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Promote a Millennial to Management and Lose Them

Unless you provide training, coaching and support, you risk losing your best talent when you move them into leadership. This article from the Inc., states:

Seventy-one percent of Millennials who are likely to leave an organization in two years are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being developed. Sixty-nine percent of Millennials aspire to be leaders in the next five years and 60 percent of Millennials want training to develop their leadership skills.

I have a client who promoted their top software engineer, a 26-year-old who was the best of the best. She had natural leadership ability, but lacked practical management skills; communication, job performance feedback, delegation, etc. Within one year, this employee went from being a “rock star” employee to a “rock bottom” manager. Without the skills to manage the day-to-day issues with employees, her team was unmotivated, didn’t meet their deadlines, and two of them left the company. She felt terrible about her performance, so she quit.

There are countless stories out there with similar negative endings. These results can change, with the right approach. Recent Gallup research “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” states that millennial workers are more engaged than non-millennials when their managers provide frequent and consistent communication and feedback.

Investing in ongoing training, coaching and support for your emerging leaders will result in a significant ROI. The key components of a successful management training program must include:

  1. Microlearning – Provide training in bite-sized pieces. This generation is used to picking up concepts quickly when taught in small increments.

  2. Relevancy – Make sure your training looks and feels like the environment your managers are working in.

  3. Blended – Online learning alone will not change behavior significantly. Make sure you combine an online component with in-person experiential exercises that allow for real-life discussions.

  4. Collaborative - Listen and learn from this talented generation. By engaging them in the process for their own growth, you'll get better results.

  5. Train over Time – Establishing good habits and skills does not happen overnight. Spread out your training so your new managers can go out and practice their skills in between sessions and return with new challenges to tackle.

Providing your leaders with this type of support creates a positive, safe work culture. Your customers will be happier and you will keep your most valuable assets - your employees - longer.

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