Many corporate leaders have wrung their hands over the new Millennial generation, complaining they are lazy, not loyal, don’t work hard, and are too sensitive. These accusatory descriptions may have some truth embedded in them but it is also true that a good leader can get anyone to work hard for him; it’s all about the motivation, and showing that you care about your people.
The military teaches leadership as a necessity. General George S. Patton once said, “If you can’t get them to salute as you want them to salute, or wear the clothes you want them to wear, how are you going to get them to die for their country?” This is an extreme example but Patton’s points are valid.
A good leader develops an understanding of what his subordinates need and want, and balances that knowledge with the mission of the company. A good leader also develops trust with his people, and develops their talents like a nurturing parent, while at the same time demanding the utmost effort from those under him.
Sam Caucci, the CEO of 1Huddle, a mobile workforce training company knows a lot about training Millennials; it is the basic mission of his company, which utilizes gaming technology to achieve real results with training the front line service workers for major corporations. Caucci believes you must get employees to believe in company values, and show credibility in manifesting those values by corporate leaders.
“Only 22% of employees believe that the organization they work for has a clear direction… Which means that 78% don’t know what they are working toward,”, declared Caucci recently on his Twitter feed.
Patton also famously said, “Don’t tell people how to do things; tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
At the end of the day, whether we are talking about Millennials, or even elderly employees who have different needs and agendas, it’s all about leadership. Hiring competent leaders for your employees makes all the difference in the world.
Take care of your people and they will perform for you. It’s just common sense, but many corporate leaders today have not been taught this basic truth.