From their first step onto the soccer field or up to the plate with a T-ball bat at age 5, most of the millennial generation grew up being coached.

And from the time they left college and walked into your office chances are coaching is not part of their daily experience. They also struggle to describe the game plan – the connection between the work they are doing with the mission of their employer. According to Gallup, 60% of employees do not know their company’s mission.  

When these young professionals left school and entered work, a coach was exchanged for their manger. A manager with a full plate of her own responsibilities. Someone with a checklist for onboarding, familiarity with people management software, and knowledge of the annual review process. Generally, not a manager or supervisor trained in the art of coaching and building teams.

This is where a lot of companies are missing the mark. They are limiting leadership training to young and promising executive programs or emerging leaders – if they have leadership training at all.

It is time to rethink that strategy.

Why?

Because our current managing tools and processes are not effective in a knowledge work environment.

Handing someone a job description and assigning them a manager that is already busy with their own demanding workload is not fostering growth. It is crushing spirits and I am not being melodramatic. Look around most offices at the stress levels in play.

The good news is that our younger generations expect to be coached, they want to understand how their work affects the bigger picture and greater good.  Who doesn’t want that at any age?

I hear many negative comments about “millennials” not wanting to work, or always looking for approval. What if they were actually looking for their work to make sense and for their leadership to be able to help them chart a course to success?

This new generation is great for business if we pay attention and support their growth in the way they are accustomed – with vision and coaching.  Work is the new playing field and it is up to us to be ready.

Focusing our attention on developing Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and strengths-based leadership development is good for individuals and crucial for a thriving business.

Are you with me?

Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Look closely at your onboarding process, team building, and coaching programs in place today. How are you welcoming your new hires and how are you setting them up to win

  2. What are you offering employees besides a paycheck and benefits? How can they use their talents to help you and your mission? You need to be able to explain why their work matters in simple compelling language. They need to be able to describe their job to their friends and family.

  3. Get to know your people. Schedule time in your day away from your computer, phone, and meetings to walk around the office or building. You can’t get where you want to be from the inside of a box or tethered to your computer.

If you want to learn more, the articles below speak to the importance of EQ and feedback to build engaged and high-impact workforces.

Many business leaders and scholars now believe that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is more important than IQ. My training programs and activities teach people at all levels how to weave pause for reflection and resilience into their workflows and quickly build the foundation of emotional intelligence:  Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Empathy, Motivation, and People Skills.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence at Work  

We are still using archaic industrial work management practices in a knowledge work society and it isn’t working well. Regular, 2-way feedback processes are rapidly replacing annual performance reviews, which managers and employees no longer find valuable. Weaving feedback into daily and ongoing routines is much better for relationship building and performance outcomes. My unplugged 2 to 10-minute activities naturally build these skill sets within teams.

Value of Continuous Employee Feedback and Rethinking Annual Reviews