Millennial success skills: What we should be teaching Gen Y

Millennial success skills: What we should be teaching Gen Y

Shh, don’t tell business leaders: Millennials – individuals who are roughly 19-35 years old, and a generation of young professionals raised on a steady diet of high-tech gadgets, websites and 24/7 wireless and social media communications – are quickly taking over today’s workforce. But the way in which these highly enterprising and engaging individuals will look to communicate, interact and hope to engage with tomorrow’s businesses is very different than the ways in which other generations have chosen to do so in the past.

So how can organizations hoping to connect with and inspire these growing legions of young professionals hope to best engage them, and equip them with the skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s business world? Easy – just keep in mind the following hints, tips and insights, all of which can help you give future generations the tools they need to gain a competitive edge. Step one – keep in mind that tomorrow’s leaders will:

  • Want clear goals, an engaging variety of assignments to tackle, and to work for organizations with a go-getting attitude that encourages people to collaborate, share their ideas and be more innovative.
  • Need to be trained in soft skills such as the ability to effectively communicate, and learn and practice improvisational thinking. They’ll find these skills equally important as technical knowledge, which is increasingly easy to come by.
  • Demand a wider range of professional growth, training and development programs, as well as hands-on opportunities to expand their experience and skill sets.
  • Discover that a flair for teamwork and winning attitude will be a must as projects become more complex, and a growing number of people of more generations and backgrounds collide in the workplace.
  • Need to master multitasking and time management skills, as professionals are forced to make more decisions faster than ever that impact a greater range of individuals and organizations.
  • Want more mentorship and ongoing feedback as they progress in their career, as the skills in-demand tomorrow will look far different than the ones in-demand today.
  • Look to leadership to provide guidance and ongoing input about what’s going on in the organization, as well as ways that they can personally contribute to the cause and make a difference.

Building future leaders

Here’s an inside tip for those hoping to work more effectively with millennials. The secret to successfully managing and retaining Gen Y workers is simple: Start thinking positive. According to recent research by Deloitte, millennial workers are determined to make their mark on the world, and organizations, by creating positive, lasting change. Here’s what you should know about them, based on its surveys:

  • 78% – Want to work for companies that are innovative.
  • 75% – Say organizations could do more to nurture tomorrow’s leaders.
  • 70% – Believe they’ll work for themselves at some point in life.
  • 60% – Say leadership and entrepreneurialism can be taught.
  • 59% – Think managers have helpful experience to share.
  • 25% – Are actively asking for ways to demonstrate leadership skills.

Award-winning professional speaker Scott Steinberg is a bestselling expert on leadership and innovation, and the author of Millennial Marketing: Bridging the Generation Gap and Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty. The founder of SELECT nightlife and entertainment magazine, and among today’s leading providers of keynote speeches, workshops and seminars for Fortune 500 firms, his website is

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