Understanding Millennials’ Psychology Makes Coaching More Effective
If you’re bringing fresh talent into your team, you’re likely hiring millennials. These young people are not only going to be the backbone of your operation, but also your company’s future leaders. For the sake of the company’s success, you need to prepare them for the work ahead. However, coaching millennials is different from coaching previous generations.
Millennials generally want far more frequent feedback from their managers, according to a study reported in the Harvard Business Review.1 When an age-diverse group was asked how often they would like to receive feedback, more millennials chose frequent measures (daily, weekly, and monthly sessions), than did non-millennials. Non-millennials were more likely to choose a quarterly or annual frequency for feedback, which is the more traditional model of corporate governance.
Why? Millennials need to know frequently where they stand. If they don't get that, they can lose connection and drift, either becoming less productive or moving on to another company.
Millennials want to hear from their direct managers, according to the study. They crave that personal interaction and instruction and respond to it. They are looking for positive reinforcement and encouragement, and they want to be inspired. It's not enough for them to just be told what the job is. They want to know why they should care.
Psychological studies of generations since 1938 show that millennials come into the workplace with more self-esteem but also with more anxiety and a greater need for praise.2 Confidence is an asset for grooming tomorrow's successful leaders. Recognizing that trait for its strengths, rather than resenting a sometimes unearned confidence, gives managers a strong quality to work with. At the same time, they need to feed millennials’ need for praise so they stay engaged and avoid situations that needlessly ramp up the anxiety. An anxious worker, worrying about standing or ability, is not a productive worker.
The secret to coaching millennials boils down to meeting them where they are. Because of their strong self-esteem, they are far less likely than previous generations to conform to a workplace. They have grown up knowing their ideals and their dreams are important, and unless you are helping them, they don't have room for you. Don’t worry—that idealism is also a wellspring of creativity and drive if you tap into it by creating a workplace that supports their ambition.
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Employment of HR managers is expected to grow 9% from 2016 to 2026.3 And as the field of human resource management evolves, so should your skills. When you earn your master’s in human resource management, you position yourself for a variety of opportunities in HR as well as other areas of business. In Walden’s MS in Human Resource Management program, you’ll have access to the practical learning experiences and SHRM-aligned coursework that can give you the advanced skills you need to make a difference as an HR manager.*
At Walden, an accredited university, you can earn your degree online while you continue to work full time. That means you don’t have to put your HR career on hold while you further your skills and competencies. With online education, there’s no need to completely rearrange your schedule or commute to campus—you can take classes at whatever time of day works best for you as you work to earn your master’s degree and advance your HR career.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Human Resource Management degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*Walden’s MS in Human Resource Management program fully aligns with the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates, which helps define HR education standards and helps business schools develop degree programs that follow these standards.
2Source: Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, S. M. (2008). Generational Differences in Psychological Traits and Their Impact on the Workplace. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23(8)
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