meaningful learning opportunities: Millennials value continuous learning and development. Offer diverse and meaningful training programs, mentorship opportunities, and exposure to different aspects of the business to help them build a well-rounded skill set.
  3. Social responsibility: Millennials are socially conscious, and they often prefer organisations that prioritise corporate social responsibility (CSR). Incorporate CSR initiatives into leadership development programs, demonstrating a commitment to making a positive impact beyond profits.
  4. Technology Integration: Leverage technology in leadership development programs. Millennials, being the first generation to grow up with digital technology, appreciate tools and platforms that facilitate communication, collaboration, and learning.
  5. Encourage entrepreneurial thinking: Foster a culture that encourages innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. Millennials often appreciate environments where they can contribute ideas and feel empowered to take calculated risks.
  6. Flexible work arrangements: Recognise the importance of work-life balance. Offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options and flexible schedules, to accommodate diverse needs and preferences.
  7. Promote work-life integration: Acknowledge the importance of work-life integration rather than strict separation. Encourage activities that promote well-being, mental health, and a healthy work-life balance.
  8. Feedback and Recognition: Millennials appreciate regular feedback and recognition for their contributions. A feedback culture that includes constructive criticism and positive reinforcement, allows for growth and feeling valued.
  9. Encourage cross-generational collaboration: Facilitate opportunities for collaboration with individuals from different generations within the organisation. This helps bridge generational gaps, fosters knowledge sharing, and provides a more well-rounded leadership experience.
  10. Diversity and inclusion initiatives: Promote diversity and inclusion within the organization. Millennials value workplaces that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive. This not only aligns with their values but also enhances creativity and innovation.

By aligning leadership development strategies with the values and preferences of Millennials and Gen-Z talent, organisations can effectively nurture them as the current and next generation of CEOs, ensuring the continued smooth transition and sustainable leadership. With a progressive work culture that prioritises things like effective relationships, transparency, mentorship, competitive pay, and a healthy work-life balance, a business will continue to attract and keep talent.

Are you seeking skilled managers, directors, or executives to join your team? We can help.

Our singular focus is building world-class diverse teams of executives across technology and engineering environments. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you. Call us on 01582 450054 or email info@RedlineExecutive.com.

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